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...
MARLA SINGER + BRITISH INDIA + LADY STRANGELOVE LIVE @ ENIGMA BAR + JIVE / Friday March 14th 2008
Somewhere from deep beyond the scope of all maps, calendars, GPS and closed circuits that would dare to contain him, burst forth a lone figure. Through circus tents and faerie lights, with rubberbands, paperclips and gum he freed himself from the lunatic fringe. He ran for days, a hail of flailing hair and tattered rags, dodging helicopter beams, rifle scopes and snarling beasts. He hitched rides on bikes with geeks, monkey born motorcycles and cars riddled with reanimate corpses. No searing heat or festivals full of neon freaks could ever bar his way; oh no! this sweet sanctuary, this hallowed turf away from it all would be his inevitable footfall: here at Jive. For somewhere beyond this hellborn apocalypse, 12 days and running on two eggs cracked and bubbling from the power of the sun, and above all myths and madness that would befall him, stirred the hope that at long last he will find the place where all this insanity will be undone!
LADY STRANGELOVE (****1/2) myspace :: Yup, you know you've truly done your head in sideways these last few weeks, what with the blasting 40 degree heat, the faceless zombie hoards, the million and one festivals screaming from all angles for your attention (hmmm Future Music Festival, did I dodge a bullet there?), when bands as entirely, psychedelically, shit crazy as Lady Strangelove start to sound normal to you. Tonight they're your entire CD collection melted and molded into a swirly cube, they're your brain sucked out've your skull with a bendy straw whilst your emptying cavity is filled with a swarm of humming bees, they're the Mars Volta speaking in tongues whilst The Chemical Brothers, Led Zeppelin and 60's Pink Floyd beat you retarded with oversized squeak toys. Put all of that on rollercoaster rails, set it on fire and send yourself to a howling oblivion accompanied by a grand symphony of 300 brains going off like a bag of popcorn, and you'll see me grinning like its just another day at the office: some call it brain damage, I simply call it "home".
It's at moments like these, as I spot their guitarist Josh doing the "flying squirrel" leap from speaker stacks to the balcony: when instead of thinking how dangerous it is I simply laugh over how many times I've seen it done before, that I seriously begin to fear for my mental health..
"pfffft duude, doesn't everyone do this kinda shit on the weekends?"
After such prolonged exposure to these illbient conditions, I don't know where I am, who I am and why I'm spinning on the floor making chicken clucking noises. All I do know for certain is (a) this was one freakingly awesome set (b) I could really go some corn chips right about now.
Such is the way of the Strangelove: delivering yet more satisfied space trippers flailing five ways down a rabbit hole, til they're nothing more than a foaming stain at the end of it all.. YES!
Arguably we could all die happy now, safe in the knowledge that we've damn near seen it all; except of course, none of us are near lucid enough to find our way to the exit doors. Fuck! A sense of panic overwhelms me when I realise THIS was just the support act and there's more to come. Hmmm, perhaps this begins to explain the 300 OTHER idiots crammed in here tonight?
BRITISH INDIA (***1/2) myspace :: Thanks in no small part to Triple J's speciality of thrashing songs so heavily in high rotation, that not only do they lay eggs in your skull, but they hatch and grow into an entire carbon spewing eco system that reduces your operating system to a single flashing expletive everytime you dare switch on the radio (ie: see Operator Please, Architecture in Helsinki, The Grates' "19 20 20"), British India have somehow become a popular band in spite of itself. Catchy as all fuck with idiot sing-a-long choruses, screaming atonal guitars and spastic emo stage antics they're the musical equivalent of a Mr Bankrupt Ad: shallow and shouty as fuck, but with a sound you just can't beat out've your skull. As such, describing their influences beyond a simple toddler tantrum is troublesome at best: are they chainsaw wielding chihuahuas cutting up Oasis style bravado with the chunking rhythms of Kasabian? are they The Beatles' "Helter Skelter" mixed with The Hives' "Die, All Right!" fed through a blender to accompanying sitar squeals? Fucked if I know! British India, they're all the colours of the rainbow bleeding out've my ears.. weeeeee!
Still, as much as British India may in theory sound like a much needed amendment to the Geneva Convention, they still know how to draw one fuck of a hilarious crowd.
Take this clap happy brain injury for example: if you spent an entire gig battling the frontlines with this twerp like I did, you'd be more than familiar with his flailing dance moves. How he wasn't beaten black and blue in the Jive parking lot to match his shirt is anyone's guess?
But, as much fun as it is to watch this dancefloor deteriorate into a shitstorm of limbs; there is only so much of this insanity I can handle before I have to flee for more sane surrounds..
12:25AM - Which on a night like this is rather easier said than done. The minute I walked out those exit doors, I stumbled upon a warzone of a different kind: facing off against 8 cop cars and an ambulance called in response to a riot breaking outside of Worldsend. "A riot, in Worldsend!? what the fuck duuuude!?" Oh yes children, we are well and truly living in bat shit times!
And so, fleeing the knives and flying beer bottles, I escape to Enigma Bar. Where any chance of finding me some much needed sanity is shattered the minute I foolishly venture upstairs..
MARLA SINGER (****) myspace :: I admit it, I'm at a total loss of words. I'm never good at describing thrash metal bands. No really, I suck at it, they all sound the same to me: I imagine Itchy & Scratchy and Ren & Stimpy with the volume blasted on full, I imagine a Viking hoard all on fire battling a plague of locusts the size of pterodactyls, I imagine the scene from Predator where that one idiot unloads a chaingun into a jungle for much longer than is entirely necessary, I imagine high speed head on collisions, kidney stones the size of live hand grenades and the symphony Obi Wan Kenobi got from the force when Alderan was blown up by the Death Star. What I found even more troubling is that I actually really dig some of this shit. Weird! Like trying to lick cake mix off a hand mixer whilst the blades are still spinning: I'm nothing but tongue tied, but I still dig the mad flavour. Marla Singer are one such band. Besides being coolest name ever (gotta love the Fight Club reference) they're also more than effective in reducing my headspace into a grinning mush. Still, in all my cluelessness I do find the underlying rhythm is key here; get that intestinal chug kicking and everything else will fall into place, so much so that you actually start to enjoy Phil from Tony Font Show screaming like a retarding loon for 45 minutes straight.. freaky!
Yup, beats me what the hell to make of all of this, so fuckit, you can figure it out all for yourself..
1:18AM - My brilliant plan to make a quick getaway after Marla Singer's set is again dashed the minute I foolishly step out the doors of Enigma Bar, as I'm kidnapped by these two retarding fools making the time honoured 1AM migration to the east end to kill themselves with beer..
1:39AM - The Crown & Anchor: lose all hope for sobriety ye who enter here..
1:43AM - Tagging along on this rollercoaster ride to hell, they also took Alan the photography hobbit, who looks all the happier to be caught on someone else's camera lens for a change..
As well as the usual assortment of oddballs, alcoholics and grinning halfwits responsible for kicking my life expectancy well into the negative figures: such as "Flappy Muppet" Simone..
Scott the "Snot Monster" (looking as intellectually profound as always)
and Joe Blogs, providing us with his many bug-eyed odes to irresponsible drinking..
Woooo so pretty, so fancy free and thirsting for my sweet oblivion by the bar lights!
2:54AM - Soon after, I'm inexplicably visited by someone who claims to be me from 20 years in the future, here to give me timely investment advice. Not wishing to take any chances, I shoot him in the head, steal his wallet and bury him behind the dumpsters on Union street. And no, this is not the first time this has happened, the last time? he killed ME instead..
3:13AM - My fellow alcoholics appear increasingly bewildered as I attempt to explain to them the basic principles of time travel, and why this doesn't count as a "grandfather paradox"..
"This first pint glass represents time as you know it, this second pint represents an alternative universe created anytime I shoot myself in the future.. shit, that's not it.. lemme start again.. this brown M&M represents our universe, this green one? wait, anyone got a cigarette?"
3:41AM - Fearing that any minute now, aliens will come bursting out've a wormhole to wipe out this gross violation in the general theory of relativity, we hastily fabricate our own defenses.
Bar staff and venue security, as always, are entirely oblivious to such stupifying antics..
4:27AM - Just as we feared, the alien invasion is both swift and menacing..
(as to how this alien unleashing his orange anal probe on Scott, comes to resemble an entirely all too deranged Joe Blogs on the piss, is a mystery beyond any of our mortal comprehension)
Suffice to say, our retaliation is both swift and improbable. After much unnecessary exposition, a freaky alien autopsy scene and a badly written final solution involving Jeff Goldblum and an uploaded computer virus destroying an entire invasion fleet; victory is swiftly declared and the continuing xenophobic supremacy of the human race is more than assured for years to come.
4:36AM - Still, not looking to take any more chances over whether Joe Blogs is human, one of those lame Star Trek aliens with the weird squiggly foreheads, or yet another time travelling paradox, we shoot him in the head and bury him by the dumpsters behind Union Street too.
For as they say: be forever vigilant, trust no one, and always wear protection!
Still, as insane as all this looks, we're at least pretty certain THIS is the real Joe Blogs.
4:51AM - As the news spreads of our momentous victory, Joe Blogs is the first to receive a congratulatory call from the US President (as quite frankly he was the only idiot out there who would ever believe our idiotic story). As for why Scott's looking entirely too mental here with a broken outdoor cafe umbrella? I would like to explain it, but then I'd have to kill you.
5:11AM - With victories hard fought and won, Scott spends some quality time with a "friend"..
Whilst Joe Blogs celebrates victory against the forces of the improbable in his own peculiar way..
Of course, despite what you may think: none of this paranormal alien shit, has anything to do with the excessive and ludicrious amounts of alcohol that we may or may not have consumed in the many hours previous *cough* I mean shit, we can fake weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, we can ignore global warming, but nobody can fabricate something as entirely stupid as THIS..
5:33AM - Still, with the sun slowly rising to the east and with my fellow space trippers since collapsing amongst the wreckage, I take this opportunity to finally escape this lunacy once and for all; for the much needed sanctuary and 24 hour psychiatric nursing care I deserve..
In closing, I realise that very little of what I've just told you will ever make a fuck of sense. But when you've fought through three-four weeks of the lunatic fringe and a 12 day record breaking heatwave like this one; reality and your own fragility sanity are all but irrelevant.