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...
INTERPOL + LEADER CHEETAH LIVE @ THEBARTON THEATRE / Tuesday February 26th 2008
Thebarton Theatre (aka: Thebbie, aka: The Barton, aka: The Flea Bomb), situated near the corner of South and Henley Beach Roads, Torrensville. A mere stone's throw (and a few molotov cocktails) from Stop 4 of my bus route. Art deco and old world theatrical stylings, held together by duct tape and termites, peak capacity for upto two thousand flailing drunks. Featuring second story and balcony seating (Statler and Waldorf muppets optional), well worn wooden floors, rapid access to drunkening facilities, propagates a wealth of interesting smells. Established in 1926, bombed to the ground countless times since. Aaaaah, what's not to love about this place?
If ever there was a first grade pissing contest between here and The Entertainment Centre, Thebbie would soak those ceiling tiles through and rain with triumph every damn time. Such richness of character, so many magical memories! Feeling those walls hum during "Diesel Power" with the Prodigy back in 1998, cursing and swearing that I missed Radiohead, Massive Attack AND Portishead in the same year, throwing missiles at Bernard Fanning's head during Powderfinger in 2000, spacing out to Moby and bouncing the walls to Groove Armada in 2003, fleeing from my idiot friend's nudie run to Queens Of The Stone Age in 2004, yelling at that MC to fuck off stage during DJ Shadow in 2006, almost killing myself in the mosh at The Pixies in 2007 and now tonight we welcome another historic chapter with Interpol in 2008. And as for that bleedingly obvious question: "dude, what's up with all the black & white shit?": (a) it's my homage to Anton Corjbin, (b) Interpol look infinitely badass in B&W, (c) shut up, that's why!
LEADER CHEETAH (***1/2) myspace :: First off lets give a round of applause to Leader Cheetah for being the human sacrifice tonight. We all know ain't easy being the red shirts to a bloodthirsty throng like this and hey at least we're not stuck with those fuckweasels Youth Group like everyone else in the eastern states; can you imagine how that pissy little OC anthem "Forever Young" would've gone down in a crowd like this? If your answer is "down in flames, followed by four hastily written eulogies in the Sydney Morning Herald" you'd be spot on the money. Leader Cheetah, we can be thankful for small mercies. With a style very much reminiscent of Neil Young and a whole bunch of lazyarse 70's hickville bands I never could be arsed listening to (indepth research my arse!), they're the perfect band to dub onto a shitty cassette tape and thrash in a loop in your beatup old station wagon whilst you hit the lowroad into "David Lynchville" to dispose of that pesky deadweight you've had stuffed in your boot all night. Phew! Thick with slacker melancholy, rich moonlit guitars and a lilting vocal twang that soothes quite like a dentist drill with a nose attached, Leader Cheetah are not for all tastes, but they still win the crowd over in the end..
oh and while we're still on the subject of Leader Cheetah: if anyone could explain what was up with Dan Crannitch's retarded YMCA handgestures all night? duuuude I'm all ears..
INTERPOL (*****) myspace :: I begin with a quick disclaimer: since I'm clearly a spastic fan for this band and all their works (what can I say, I'm a sucker for the New York scene), any and all objective reasoning in this review will be abandoned in favour of album b-sides you've never heard of and joking references to Carlos the bass player. Speaking of such (since I know you freaks are DYING to know) it appears New York's favourite facist has since ditched the Wyatt Earp with the gun hostlers and is now rocking the Sweeny Todd (yes.. I know!) which considering he used to look like Crispin Glover from Charlie's Angels could be considered an improvement. As for the rest of the band? they're rather predictably dressed like undertakers except for that slackarse Sam Fogarino on drums who looks like he just dropped in from the golf course. Yes, this is Interpol: they're all about being sharply dressed robots and no one gives a fuck about the music! WOOOOO! :)
Still for those of you interested in such trivial matters as their setlist tonight: they opened to "Pioneer To The Falls", won the crowds over with "Obstacle 1", heavy hitters such as "Narc", "Mammoth", "Slow Hands", "Evil" and "Heinrich Maneuver" got the howler monkeys in unison whilst the more contemplative "No I In Threesome", "The Lighthouse" and "Stella" provided the breathing spaces in between. And all of them were delivered note for note flawless to the album with very little improvisation and with next to no between song banter. Yet despite this "cold fish" delivery we happily soaked it all up like red wine to a white carpet. As for the mosh, the seas were predictably calm, save for one pogo-ing dickhead with stitches to his left eye who got quickly ousted by security when he attempted to play Iggy Pop with the front lines and an ever eager surge to the right spitting out the spreadeagles during "Slow Hands" and "Evil"..
After 15 songs and little over an hour, Interpol left the stage to the predictable retarded shriekings for encores (hint: if you see roadies tuning up shit on stage it doesn't take a genius to figure what's gonna happen next) before Paul Banks and Dan Kessler, followed by the rest of the funeral procession returned for a 3 song encore; which culminated in THIS trippy extended version of "PDA" (and yes if you REALLY do need a colour version of this, you can go here)..
Malevolent, propulsive and endlessly, darkly compelling; Interpol were all those heavy handed adjectives and then some. Which would've either made this nothing short of brilliant, or nothing short of both barrels pointed to your skull for a paintball sendoff (ie: depending on where you stand on the whole "pissy 21st century bands ripping off Joy Division" thing). And perhaps in their own oddly robotic way, Interpol might've got a little buzz out've this too.. hmmmm ;)
And there we have it. By 11PM it's all over for another night, Interpol are stuffed into shipping crates to be reassembled for their next tour date, whilst the rest of make gleefull suicide pacts, satisfied that our lives are now complete (damn, I knew I forgot to do something today!).
Phew, what a night! is there anything Thebarton Theatre can't do? :)