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...
VANILLA ICE + KELE OKEREKE/BLOC PARTY + VAN SHE LIVE @ SUMMER PARTY / Saturday January 12th 2008
Summer. The dumbest of all the four seasons. With the possible exception of Spring (which we prefer not to speak of ever since it got a little too excited to see us and left that weird stain on the ceiling). Summer. So frolick and fancy free! So free of inhibitions! So free of anything approaching a 3rd grade reading level! Summer. Nothing but lazy days in the sun accumilating countless new freckle spots that'll later on turn out to be inoperable tumours. Summer holidays. Summer loving. Ever so much less than the sum of it's parts. What IS it about this meteoric rise in temperature that drops trousers to embarassingly new lows? What is it about these 3 months of the year that pushes up the birthrate come August? So many questions, so few neurons misfiring in my head to provide the answers. I know, lets devote an entire live music festival to it, surely that'll work! and thus, the abomination that is "Summer Party" is born!
3:46PM - The setting for this mad bacchanalian feast of the senseless (I'm sure you'll look that one up), is here in Rundle Park off East terrace, the same infamous bomb site for the equally retarding "Garden Of Unearthly Delights" come Fringe Festival in February. Everywhere you look there's another Red Bull or Jagermeister tent burning your retinas and a thousand strong throng in crash-test dummies licking the sun every-damn-which-where and out've their mind..
In the north-west corner a stage is pounding inane electro and eurotrash courtesy of the many disposable DJ's spinning the hamster wheels of steel, chosen audience to a small huddle of moths flickering about overjoyed that their "whizz fizz" has chosen this exact moment to kick in..
Clearly the prevailing urban subculture here (which becomes glaringly more apparent the minute I hit the drinks tent and see nothing but Vodka, Redbull and Bacardi Breezers) screams "windowlicker". Also note how the water here costs a mere $1 less than the entirely shitty choice of beer. Hmmmm yup, no off position on the genius switch here!
Back in the day I would've dismissed these lower wrungs of the evolutionary ladder as nothing more than "pillmunchers" (ie: those oft to frequenting "Earth" on Hindley street and that now since defunct drive by shooting target on Light Square with the flickering paper tissue torches, flapping their glow sticks in the air). But now thanks to the eye gouging resurgence in 80's fluoro, retarding "choose life" slogan t-shirts, trashy French electro and excessive nutsack shaving, have now since mutated into ever more hilariously ubiquitous forms..
Quoting the wisdom of one Nick DuBois on such matters (occassional Morals Of A Minor guitarist and chef to the ONE food stall / sausage sizzle in the entire freaking idioteque): "Seriously, dude, if you dropped a bomb on this festival, it'd kill off Adelaide's entire metrosexual population in one hit". Aaaaah *sniff* we could only but wish!
4:09PM - It's at this moment that I'm very much regretting my insane decision to cover this event, till I remember that's there's quite possibly some fartarse music acts worth seeing..
VAN SHE (***) myspace :: This band has been the classic case of "hit n run" with this blog ever since they up and cancelled a headlining gig at the last minute with Morals Of A Minor at Producers back in late 2006, citing a entirely too lame need to "finish their album" (which by all accounts they're STILL trying to finish *cough*). I missed them again when they supported the Yeah Yeah Yeah's middle of 2007 (which I'm STILL kicking myself over) and then once again when they played Adelaide Uni Bar with Operator Please back in November, when I had the chance to see The Dardanelles and one Darren Cross (aka: The E.L.F.) from Gerling squeeze out a giant square shaped turd at Jive (and yes, I'm quite possibly kicking myself for missing Operator Please). But now this day of days I finally got these rat bastards in my sniper scope! YEAAS! VICTORY IS MINE! Except, they're playing an entirely too forgettable early afternoon set at a fartarse music festival in the parklands. Oh fuck, this is gonna be lame! Still, the vibe they're cranking is doing wonders with the windowlickers, who are damn near climbing the fence and flapping their arms about going apeshit to their grooves: sitting somewhere between Cut Copy, the disposable shit from an OC soundtrack CD and this decade's answer to Duran Duran and A-Ha! Admittidly it's a solid new-wave 80's buzz and I'm kinda digging it, but there's this inkling that I'd much prefer to catch them in a packed out venue at midnight than a slackarse midday set like this. Bugger!
6:28PM - I charge to the front of the stage in a mad panic, half expecting to see headlining act Vanilla Ice to arrive as per his scheduled time of 6:30PM. Instead I'm greeted with yet another of Summer Party's disposable DJs, Tommie Trash, banging out inane electro-daft remixes so candy coated that even Rocket Bar at 5AM on a Saturday night wouldn't dare touch it. The crowd, fluoro and all are quite predictably going fucking apeshit to it..
7:22PM - Another hour passes with no sign of Vanilla Ice, another frisbee spinner in the form of DJ Ajax with a "lick sip suck" t-shirt arrives to spin the decks with yet more banging electro. Rumours are now circulating that Rob Van Winkle's missed his flight due to his drummer, one "Clint Eastwood" (I swear they're shitting me) suffering a monstrous bout of food poisoning..
7:47PM - More time passes, more inane banging electro, no fucking sign of Vanilla Ice. Damn! To put it mildly, the crowd around me (which is packing out beyond rib fracturing sardine density) are starting to get "restless". Fights are breaking out. Organisers are scrambling to reorder the lineup. And so in their infinite wisdom, yet another sacrificial DJ is sent to the slaughter to spin those dinner plates, although this one is a little bit more familiar..
KELE OKEREKE/BLOC PARTY (****) myspace :: If you've never heard of UK band Bloc Party and don't have a passing familiarity to their lead singer Kele Okereke, then clearly all blogs I've been writing and their lazy references to bands of the last decade would've fallen on deaf ears. Still, I'm never one to judge (pfffft statement of irony?), so if you've been living under a rock, a bomb shelter or you're a space tripper from another dimensional brane with access to a universal translator, then lemme introduce you to the frenetic post-punk brilliance that is "Banquet" from their "Silent Alarm" album..
So here he is wooping up a DJ mix that somehow manages to combine every misguided extreme from The Prodigy, Joy Division, Enya, Cindy Lauper, A-Ha, Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch and The Chemical Brothers into the one set; hands in the air, big cheesy grin, laughing it up..
and he doesn't have a FUCKING clue what he is doing: crossfading attempts that amount to nothing more than a dyslexic tripping sound, constant abuse from the crowd egging him on and a start / stop playing style very much reminiscent of that one trigger happy drunk who invades your ipod at a house party. Still, as retarded as it all is, he does get a bit of a buzz going..
Soon realising he's about as a capable with a CD double deck as he was with writing half the lyrics on Bloc Party's second album "A Weekend In The City" (seriously, have you heard "Waiting For The 7:18" sheeeesh!?) a microphone is called for, his more than capable assistant takes over on the decks and Kele is back in his element starting up shit with the crowd..
It's probably at this point that I should explain the stage layout. Being this kind of "scene", there's obviously gonna be some kind've fashion parade. As such, running directly from mid stage to at least 10 metres into the crowd, we have a one metre high catwalk. Every 2 minutes without fail you'd see a pack of windowlickers climb up it and do the spastic dance, before being promptly bum rushed off by security. Then 2 minutes later they're at it again, flipping security off. Every time the stakes get higher, every time the security gets more and more pissed off..
and there's Kele Okereke absolutely lapping this shit up in spades. Just look at that Humphrey B Bear do his thing out front, FUCK YEAH! This comedy routine alone would provided endless amusement in what would've otherwise have been an entirely too lamearse DJ set (I mean shit, he even spun his OWN fucking songs, duuude that's worse than wearing your own merch!)..
Security however are starting to regret their decision not to pack tasers for this gig..
9:23PM - Still no sign of Vanilla Ice. Security considers calling in the army, SAS, STAR division and a few well placed water cannons in effort to contain the increasingly volatile throng..
9:39PM - after much overhyped and ridiculous delay (fuck, has it been 3 hours!?), a half inflated darklord materialises in the background. One that would continually fall over at the slightest stirring (pffft.. you idiots!). Roadies scramble to keep it aloft, smoke machines fill the area with an inpenetrable haze, DJ and drummer hit their respective kits..
9:42PM - as at long last, his most exceedingly past his use-by-date makes his appearance..
VANILLA ICE (*****) myspace :: Clearly this festival stuntcasting needs no introduction. Chances are, just like that entirely lame "presumed dead" blog I wrote about Wee Man killing himself with a bag of salt back in 2006, this blog alone will elicit more hits from Google than any of the 100's of infinitely worthier musicians I've covered in the last 3 years. But once again, for those of you just emerging from cryogenic stasis in the Walt Disney Fourth Reich science laboratory, let me give you this brief introduction: back in 1990, one Rip Van Winkle, aka: Vanilla Ice, released this, "Ice Ice Baby", his one and ONLY hit. Ever since then wiggas the world over have been cursing his name..
Now, 18 years, one rise and fall of Eminem's entire hiphop career, Justin Timberlake with his dick in a box and every second wastoid wigga wasting space in a Micky D's parking lot on a Saturday night and here he is standing right here in front of us in the flesh.. whoaaaaa!
Somewhere out there, an electroencephalogram (EEG) is beeping it's last sustain..
Now you may be wondering, why would I give a fuckwit has-been like this a five star rating? Clearly his only claim to fame is ONE shittyarse song that rips off "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen, he's done next to fuckall since, and here tonight in all his tattooed horror he looks and sounds like the very worst American amalgamation between Kid Rock, Fred Durst and Andrew WK impersonating House Of Pain (badly). It can't be his innate rapping skill: his high pitched nasal twang has been replaced by what sounds like a chainsmoker's throatbox attempting to speed dial, and his best lyrical refrain is "Go Ninja, Go Ninja Go!". Fuuuuck! Why Suge Knight didn't just drop him off that balcony is anyone's guess? And yet, we forget the reason why 99% of the people including me are here in droves. Intended or not, this is by far the BEST comedy act we'll see all year! The very fact he can't rap for shit, the very fact he THINKS he's a star, yelling "titties titties titties!" and "can I get a fuck yeaaah!" every 3 minutes just makes him funnier and funnier, till by the end your grinning from ear to ear. As much as he's a fucking tool, lets face it, we all wish we could be here to see it. That evil EVIL genius!
His set list (running for all of a marathon 30 minutes) consisted of a bunch of dodgy late 90's rap rock, covers of AC/DC and Cypress Hill, and of course, the ONE song we were all waiting for: "Ice Ice Baby". Naturally, just like everyone else, I scrambled to capture it in entirely too shitty video footage for my camera. Although for bonus points in my favour, you'll also note at the 1:52 mark my camera work is well and truly thrown out the window when one Kele Okereke joins the party by jumping off the catwalk and landing right on top of my fucking head.. SCORE!
It's odd to think he didn't END with this song, as he continues to lap up the limelight with constant shouts of "titties titties titties.. show us yer titties!" as security fails to stop the hoards of fan girls now flooding the stage around him, I forget which song he closed with, quite frankly nobody could care less. Music, what music? we're all joining the circus here tonight..
10:18PM - At long last the set ends, order is restored and the crowds are sent on their way to flood Electric Circus, Sugar and Rocket Bar in their thousands. But before we go, let me leave you one final passing word on all that was Vanilla Ice, lest we forget the horror.. oh the horror!
"in cyberspace, nobody can here you scream!"
And as the sun sets and the red bull tents fall deathly silent, dare this Saturday night be over? Oh no, not by a long shot! Where this episode comes to a end, my night has only just begun..