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...
WHISKEY GO GO'S + MERE THEORY + NO THROUGH ROAD LIVE @ JIVE + FOWLERS LIVE / Friday November 9th 2007
Adelaide: the city that forever sleeps, the city that forever dreams, these dreams that are forever fleeting. This city of the dead, this city of the damned, this city echoing with the children of the disappeared. We find ourselves here at the precipice, this 11th hour lost and fading. Noses to the grindstone: puppets on a string, waiting for the dawn to break. They say all bets are off in this city, this Adelaide in November. But soon that tide will turn, soon that sun will burn and when the smoke clears there will be someone left to claim us; oh yes! Choice and circumstance may very well lead us to strange destinations in this final approach.. and as such we die upon this light, this Friday night, this Friday night in dementia. Where even the most random and desperate made of plans, yields to a wealth of maddening splendour! :)
and with that one spin of the dice I arrive at Fowlers Live. Here drawn to such an unlikely collision. Mere Theory and No Through Road. Two sides of a coin. An album launch. An all-ages gig. This last port of call in this tumbleweed storm. 9PM and the party's already half over? Fuuuuuuck! Genius or insanity, battles won or lost, this night could go either way!
NO THROUGH ROAD Open Season and Newton Heath have already come and gone. If I was to leap to judgement in passing (as lets face it, I'm always prone to do) I'd say they were either punk, hardcore, post hardcore, screamo, emo or quite possibly the singing decapitation of tickle-me-Elmo (*sigh* if only for the latter!). But instead I've lucked upon the eye of the shit storm that is No Through Road: one of Adelaide's finest unsung heroes in beer fueled slacker rock. For those of you yet to find yourself waking in a gutter and grinning through spitting teeth after one of their live sets, then let this cheesy little music video be your introduction..
That's No Through Road on tape, potent to be sure, but to be within a gagging of their morning breath on stage is to bare witness to an altogether more potent beast. Think of them as the stray dog peeing on your leg, that car wrapped around the stobie pole and that moment of pure horror waking up next to a horse's head and having no clue how you got there. They're Tapes N Tapes, Weezer, Modest Mouse, Dave McCormack and Ben Kweller in a mess of broken bar stools and pint glasses, laughing hysterically before being thrown out by bouncers at closing time. They're lead singer Matt Banham leering and slurring about the stage, swinging his microphone to within KO range of the front row whilst the rest of the band fly about like dodge-em cars. They're the head on collision, freeze framed and skipping the glass fragments in and out've the windscreen. Yup, every moment you wake up in a sorry state and vow "never again" only to return again and again to laugh echoes into the dawn is No Through Road. Such lyrical brilliance! Such candy in fuzzing guitars! Such a drug that can never be denied!
*cough* so it's a little odd to find these laughable arseclowns supported a headliner such as this..
MERE THEORY If by video alone, Mere Theory's garbled mess in CGI would be screaming for a late night airing between the infomercials: "rap, rock and soul.. makes DC Talk!" before busting out into a born again Jesus freak medly. I mean shit! for someone who grew up in the "don't give a fuck" slackarse 90's, this whole heart-on-the-sleeve earnest shit just begs for the gag reflex! I want my punk in self destruction and self mockery dammit! not bleeding through in straight edges..
and yet live on stage as they flap their arms about and collide with the walls, this band doesn't easily fall to such broad and easy caricatures. Unlike their pissy (and ever more popular) cousins The Hot Lies, there's none of the My Chemical Romance black parade or the Panic At The Disco! balls-in-a-vice here. This is not a Tim Burton stop-animation. This ain't Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange spouting PSA's on the evils of drink driving. Lead singer Chris Mellow looks more like a bedraggled 60's acid bender and sounds more like the voice of Matt Bellamy from Muse than any squeaking Edward Scissorhands I'd usually expect to see out there, whilst the rest of the band in all their over excited hyperbola, aim more for the rarefied artiness of A Mars Volta and the wide-screen psychedelics of early 70's Floyd than anything less. In standing apart from most of the usual cliches they stand immune from the obvious punchlines. I mean shit.. they almost make me NOT hate "emo" in the same way that The Roots and Saul Williams makes me not hate "rap", Ladytron for not hating "electro" or the Deftones for excusing all the sins of late 90's "nu-metal". Damn, I'd almost go out on a limb and say I actually like this shit!
But still just like any other emo band before them, prey to the wrist slasher adolescents that feed upon them and hang onto their every word, when 11PM comes it's game over and light's out: victim to just another school night, just another reason for the lemmings to cry into their pillows as they scurry off into the sunset (pfffft suckers!). Of course, we all know that I can't be killed off so easily and this night is FAR from over, so where else could a crash test dummy like myself go to but to a whisky stained shit-hole like Jive, to REALLY get the job done? :)
and so it is just my luck, as I pass through those spastic yellow doors, that I arrive just in time for the most drug addled cartoon spectacle in headlining acts that Jive has ever born witness to: as we present, the one, the only, liver staining trainwreckage that is..
WHISKEY GO GO'S Yup, in name alone we pretty much know what we're in for here, but in case you're still banging two rocks out there and questing for fire, then lemme just spell it out for you..
Aaaaah yes! Where else but Jive could you hope to find a pack of moonshine gargling hillbilly's as Darwinistically deficient as this? This band so Kentucky Fried south of the bell curve, they make The Kings of Leon look like Joy Division. A band so blaringly drunk they make No Through Road look like.. *cough* well.. pretty much Mere Theory (ouch!). Watch bug-eyed as lead singer Matt Hutchinson staggers around blindly with a hiccuping squint, slurring and yodelling and looking even more spaced than Iggy Pop's infamous appearance with Molly Meldrum on Countdown. Trip out to the frenetic whiskey-stained blues guitar and the heart attack rhythms. Drink yourself to an early grave, claw through six feet of compacted dirt to freedom and then do it all over again! and if ever there is any doubt left that the Whiskey Go Go's may very well be the coolest freaking brain injury alive? Then wonder at the awe-inspiring genius that is P.Bone Pebbles their so-called "percussionist" with the mile wide afro, who does absolutely nothing all night but shake his shit about on stage and look bug-eyed goofy. That dude is my freaking hero and this live set has damn near made my weekend! Whiskey Go Go's I freakin' salute you! :)
And as the IQ points plummet to new found lows and the beer soaked crowd scream for ever more, I bid my final exit, knowing that I have drank every last drop of this Friday night dry.
Yup, we may find ourselves here at the precipice, this 11th hour lost and fading. Noses to the grindstone: puppets on a string, waiting for the dawn to break. But even in this darkest hour, even when all else seems lost, there is life still a stirring and so many battles yet to be won! :)