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...
THE KILLGIRLS + BOOSTER + DEAD POPES OF THE VATICAN LIVE @ PRODUCERS BAR + CROWN & ANCHOR / Saturday February 16th 2008
Tonight my journey begins here at T-Chows off Gouger for a birthday dinner in honour of Simone: flappy muppet, crash test dummy, regular cast member of Spoz's Rant. That's her on the left, no wait.. what? seriously, how many drinks did I have last night? whoaaaaa head spins!
Being a Chinese restaurant or quite possibly a new wave fusion of Indo-Malay-Thai with a dash of wasabi, Korean BBQ and a roaring bout of botulism (really, who am I to judge?), the menu selection tonight is all about moderation. Lots and lots of it to the point of an intestinal rupture. All spinning and picked on by seven blind fools poking each other's eyes out with chopsticks: satay beef hotpot, pepper chicken, confused duck, deepfried democratic dissident, chairman Mao clutching his stomach and collapsing dead on the sidewalk with a grin on his face. OOH YEAAH!
Toss in a few live hand grenades in the form of Asia's finest export brews: TsingTao, Singha, Harbin and where the hell is my fortune cookie? Oh yeah, fortelling my imminent collapse! The laughs we had: food fights, drink spills, miniature ten pin bowling tournaments and before you know it someone announces they're pregnant, the check arrives and everyone ducks for cover..
9:04PM - Two hours and one burst intestine later, I part ways with the party (making plans to meet up later when everyone's drunk out've their eyelids) and make the mad dash across city streets for the live music portion of tonight's festivities. And no you didn't just see me pause here to take a photo of Victoria Square, clearly your eyes are deceiving you (pffft.. fucking tourist!).
9:19PM - Aaaah, there's nothing like running down Grenfell when your stomach is stuffed full of chinese food and asian beers. Seriously, what the fuck was I thinking? Oh that's right! I write for this blog, clearly rational thought is the LAST thing I should be concerned with! Something you'll no doubt find all the more amusing when you witness what I'm about to embark on tonight..
As I hit Producers, hosting a howling feast of baboon rock: All Flight Crew Are Dead, High Stakes, Dead Popes Of The Vatican and Booster, as illustrated here by the vaguely prehensile thumbs of Sean Kemp and all for the measily sum of $7? (or considerably less if you scam your name on the door for free *cough*) Woweeeee.. it really doesn't get much better than this!
ALL FLIGHT CREW ARE DEAD (***) myspace :: To best emulate just what it is to experience opening act All Flight Crew Are Dead live, feel free to NOT try any of the following things at home: (a) stick your head in a ceiling fan on high speed, (b) use your pink bits as a stationary target for a rapid fire tennis ball cannon, (c) put a running chainsaw through a combine harvester, (d) run a limosine service chauffuering US delegates in downtown Baghdad, or (f) play a game of pong using nothing but two marshall amps blasted to full and your head as the "ball". In other words All Flight Crew Are Dead (or AFCAD for those of you nerds who gain sexual gratification from acronyms) are nothing short of a Japanese punk rockers wet dream. They're snarling machine gun riffs punched out at ludicrous speeds. They're The Ramones and The Sex Pistols beating each other bloody in a prison riot. They're dumb, loud and fucking lethal. Yup, if your idea of a party is to beat yourself black and blue and smashing beer bottles against bars looking to start shit, then we have found your fight music! ROCK!
9:49PM - For entirely no reason whatsoever, I choose to duck out've Producers two thirds into AFCAD's volatile set in a mad panic to hit the Crown & Anchor. Something tells me I'm needed here, something tells me there's two happy hour beers that require my immediate attention (hmmm I wonder if we see where this is all leading to) and something tells me..
Oops.. that whatever I'm looking for here hasn't even started yet. Fuck! Oh well, one more beer for the road and I guess it's back to Producers again *cough* just forget that I was EVER here..
HIGH STAKES (***1/2) myspace :: Few words need describing this second act for the night. Simply pick up one of those "Ascent Of Man" evolutionary charts; pick the hairy knuckles in the middle and follow by example. They're AC/DC's "Back In Black" and "Thunderstruck" with a car battery to the nipples, they're a Viking beserker war cry and they're every reason why we should be flooding out the emergency ward at the Royal Adelaide like 50 cannon balls just hit a mannequin storefront display. Leave your frontal lobes at the door and rock it fucking hardcore; High Stakes, OOOH FUCK YEAAAH!
STOP SAYING HELICOPTER (**1/2) myspace :: And now I'm across the road and off to the Crown & Anchor for act three. Woweee, we really didn't see this one coming did we? (pfffft.. who are we kidding? I'm always a sucker for a game of "venue tag"). Stop Saying Helicopter: they're Red Hot Chili Peppers as fronted by Jeff Buckley whilst Lestat (aka: Simon Newenham from Double Handed) channels Les Claypool on bass with spastic twizzle stick effects (from the guitarist) thrown in for good measure. Yup, I saw them for all of 10 minutes so clearly this review suck balls, but this band is kinda alright. Sure their lead singer might have an annoying habit of roaming the stage over and over like a mental patient swatting invisible bats but if you look past that? there's some real killer grooves here!
DEAD POPES OF THE VATICAN (****) myspace :: Sprinting back to Producers Bar with moments to spare, I hit up act number four: Dead Popes Of The Vatican. They're ferocious punk rock ripped with foul velocity. They're punching throats with fistfulls of killer bees. They're dumb as fuck with shout-along choruses. They're the teeth clenching intensity of squeezing out a pineapple the size of the moon whilst a squadron of midget dirt bikers do doughnuts around the port-a-loo. They're a band that makes drilling a 9 inch hole through your skull without anaesthetic sound like the most awesome thing ever! And yet having your ears ring out like a car alarm is only part of the fun with Dead Popes Of The Vatican. The real enjoyment comes from the kaleidoscope of screw-face expressions from Ben, Lynda and Nick squinting through a vindaloo backlash whilst Captain Caveman thrashes out on guitar like he doesn't even have a face. Swap their sound for wah wah funk guitars and their antics would either make the ugliest porn ever, or a novel new way to promote laxatives.. YES!!
and to further push that square brick screaming down that round digestive tract? I bring to you this closing video to "YA YA YA GNAAARRGGH HNNNNG GNNKK!!". Which may possibly be known more accurately by a different name, except I can't understand half the lunatic shit they're shouting. Seriously, if you can translate any of this shit? drop me a line..
THE CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY (***) myspace :: Playing chicken with the traffic once more, I crash land at the Crown & Anchor halfway through the fifth act, The Captains Of Industry: a flamboyant post punk mindfuck that appears to derive most of it's novelty value by suiting up like coke snorting corporate executives and by closing the generation gap between two senior citizens on leads who think they're The Smiths and three acne accidents on backing who think they're Interpol. Which, when their awesome power is combined makes Sminterpol!! (a concept that is as entirely awesome as that was an attempt at humour). Still for the most part it actually really works, or at least it does until they bring out their hit "A Thousand Yesterdays" and alarms bells go off in my head when I realise it's an exact replica of Interpol's "Hands Away" (if only the band didn't fuck up the chorus in their attempt to cover for it). Of course Interpol could easily be accused of doing the same with Joy Division, just as Joy Division did with The Doors, but seriously who are we kidding? They say good artists borrow, great artist's steal? I dare you to listen to their song on Unearthed. I rest my case!
Still all plagiarism nitpickings aside, these lunatics do crank out one helluva jam. And when all else fails to entertain? Simply chuck "Antics" on your ipod and enjoy the grand spectacle that is the many spastic dance moves of lead singer Adam Bevan; forever twitching, contorting, flailing and flapping his hands about like a windmill. Is it martial arts, performance art, a degenerative brain disorder, who the fuck knows!? either way this freak is nothing short of comedy gold!
BOOSTER (****) myspace :: With no time to sneeze (and barely enough time to squeeze in another beer) it's back to Producers across the road for their final headlining act and the sixth act in my misguided game of "venue tag": Booster. Aaaah how times have changed! Once the comedy cheese rock domain of Tenacious D, Meatloaf and The Darkness (with a littany of theramin fart gags, shrieking falsettos and projectile vomiting thrown in), watching this "new and improved" Booster tonight is rather akin to watching Robin Williams and Jim Carrey fight each other over Oscar nominations. Sure, they may be full throttle like a Panzer division, explosive like a struck match to a petrol station and damn near unrelenting like roadworks hammering outside your bedroom window at 6 o'clock on a Sunday morning but you can't help but wonder if somewhere, deep down, inside that teeny tiny drummer's brain of his, Sean Kemp is having a right 'ol laugh at this..
Still, this band must be doing something right, because this show tonight is nothing short of a four story building collapse. And for those of you still living in doubt, for those of you still living under a four story building collapse, for those of you STILL yet to experience the beer fueled mayhem that is Booster? Hold onto your toilet seats kiddies and blast this out on full as I bring you the hooting baboon anthem of rock that is "She's A Live One".. OOOH YEAAAH!
THE KILLGIRLS (****1/2) myspace :: Somewhere past the stroke of midnight. Somewhere past the point most people would've had a stroke from running back and forth between venues with a stomach bloated full of msg and beer, I have survived till the very end: the final band, act seven with a death wish, The Killgirls at the Crown & Anchor. It's already two thirds into their set, the air is filled with smoke, sweat and a crowd packed with shrieking fan girls headbutting the walls and I'm wondering what the FUCK kinda magna apocalypse from hell I've just gotten myself into. The Killgirls. They're Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like A Hole" mashed up with the Klaxons' "Atlantis To Interzone". They're Blondie fronting Digitalism on a violent meth binge. They're Alec Empire and that fuckoff scary asian chick Nic Endo having angry sex with Daft Punk. They're Tyler Durden beating the absolute shit out've Jaret Leto for cursing the world with 60 Seconds To Mars. If you'd accuse this band as being nothing but a "vanity project" for Adelaide's resident drama queen Mario Spate (he even has his own freaking wikipedia entry) then of course you'd be right. But then you'd be ignoring how much fucking awesome this insanity is to witness live. After surfing both extremes of the fruitloop from howling industrial (Barcode) to emo cheese (The Black Doves), it's so good to welcome him back to the fucked up fold he truly deserves: The Killgirls? hell the fuck yeah!
Oh, and whatever you do, do NOT watch this accompanying live video, if you (a) suffer from violent bouts of epilespy, (b) have taken any strong medication in the last 2-3 hours, (c) are prone to psychotic memory lapses, (d) are pregnant well into your third trimester, (e) are near any sharp or easily combustible objects, or (f) are Alec Empire. You HAVE been warned..
1:38PM - Many hours later I awake to the sound of excavation crews and sniffer dogs digging out my remains, only to realise this stinking pile of rubble I found myself in post Killgirls is just the same old human detritus I always find at the Cranka on any given night of the week. Phew!
1:53AM - Dazed and confused, it takes me a few predictive keys and a send button to find my bearings: Simone's birthday party has since moved to The Garden Of Unearthly Delights. I send back my reply, two happy hour beers for the road later (burp) and I see myself down there..
Upon arrival and after much searching high and low, I of course fail to find the people I'm looking for. I do however manage to bump into a whole bunch other people I know, a bunch of people I thought I knew but forgot where the hell I knew them from (aaaah alcohol!) and then a bunch of people who swear they know who I am, but I never remembered meeting in my entire life..
2:19AM - It is of course at this moment that I'm told that Simone's birthday party has just (moments before my arrival) left to go back to the Cranka; fuck! aaaand so I'm off again..
2:25AM - I swear, sometimes the Cranka is like one of those horror movies, where no matter what direction you turn and no matter how long you walk, chances are you'll just end up walking through those same side doors again. Hmmmm, maybe they secretly LoJack the beers here?
It is here that I finally manage to find Simone's birthday party again (minus all the pikers who have since ducked off home already *cough*), have absolutely no trouble in finding more beers, but am now at a total loss as to where all our dribbling brains have since slithered off to..
2:39AM - After searching high and low across the Cranka for our misplaced brains: under sofa cushions, inside light fixtures, smashing pint glasses, propping up pool tables or crawling down sinks and climbing the walls; we briefly entertain the notion that Simone might be hoarding them for future use, and so we endeavour to retrieve them by any means possible..
2:47AM - Simone sastified in yet another successful brain harvest, flies off into the night for more unsuspecting victims to feast upon. Whilst a bundle of nerve fibres still functioning in the base of my spinal column wonder where next my hollowed out head should take me..
2:53AM - I briefly entertain the notion of hitting Shotz for the first time in months (under the laughing assumption that venue security will forget how much of a lunatic I am on the dancefloor and will actually consider letting me in) I briefly consider the option of Supermild (until I figure my spinal column has entirely crap sense of direction) but then, in a half forgotten conversation from mere moments ago, I suddenly recall directions these two familiar idiots (Dan and Todd) gave me whilst stumbling down Rundle Street. Foolishly I decide to follow them up on it..
3:07AM - So if anyone asks me why the hell I ended up HERE in this unnamed (but not all too difficult to identify) "coke den" with the ridiculously expensive beers and the fuckarse dance music, you know who to blame. And no *cough* it wasn't Distill (I'm not THAT misguided!).
After 10-15 minutes attempting to score myself a beer in this yuppie hellhole, we hastily formulate an elaborate scheme to get the fuck out've here and onto more illbient surrounds..
3:43AM - What the hell!? who's freaking bright idea was it to go HERE!!??
Oh wait, nevermind. It looks like we've found our answer.
Although it seems all the more fitting in hindsight: where my night begins in a classy Chinese restaurant laughing it up, starting food fights and burping out the alphabet, given enough time roaming this "Adelaide Zoo" will invariably spit you up in disease pit like Humpty Shits..
Where once, eons ago we emerged from the primordial ooze to aspire to greatness, here at Humpty Shits we send you right back to it with a spoon. Mmmmm taste the rainbow!
4:07AM - It's at this moment that Todd starts to wonder if he made the wrong decision, as he attempts to guess which member of the rodent family he's just spat up out've his burger..
4:11AM - Aaaaah, yet another successful pile of product placements that will no doubt form the sole fossilised remains that future alien civilisations will come to know us as a human species..
4:19AM - A quick tribute to all who've have since passed to the land of unconciousness this night, lest we forget the embarassing things they did so we can blog about them later..
4:23AM - Whilst your guess is as good as mine as to what the hell this photo is about..
4:26AM - And so ends another night with me dragging this unsuspecting fool into a side alley in effort to remove all his vital organs to finance another weekend in the Adelaide music scene. Wait.. what? You thought I actually had a job like a normal person? HA! you naive fooools!
Next week: Spoz considers donating his body to medical science. The Fringe Opening Street Party, St. Jerome's Laneway, Interpol, The Fuse Festival!? ooooh shit this is gonna get ugly! :)