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 + MATHIEU WERCHOWSKI LIVE @ ROCKET BAR + FAD CAFE / Friday February 8th 2008
Rocket Bar on a Friday night. Me staggering up two flights of stairs on puppet strings feeling all the worse for wear after using my liver like a cheese grater the night before. Too many beers, one too many red wines and me gargling on whatever the hell Sara was drinking that tasted like pineapple, looked like pale ale and could easily double for C4 if it was set in gelatin with a mobile trigger attached. Rocket Bar on Friday night. Moth to the flame, fish out've water and a scuba diver on the dancefloor. Hovering around the bar, eyes rolling out've my skull tapping out a morse code SOS with my dilating pupils. Here using the same establishing shot of that desk lamp, changed once every 3 months to reflect the ever changing cocktail menu. Shaka Khan! Shaka Khan! fuck I'm a goldfish! I wonder where that blue drumkit went?
Despite what the opening paragraph will have you believe, this is not a hangover. Pfffft I never get hangovers! People of such freakish combat experience as I do not get hangovers! No, this is just my brain transferred onto VHS several generations over and stuck on the pause button whilst 3 bands of static dance over my corpus collosum. But as they say "the show must go on!" so what better way to wake up the dead than with this flaming absinthe shot followed up by a beer chaser? Sure, it may be the hair-of-the-dog equivalent of a silver bullet hollow tipped with holy water, laced with garlic, annointed with a crucific and polished to a mirror finish hitting a vampire square in the nads, but OOOH FUCK does it get the job done! Stoner Andy, you are one fuck of a criminal genius for suggesting this, expect a pineapple gelatin bomb in your mail! :)
LADY STRANGELOVE (****1/2) myspace :: The one reason I am here flip flopping on dry land (instead of swimming in a goldfish bowl) is for this band, Lady Strangelove, still celebrating after their love buzz at this year's Big Day Out. Of course, true to Rocket Bar's scheduling; arriving late at 10PM (doors at 9pM) means me arriving a mere TWO HOURS too early. Fuck! Still, with ample time to dose up on more than enough hair-of-the-dog and silver bullets to damn near take out the entire english royal family by the time they FINALLY do hit the stage? OOOH FUCK DOES THIS ROCK! Sure, I may be possessing more lose change than sense but this may very well be the best shit I've ever seen them cook up in a live set short of them setting fire to it in a brown paper bag and announcing it with a doorbell. It's like Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song", Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii and the entire Amazonian ecosystem as animated by Walt Disney going up in flames with Bambi's head exploding and imploding in a loop for good measure. If you weren't witness to their blast radius this night? your gene sequence is sporting waay too many chromosomes.. BOOONG!!
Lady Strangelove thrash out for a solid hour, running through every damn song they've ever written (and perhaps a few from Led Zeppelin's "Physical Graffiti" snuck in when nobody was looking), before going absolutely bat shit crazy at the end like the kind of hippy savants who've just invented a cold fusion reactor using nothing but one hollowed out apple, a cone piece, two bags of dorritos, three Kraft single cheese slices and a microwave. Dare them to repeat the same mad experiment twice and who knows how many laws of thermodynamics they will break?
And if those last few paragraphs weren't nearly enough of a head fuck to depolarise your brain, then I believe Stoner Andy's bull in a china shop routine here speaks for itself.. fuck yeaaah!
12:47AM - In effort to close off this fresh new bubble universe threatening to burst out've Rocket Bar (short of a Donnie Darko attempt with a shit-scary hallucination in a bunny suit), Stoner Andy and I shot one last silver bullet to the head and fled out the exit doors.
12:59AM - One brief culinary pitstop follows over at the Falafel House on Hindley..
As much as this may look like a pig shot out've a cannon through a wood chipper, to the average (sober) observer, give it a dozen or so foaming brews later and it'll be nothing short of the BEST DAMN BACON, CHEESE & ONION HOTDOG you've ever eaten in your entire fucking life!
1:20AM - ..before washing up here at FAD Cafe on Waymouth street.
Earlier in the week I'd received tipoff from Adelaide's resident experimentalist nutjob Lenin Michael (aka: one of the members of the Bitches Of Zeus) informing me of his latest freak show: Mathieu Werchowski (from France), Oin & The Gloins, Alarique Mundt AAAAND Czikowski! WOWEEEE!! and no, I seriously have no fucking clue who any of these freaks are either *cough* Still, let it not be said I'm not one to try new things, even if (from the looks of a near to dead empty FAD Cafe) I've arrived moments too late. Motioned skyward however, I blunder my drunkarse loudly upstairs shouting: "HEY! THEY'VE PROBABLY JUST HIT A LULL SPOT!"
Only to stumble into THIS scene straight out've a Stanley Kubrick film. Ouch! Seriously, if you manage to survive the full 3 minutes of this video capture without tearing your eyeballs out and screaming for the exit signs, then you're made of much sterner stuff than MOST people!
MATHIEU WERCHOWSKI (*1/2) website :: Arriving this late I'd already missed out on Oin & The Gloins, Alarique Mundt, Czikowski, The Addams Family and (likely) an entire troupe of performing hamsters reinacting the Franco-Prussian war using nothing but wind chimes and a whoopi cushion. Fuck! (damn you Rocket Bar!! DAAAMN YOOU!) I did however catch the last 20 minutes of one Mathieu Werchowski, a french "violinist" in the loosest sense of the term. Much is the hyperbole spoken of this artist by those in the know: "The tones! the colours! the flavours! all those polyrhythmical and melodical expressions!", much is the utter cluelessness to which I find myself attempting to make heads or tails of it. To be diplomatic, acts of this experimental ilk ARE a risky venture. Some hit, some miss and no two people will have the exact same reaction. To me, this may've sounded like a mix between a remote control helicopter, a rusty car door, a slow moving metal chair over concrete and an execution scene in Bangladesh, but to your ears this may've been like the unfolding of a delicate blue lotus flower (and chances are if you're one of those shoeless, scruffy haired cardigan intellectuals smoking trees of weed out the balcony of Urtext, this would've been like the second coming) so really why should I judge? why? cause it's too fucking funny not to, that's why! :)
Granted, it was a mesmerising experience and Lenin Michael sure knows how to pull a radioactive rabbit out've the hat. To walk into this pitch black room silently filled with spaced out hippies frozen in awe, lit only by one moonlit window and ONE gypsy silhoutte summoning fuck-knows-what? is not something you see every day! There were even some rare moments within the constant fingernail scratching that were bordering on the sublime. But then, casting all intellectual art wank aside, go back to that video above and then imagine bumping into THAT shit in a dark alley at 3AM? Intriguing? yes. Enjoyable? um.. mummy!? HEEEEELP!!
Of course, a large number of the audience here obviously loved it. Take this satisfied narcoleptic for example: was he meditating? asleep? playing dead? hey I know! let's poke him with a stick and if he doesn't move, steal his wallet! (oh no wait he's an arts graduate *cough* nevermind!).
2:58AM - Barely making it out've FAD Cafe alive, we journey in a direction we assume to be due east. Large objects loom and terrify us. I spend hours communicating with what I believe to be a gingerbread man off from the Twin St alley only to discover I'm face down in a dumpster gargling expired peanut butter. One oddly familiar bearded man in glasses and a cap asks for a bag of dope. Why oh why is the easter bunny screaming at me in Chinese? AAAUAUAGGHH!!
3:16AM - Like drunken homing pigeons (or quite like flies to shit) we finally find sweet relief in the isotopic smurf glow of these ever so familiar blue bar fridges. Here at last we are amongst friends, or if they turn out to be our enemies we shall club them to death with the pool cues and use them for food and firewood, YES! The Crown & Anchor, where insanity is our friend!
Intelligent company and conversation abounds amongst the many refugees to this asylum: such as bug-eyed goldfish Liam, pirate hat wearer of the incomprehensibly drunk witted..
The ONE rare screaming metal freak in Adelaide who isn't a) shave headed, b) goatee'd, c) head to toe clad in black, d) forming his own "acoustic act", e) already playing at the pool tables..
Sara's boobs (no really take your time, I'm sure we have aaaaall day)..
and this bespectacled howler monkey, who continued to shout us rounds of free drinks for reasons I can't quite recall but may quite possibly involve a chance game of poker, a $20,000 jackpot, the glowing insides of a briefcase and the secret portal to the Kingdom Of Narnia..
4:17AM - With the Cranka all but closed moments earlier, we flee building by building from the harsh moonlight down Grenfell street to find shelter here at the Bull & Bear on King William..
To all those people out there who complain that I never feature enough late night club DJs in my blog, here's two of them I annoyed at Transmission for your amusement. Sure, I can't remember who the fuck they were or any of the tunes they were spinning, but to the small huddle of zombies still worshipping at their altar at this retarding hour? this shit was on FIRE!!
4:41AM - Bespectacle howler monkey (who followed us from the Cranka) is currently running around hysterical that they're no longer serving drinks at the bar. Sara is dancing up a storm. Stoner Andy is presumed dead or quite possibly missing down a dark corner to "meditate" and I'm circling the drain with a glass-eyed grin at the bar. All in all a fitting end to a Friday night!
How I managed to get home at the end of this mindfuck spacejam is anyone's guess: quantum superposition? alien abduction? bag of mushrooms? leprecauns? either way, Adelaide's night life this weekend is getting nowhere less fuckoff bizarre to experience. Dare we go an encore? :)