The Adelaide music scene: to many of you it might be little more than a touring speed bump between Melbourne and Perth but to us it's a way of life. Feast within, on all its dysfunctioning splendour, as we bring you the highly satirical, laughingly fictional and intellectually imbecile tales from our rock & roll wasteland...
I know what you are all thinking. I've heard the rumours. I've read all the stories. Many of you out there are really starting to doubt that I am human. How could one tiny mortal peanut shell of a human being hope to withstand the endless technicolour horrors that burp forth from the belly of this musical beast without leaving nothing but a foaming stain, a dried up skeletal husk and sparse spare change for the tooth fairy. Surely this is too much to bear for somebody possessing only 23 chromosomal base pairs and a swiss cheese skull that whistles off key. Who is THIS near stupid? this insane? this hilariously suicidal to persist in this waking nightmare week in and week out without collapsing into a blackhole singularity that'd engulf everything within and without the Adelaide CBD upto a 10km radius!? Understandably wild and erronious myths are starting to circulate about me and this here humble website. Legends abound that could but only grow more fantastical in the chinese whispers of their retelling. Tales that speak of a diabolical 10ft tall hirsuit yeti of doom who can bend time and space at will, pass through walls, shoot laser beams from his eyes, laugh at gravity, piss on the sky, drink from the moon and spit out the sun. Many are starting to doubt there is but one, but now speak of entire pantheons of my brethren poised to engulf this city like pirahnas to a cow carcass at the strike of a setting sun. Alas if only but a fragment of these wild accusations were true. If anything they speak more about the dubious chemical content of Adelaide tap water than anything approaching the truth: I am one, I am only human, I pay in blood, sweat and sleepless nights and surely this website will be the death of me.
And alas, this week I took on the impossible and now I stand utterly defeated. I chase the devil and the devil comes to claim me. If this week's hastily worded entry proves one thing before clawing hands drag me to my pinewood oblivion to nail me shut.. then let it prove that I ALONE cannot stand against the turning of this music scene tsunami no more! Adelaide, we have created a monster.. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!! AAAAUAUGGHH! :)
FRIDAY NIGHT Yup, too many options too numerous and too nameless in their superlative profanity clawed for my attention this Friday. I chose but ONE for your fleeting amusement here at Jive tonight: as we bear witness to the freakshow circus double act that is Bob Log III and Lady Strangelove. If ever there was a moment to appease the pantheon of vengeful tree spirits with a goat sacrifice or two in blood letting then let THIS be that night. Shit's only gonna go downhill from here!
LADY STRANGELOVE First on stage is "warm up" act Lady Strangelove: who not only effectively warm up the crowd but manage to boil off several layers of atmosphere and liquify everyone's organs in near vicinity to a howling psychedelic super heated plasma (or in short just like every other day at the office for this band). Of particularly differing amusement tonight however, is (a) their endlessly entertaining and lysergic screen projections in backwards dancing bambis and naked cartoon women writhing through the chromatic ether, (b) their progressively more languid and cyclic blues setlist in new material, (c) lead singer Brendan jumping off stage for another spastic tamborine dance off with the crowd, and finally (and most importantly) (d) Josh's afro looking so distinctly wacky tonight it reminds me less of Omar from The Mars Volta and more like Kramer in that Seinfeld episode where he's suffering flat hair from a faulty shower head (his guitar however suffers no ill effect and continues to sound like an aviary exploding in slow motion action replay). As much as my camera fails once more to penetrate the dizzying blackhole these mad magicians generate on stage without resorting to pissy 'ol slow-shutter flash that does nothing to capture the atmosphere, the dancing sillouettes blasted into the walls tonight are more than testament to the a-grade madness they weave.. ROCK!
BOB LOG III With the crowds now licking the walls after Lady Strangelove's psychotropic chemistry set, the pupils are dilated and the time is ripe for the feature performance tonight: the one, the only Bob Log III. On the surface beyond all the superlative hype, there really isn't all that much to say about this act. Just one man from Tuscon Arizona dressed in a blue daredevil suit and fighter pilot helmet singing through a distorted 1970's telephone handset, playing slide guitar and tapping his foot to a kickdrum snare and crash cymbal with a resultant mix that puts him somewhere between The John Spencer Blues Explosion, Les Claypool on acid and an overblown busking act. Once you've heard one song you've pretty much heard them all, however the pure spastic joy and entertainment value in this circus freak is NOT in the music alone, but in the hilarious stage theatrics that erupt henceforth..
I dunno what it is about this space cadet, but the girls in the audience go absolutely spastic ga-ga to this shit and will just about pack out any crowd he plays to into a writhing sea of oestrogen glee. Tonight is no different as we witness two of these hooting specimens: invited stage invaders Yoko and Sophie as they make for the happy dance on Bob Log's lap..
This is followed up by the infamous ditty simply known simply as "Boob Scotch". Words alone cannot explain the hysteria that this song causes, so for the full manifestation of the wailing terrors manifested by this hypnotic beast, look ye no further than this eye-popping video from his LAST tour back in November (yes, that IS a girl dipping her boob into a pie-floater!). Clearly these 5 minutes alone are worth the price of admission; however tonight to really shake shit up, he tries out something a little different on the crowd, with a remix simply entitled "Man Boob Scotch": I'll let the following horrifying results speak for themselves..
before Bob Log III finally culminates this cavalcade in hillbilly swamp guitar rock (after encore after encore) with one last dizzying victory lap around the audience, up into the balcony and down the stairs to the hooting applause of hundreds screaming for more.. *phew!*
Oh and the less said about THIS inexplicable lunacy that erupted on stage after his set (or that moment when I put my nipple in a pineapple after everyone egged me on *cough*) the better. Suffice to say, Bob Log III can sure as fuck make an attending audience do some truly stupid things in homage to his infinite madness.. eeeeeeeeouch that's gotta hurt!
Barely escaping Jive with my life, liberty and sanity still intact after scores of riot police were sent into Jive to quell the escalating pandemonium erupting forth in Bob Log's wake, I next find myself staggering blindly down Grenfell St for my second destination tonight: here at the ever mysterious and elusive Urtext Studios.
Besides being ground zero to the esteemed production offices of "Urtext Films", home to the monthly underground art/music/fashion street press "Excitement Machine", host to an art-house cinema extraordinaire and available for hire as band rehearsal space (just speak to this bearded loon at the front desk for any and all the above - 2nd Floor 14 Grenfell St, Old Tattersall Building)..
but it's also becoming increasingly reknown for hosting some of the wildest underground parties and ecclectic live gigs this side of a 60's acid meltdown (now complete with full liquor licensing too.. woo!). For instance on tonight's specials menu we have Margie (aka: Peggy, that keyboard chick from Line Honour)'s 21st birthday and farewell party. In hindsight I have no freaking clue how I ended up invited to this mess but hey who am I to turn a party down? :)
By the time I had arrived here at this fateful haunt it was already creeping well past 1AM, yet far from slowing down, the celebrations on the dancefloor this hour were reaching new dizzying heights and crashing self destructive lows in hedonistic debauchery..
so much so that you couldn't help but be swept along with it.. aaah craaaap! AMBUSH!!!
For accompanying entertainment tonight, we have a rotating roster of guest DJ's spinning an uber cheesy and ecclectic mix of 80's indie disco and spaz-pop on the turtables..
A fine array of chocolately fudge type things, rasberry jelly squares (surprisingly containing neither trace of dope nor jello shooter), corn chips and dip..
And as for the all important "alcohol" ingredient? alas this was nowhere left to be seen this late into proceedings. After a few cursory glances around the dancefloor however, it really didn't take a genius to figure out WHERE it all went *ahem* :)
Still, all silliness aside I gotta hand it to these monkeys at Urtext, they've really done infinite wonders to place since last I visited it back in April. The red curtains, sparkly lights and feature spot lamps really did wonders to polish up this hell hole..
as did their fine array of urban trash street art that now featured prominently on the walls..
they even managed to score an extra special late night street performance by the Adelaide City Council for the amusement of all the people on the balcony. Why the hell anyone would ever think to arrange a gimp in an orange safety vest to dig a deep hole in the ground in the middle of Grenfell St at 2AM whilst four of his buddies looked on is beyond me: but I really quite enjoyed the avante simplicity of it. Urtext studios you've done it again! Why I don't frequent this place like a retarding bad smell more often is anyone's guess! :)
With the swirling madness at Urtext slowly winding down around 2:30AM (as it's many denizens began to litter the floors and crawl spaces in a narcopleptic mess of spilling limbs), I saw that the time was ripe to hit my third and final destination for the night as I arrive at Elysium on Hindley St for the tail end of Lejla (the bespectacled midget)'s 21st Birthday Party..
wherein we while away the remainer of the night in luxury, sipping on weird imported beers and wanky uber expensive cocktails to the accompaniment of filtered funk and house tracks spun by the DJ, before sent fleeing into the night by Lejla armed to the teeth with her fiendish Canon SLR (don't look too long into that lens kiddies, or it will EAT YOUR SOUL!! WAAAUAGHHH!!). Thus bringing to a close our utterly confusing yet ecclectic night's entertainment.. aaaaah! :)
SATURDAY NIGHT Attempting to cover the full length, breadth and hooting girth of this fateful night will prove to be nothing short of an impossible mission for any indie rock photojournalist short of near successful suicide attempt. It exhausts me now just to think of it, especially considering I'm the hungover bastard who's gotta make sense of this mess for the sake of all YOU ungrateful slobs writing it up barely 24 hours later on a Sunday night at 4AM. But hey they don't pay me the big biccies for nothing now do they!? *cough* waaait.. you mean to tell me they PAY ME NOTHING for this shit!? what the FUCK am I still doing here!? (no wait, don't answer that!!). Anyhoo in efforts to cover the impossible here, I had to sacrifice: (a) The Vasco Era at The Governor Hindmarsh, (b) Realist Few's FINAL ever show at The Crown N Anchor (*sniff* dammit! I loved those crazy bastards!) and (c) the infinite flailing discometal carnage of Tony Font Show fucking shit up at the Electric Light (aaah fuckit, I'll be sure to see them again NEXT week anywaze.. hahahaha). Yup this night must surely be the hellspawned beast of all ages if it offers up riches greater than all the above; so there was only one thing for it, but to head to the Worldsend here tonight to find my dutch courage..
before embarking upon my death defying marathon between Jive: for Morals Of A Minor's farewell gig (word is they're fucking off to Melbourne) supported by the near improbable supports in Artax Mission, Taught By Animals, Fire! Santa Rosa Fire! and The Spires..
and the Enigma Bar, which is playing host to Booster's Album Launch supported by Your Motive For, Angelik and The Dairy Brothers! YEEEOUCH! Why every single freaking band in Adelaide chooses to play a gig tonight is really beyond me, but either way hopefully you'll forgive me for the shambolic mess in the retelling that your about to witness.. *ahem* :)
THE SPIRES After effectively dosing up to my eyeballs on brain medicine at Worldsend, I begin cataclysmic night here at Jive for opening act The Spires. To describe this band: simply mashup the dappled guitar textures and light percussion flourishes from early Radiohead songs like: "You", "Fake Plastic Trees" or "Street Spirit (Fade Out)"; splice in some of the rhythm section from Bloc Party's cruiser back catalog like: "This Morning Love" or "So Here We Are" and then get Jeff Buckley to front it as a vocalist; with the overall sound working ever so blissfully as it manages to create oodles of dreamlike melancholy without boring you shitless.. niiiice! :)
THE DAIRY BROTHERS Over at Enigma Bar, The Dairy Brothers are opening up proceedings there in the ever darkening gloom of the red stage lights with the festive destruction of all their music equipment, in ode to yet another one of their blistering renditions in cartoon rock that could only be described as AC/DC vs The Wiggles vs Ben Folds Five as reinterpretted tonight by Slash from Guns N Roses. Yup, I think my head just exploded from the intensity of it and that was only the first song too.. weeeeeeeeee! :)
Briefly interrupting your irregularily scheduled program tonight we bring you this festive explosion in zebra striped hatwear as presented to me as a gift tonight by the colourful mental dysfunction that is Miss Moira (one of my deranged internet stalkers from Bendigo). Oh yes, this website gets stalkers nationwide now! clearly we've reached a new all-time low.. wooooo! :)
whoaaaaaaaaa.. now where was I?
Before returning to the impossible mission at hand, where it appears that my spastic interlude in festive hat-wear has since bumped Fire! Santa Rosa Fire! from appearing in this week's blog.. "D'OH!". So in effort to make up for all that you would've otherwise missed out on, We present to you this humble selection of shots captured from previous F!SRF! gigs. Stare deep into those flickering images, picture the spastic indie disco cheese of The Rapture on crack amphetamines and if you don't end up foaming on the floor in violent twitching convulsions from the sum of it all then come to Rocket Bar this Friday to see them for yourselves as they perform live with No Through Road, Antony Of The Future and Fake Lake.. WOOOOOO!
TAUGHT BY ANIMALS Anyhoo now that I've effectively lost what little journalistic credibility I have left it's time we present the next band, Taught By Animals, or as I'd jokingly like to refer to them tonight (for nothing but my own amusement): "El Guido & Maneul's All-Star Mariachi Band". If only they were all wearing poncho's and I was retardingly drunk on tequila then we'd be having ourselves a cactus party right about now. Still all jokes aside, for a band that doesn't do the spastic salsa dance quite nearly enough (although knowing their ecclectic song repetoire, give them time!) they still cook up some of the finest proto-grunge baboon music in town.. OOOOHYEAAAH! :)
ANGELIK Back at Enigma, Angelik have just hit the stage to cook up a volatile thrash fest of hard-rocking inebriancy that sets the walls spinning to warp speed, and besides killing us rotten like every other gig before them; tonight is extra special in that it is the last ever set to feature smash-off extraordinaire Nick Hadley on the drumskins, who's since decided to leave the band to pursue his other punk side-project "Dead Popes Of The Vatican" full-time. Hmmmmm, one wonders which homicidal lunatic Angelik they'll bring next to drum for them.. Dave Grohl anyone?
YOUR MOTIVE FOR Taking a brief and welcome drunken detour at The Village across the road for some much needed "Asian KFC on Crack" and "Crumbed Cuttlefish Balls" (arrrrrggglglglglll), it's back once more to the Enigma, for the next band Your Motive For. For those of you not familiar already with this band: think the pop-rock infectious sounds of You Am I mixed with Bruce Springstein after he's been living drunk and destitute on the streets for the last 3 years and you'll be right on the money. Still, as scruffy as all fuck as they are, they're no less brilliantly crafted because of it (the new songs especially are showing promise that there's more life to these monkeys yet!).
ARTAX MISSION Back once more to Jive, and we welcome next act Artax Mission. Since excess hammering of the thesaurus is next to useless in describing the sublime art-noise and psychedelia that this band produces in abundance, for this week my chosen code phrase is "Love Me Chainsaw, Sing The Birds".. hmmmmmm. In other tangible (and less dribblingly abstract) highlights tonight, we were also blessed with the rare and most welcome appearance of a song that I could only described as "Juliet sings the astronaut blues on the far side of the moon". No superlatives in the english language could possibly do this song justice as it is without a doubt the most freakingly sublime and jaw dropping 5-10 minutes you will ever hear live on stage EVER, period. (*sniff* dammit, that song makes me more emotional than that creepy kid in American Beauty when he sees the plastic bag do the happy dance on camera and throws a wobbly.. eeeeeeeee!).
BOOSTER Somehow managing to pull myself away from the witches brew that Artax Mission are continuing to weave through the ether over at Jive (which believe me is much easier said than done), I finally make my way back at Enigma Bar and witness the fateful moment we've all been waiting for here tonight as Sean Kemp on drums, Craig Lewis on guitars and the one they call Chopper Biggs on bass hit the stage for Booster's fuck-off epic album launch performance. However with the stage lights and smoke machines all fixated upon Sean's drumkit it's really looking much less like a conventional album launch and more like the launching of the Space Shuttle launch; a we're treated with an accompanying stadium mix sounding quite like a chorus of elephants having loud sex in an aircraft hanger whilst howler monkeys are squished underfoot. With the seething mass of hooting chimps in the crowd reaching critical mass in worship to the falsetto beast erupting before them on stage (think Queens Of The Stone Age meets The Darkness), it really doesn't get much more fuckoff epic than this tonight..
Although lead singer and drummer Sean Kemp sure gives it a red hot crack for furthering extremes in rock 'n rock excess when moments after I leave Enigma (in pursuit of my next target back at Jive), Heath from Your Motive For manages to capture THIS shining moment in cinematics on his camera phone. How Sean manages to blow up chunks all over the porcelain midsong, only to return back on stage whilst the rest of the band barely breaks stride to finish the set with this fuckoff hooting climax in infamy is anyone's guess.. either way, how much more freaking rock 'n roll can ya get!? WOOOOO! :)
MORALS OF A MINOR Meanwhile back at Jive (oblivious to the technicolour antics erupting next door) I've arrived just in time for the final killing move and headlining band for the night, Morals Of A Minor: the band Spoz destroyed, the band that came back stronger, the band that damn near killed us all! Sounding like early 80's U2 at their volatile best colliding with 70's Pink Floyd at their most twitching heroin extreme and featuring the signature idiot savant wailings and chihuahua yelpings of Surahn on vocals, the squinting lemon face stabbing attacks of Nick Du Bois on cascading guitar riffs, crazy homeless guy Anthony (Techno) Mitolo thrashing it out on drums and the stoner yokel grooves of Jed Smith thwacking it out so loud and distorted on bass tonight that it sounds like motorbikes are doing donuts on my face: the performance tonight is nothing short of a total thermo-nuclear meltdown. It was louder than all fuck but damn did it rock out like a 5km asteroid impact! Yup, Morals Of A Minor have really come a looooong way since I made fun of them so infamously back in 2006, and dammit now that they're all moving to Melbourne I'm really gonna miss making fun of these guys more often *sniff*
Awww look! it appears they're really gonna miss ME too.. hahahahahahaha!
*Phew!* Anyhoo by about 2AM, Morals Of A Minor finally wind up their epic hours long face-melting odyssey. I briefly ponder how the hell I've managed to survive to the end, for surely everyone else around me are already long dead (and most don't even know it yet) as it appears I've reached the end of yet another near suicidal live music marathon relatively unscathed through increasingly perilous odds. So after drinking myself near retarded once again in culmination and celebration of tonight's festivities at both Jive and Enigma Bar, I finally drag my weary carcass east of the border to Shotz for the closing chapter..
whereupon the final killing blow is soon administered to my frontal lobe with the fateful return of this stripey hat of doom: the zebra implosion, the panda dyslexia, by any other names the destroyer of worlds as it nails that one last nine inch into my coffin this night..
and since I'm gonna be making a total twit of myself, why not take as many of you lunatics with me as we present in closing: this select gallery of colourful misfits..
before these last two femme fatales send me screaming into the night begging for mercy.. no more I say! NO MORE! THAT'S IT!! I'VE HAD IT WITH THIS SHIT!! WAAAUAGGHHH!!
And there we have it, the end of another weekend more perilous than the last. I've got nothing more to say. My brain no longer works. I'm too hungover and too sleep deprived in shattering still frames to function. I cannot find the words, form the sentences nay find the means no more to express this broken machine falling down the stairs like a busted up slinky. I chase the dreams, I chase the nightmares, I chase the devil and the devil comes to drive me into an early grave with my head full of drivel.. but oh what a fun ride it is! :)