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...
LADY STRANGELOVE + JARVIS + SKELETONS LIVE @ ROCKET BAR + ENIGMA BAR / Friday November 23rd 2007
There are many choices you can make in a single lifespan. There are many paths you can follow. Take the high road, take the low road, take the straight and narrow, take the thin blue line, take the ever shrinking line between genius and insanity, take it all and leave nothing behind. Do I take the red pill? do I take the blue pill? do I take both and get killed by an avalanche of falling rocks? When there's oh so many forks in the road, lying on the footpath and waiting to stab you in the eye if you but step the wrong way; what other choice can you make but to chose it all. Everything at once, all or nothing: fuck reality, fuck gravity, fuck it all! Chose quantum superposition, choose to exist in all points of the universe and let's load the throw of the dice! Too weird to live, too rare to die, it all begins and ends this night. One lone clock ticking down to doomsday. One Hindley St. Two venues. One flick of a switch and I'll find my way home..
Oh yes, kiddies! we be playing us some venue tag toniiight! waaaahooooo! :)
SKELETONS First round of the night leads me here to Enigma Bar for Damn Arm's Album Launch and a face-melting avant-garde opening act by the name of Skeletons. You may remember Skeletons from when I reviewed them back in October, you may recognise a few of the members from Fire! Santa Rosa Fire! or you may be having trouble remembering where you parked your car this morning *cough* either way whenever I think of these howler monkeys live, I'm at first reminded of that lunatic saxophonist from David Lynch's "Lost Highway" puncturing both of his lungs to one fuck of a shrieking Coltrane medly, I'm then reminded of this (entirely unrelated) scene from that same movie, and then I don't remember much of anything because my brain's fallen out've my skull and made a snail trail for the exit doors.. weeeeeeeee! :)
Such is the discombobulating fury that is Skeletons. They're early 80's militant drumming coming at you from all angles, they're astronaut jazz, they're unintelligible shouting, they're atonal rhythms, constant breakdowns into confused silence, snare drums torn on two sides, 2 minute songs and nothing short of utter brilliance (and clearly they're me taking entirely shit photos of them in the dark.. dammit!). Yup, if ever we needed a soundtrack to herald in the end of days as the tides come in and the four horseman of the apocalypse rain fury from the skies, then these guys would easily be the 2nd band I'd call behind Muse! FUCK YEAH! :)
SHARK IN THE DARK Second band of the night brings me to the opening act for Rocket Bar. They're from Melbourne and call themselves "Shark In The Dark", which would normally make them instant targets of ridule here on this blog for having the most LAMEARSE band name in all of rock history.. but perhaps only if you discount every second band currently playing in the Adelaide music scene *cough* (not that I'm makingthesamejokeoverandover at all am I?). Blasting out on stage in a hail of smoke machines and backlighting (that craps over all of my live shots tonight) they fill my mind with a whole flood of seemingly unrelated mental imagery: a crushed beer can to the forehead, a cigarette packet in a rolled up t-shirt sleeve, fluffy dice, footy shorts, handlebar moustaches, a brown datsun doing burnouts in a shopping centre parking lot, James Reyne, Cold Chisel, talk back radio, lead poisoning, race riots, spousal abuse and birth defects. What exactly any of this have got to do with their music is anyone's guess? hmmmmm ;)
JARVIS As Shark in the Dark collapse dead on stage after shot-gunning too many West-End Draughts and are subsequently rolled away in supermarket trolley's back to their caravan park, the 3rd band for the night take's their position on the firing line. This is Jarvis (also from Melbourne), or to be more precise a bunch of hairy-arse gits playing in a band called "Jarvis". Curiously enough, this is not the name of ANY of the band members or in any way related to everyone's favourite "praying-mantis-of-rock" Jarvis Cocker. In fact why they ever chose to call themselves "Jarvis" in the first place is anyone's guess? Perhaps this is part of their appeal? Perhaps they're shit crazy and shooting up cocaine into their eyeballs? Either way, if it wasn't for the entirely shit awesome music they're cooking up tonight, this tiny triviality would seriously bug the crap out've me for days on end. They're a 50/50 mix of Led Zeppelin, The Doors and Iggy And The Stooges: then I realise I'm entirely shit at maths for mixing up fractions so badly and proceed to join Shark In The Dark downstairs as they beat themselves over the head with cricket bats hoping for a hit video on youtube. Fucking awesome band though, check 'em out! :)
PLUG IN CITY A few successive head concussions later and I finally reach the necessary IQ requirement to gain entrance into Enigma again, as I arrive to catch the fourth band: Plug In City. This is their music video which I'll distract you with whilst I collapse dead from a blood clot to my brain..
Since I found it next to impossible to tear myself away from Jarvis's set at Rocket Bar across the road and only managed to rush back in the last 5-10 minutes to catch the last two songs here of Plug In City (ooops!): not only will my laughable attempt at gig photography suck balls ever more so than usual (aaaah dontcha just love Enigma's lighting rig and unforgiving midnight black walls?) but I'll also be gunning for an even MORE ham-fisted and reactionary one-two punch review! (journalistic credibility? what journalistic credibility!? *cough*). So.. um.. yeah.. (think brain! think!) this is Plug In City! they have a cowbell! they like to play it a lot, they have lots of punchy punchy four-on-the-floor rhythms and they sound entirely like The Rapture mixed with New Order, but perhaps only because I'm too fuckarse lazy to come up with anything more accurate. All in all though, for the spare few moments I caught these guys before collapsing unconscious on the floor with a trail of blood leaking from my nose.. I quite liked them!
LADY STRANGELOVE Back again as my lifeless (yet still twitching) corpse is lead up those 3 flights of stairs to Rocket Bar, we have the fifth band for the night: Lady Strangelove. Many times have I visited this band in the past. Many words (and many blurry) pictures have been spoken in words both singular and one thousand but nothing better speaks of the way of the Strangelove, than this.. oh yes!
and if that still fails to speak volumes louder than words (and the hotdog screams still haunts your dreams), then here's a few neatly delivered lines from their lead singer Brendan to open up your sinuses: Woweeee! Whodathunkit!? this shit ain't just shrieking gibberish afterall! :)
and thus we present the triumphant return of Lady Strangelove, on stage in a pupil shattering display of swirling lights (thanks in no small part to that hippy twit Will Spartalis from Tokyo City Sex Shooters hitting the blinkers) as they return to the Adelaide scene after many long months in.. um.. er.. wherever the fuckarse beyond they went to.. *ahem* (did the walls just spin or is just me?) Lady Strangelove: they're the entire universe imploding to the tune of E, they're the sound an elephant passing through the eye of an ostrich, they're the cascade of bats and birds forming a fist and beating you senseless to all points of the universe and back, they're that one lone car alarm at 3AM on an empty street making mad back-bending love to a world war two air-raid siren in an echo chamber and they're back in all their psychedelic glory to inspire yet more incomprehensible rubbish from this blog in place of any kind've coherant review. Lady Strangelove: now available in a wide variety of flavours, colours, textures and all manner of bewildering medical symptoms! I think I just saw my mind's fart through lidless eyes! Kill me now, drink my skull and taste the sun.. wooweeeeee!
and it's at about this exact moment (nearly 3/4 of the way through their set) that I suddenly realised I paid $15 to see Damn Arms back at Enigma Bar and totally spaced out and forgot to see them. Fuck! Oh well, chances are if I just but surf this cosmic ride long enough, I'll shoot the earth's spin into retrograde, reverse the flow of time and live this moment again in a different moment in space. Or if all else fails, fuckit.. just live THIS moment again instead..
and as my consciousness leaves my body, floats above it, takes a brief moment to take a leak in the toilets, contemplates the infinite of creation, gets momentarily distracted by the glowing neon signs of the Crazy Horse next door before drifting inevitably into the light we bring to a close yet another bafflingly inconsequential episode in the life of Spoz..
rest assured in the knowledge that as soon as we scrape my reincarnate toasted moth carcass from this desk lamp and reunite it's scattered neural pathways with my lumbering zombie meat-shell below; we shall do battle on the streets of Adelaide once more!