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 + TONY FONT SHOW + MONA LISA OVERDRIVE LIVE @ ED CASTLE + JIVE / Friday April 25th 2008
I awake to find myself in the west parklands, face down and gargling in a pile of leaves, brought back from whatever farside of the surreal I fell into late last night by the inssesant prodding of a gnarled stick, wielded with menacing accuracy by the small wizened yoda-like figure who now stands yammering above me. He speaks without words. He speaks within my mind. He tells me he's from the future, he tells me that he and I are the same, he tells me that my time is yet to come and that I should follow him back to the land of the living in effort to complete my mission. My mind blue screens a garbled error message and reboots. A light switches on. I briefly wonder just exactly how much I had to drink last night. Begrudgingly and with life returning to my scattering remains once more, I stumble back to my feet, I brush loose an entire ecosystem of the small and furry that've since found themselves nestled amongst me for warmth, I beat that old bastard upside the head with that gnarled stick of his, steal his shoes and inch my way back to civilization. Fuck the fates I make my own rules damnit! And thus I return to the living this Friday night for round two. There are no hangovers where I come from..
If this was any other tale to tell, the only choice to make right now would be home, foetal, clutching the remote and bathed in a cinematic white noise. But instead I entertain two entirely more idiotic choices. The first would lead me to Jive above: 63 Stone, Nobody Knew They Were Robots, Satin Harem, Tony Font Show and more funk metal than any idiot short of a psychotic break could ever handle in one sitting. The second would lead me to the Ed Castle below for Transmission Live: Mathias Northway, Mona Lisa Overdrive, The Killgirls and a sixpack of indie DJ's. Two choices, one night. Hmmm. Take one guess what an idiot like ME would chose?
NOBODY KNEW THEY WERE ROBOTS (***) myspace :: Previous to catching this band: I just missed opening act 63 Stone, only to wander down to the Ed Castle way too early for Mathias Northway's solo set (he's that hipster doofus who looks like Rod Stewart from Late Night Matinee in case your curious) only to rush back "just in time" for this band, only to catch their very last song. Shit. As such, it's perhaps a little silly to be writing a review here (let alone slap an entirely arbitrary three star rating), but since I captured all these badass shots in the space of five minutes? fuckit, let's see what I could pull out've my arse. Nobody Knew They Were Robots: they're a curious title to give a four piece band, especially considering two of them out there are wearing baseball caps. Perhaps this is to hide those evil red glowing eyes that robots (especially those of the killing kind) are reknown for. If I had a dog with me right now, I bet it'd be barking like crazy. Perhaps this is why we're yet to invent a race of killer robots as it'd make the dogs jealous; as only THEY get to be man's best friend and we all know robots (even killer ones) would make wickedarse cool pets. And perhaps this is why dogs are also reknown for eating homework; they know we have the capacity to replace them and they'll do everything in their power to stop us. Nobody Knew They Were Robots, this is far from a live review, but if it was, I'd just be cribbing it wholesale from one I prepared earlier anywaze. Go read it, it'll probably make a whole lot more sense than this shit just did.. wooooo! :)
SATIN HAREM (***1/2) myspace :: And speaking of shit that don't make a lick of sense, here's the second band for the night: Satin Harem. In a teeny tiny peanut shell they're the sounds of Mr. Bungle, Rollins Band and System of A Down reinacting the fall of the Weimar Republic with puppets. Or if we were beating our head between two coconut shells: they're exactly what you would get if you threw Mike Patton into the same insane asylum that incarcerated Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis in "12 Monkeys", dosed him up on enough acid to kill a rhinoceros, taped his eyelids back to reruns of Ren & Stimpy with the volume blasted on full and then convinced to write a wildly successful Broadway musical. As such, tonight's performance is brought to you by four escapees from that exact same insane asylum. Alternating between cartoon thrash metal, funk, 50's doo wop and an entire busload of Japanese tourists going up in flames; Satin Harem is, to put it mildly, an acquired taste.
Still, if your idea of a fun night out is watching three mental patients (and one Milhouse Van Houten on drums) do a shufflingly awkward highschool rendition of the life and times of Charles Manson whilst a 40 story building collapses around your ears, then perhaps this may be just the thing you've been searching your whole life for. Satin Harem? oooooh fuck yeah!
MONA LISA OVERDRIVE (***1/2) myspace :: One five minute walk (and two to three weeks of extensive psychiatric therapy) later and I find myself at the Ed Castle for the third act of the night: Mona Lisa Overdrive. They're the eerie doppleganger sounds of the Velvet Underground as performed by what appears to be a band of private school alumni who despite studying the entire back catalogue of the 60's mod scene for most of their entire lives, down to the smallest detail, have yet to realise just how many uppers, downers and screamers everyone took back then to sound entirely this freaky and thus are all the more disturbing tonight for being able to pull this off with a straight face. Such focus, such precision, such attention to the authenticity of a sound. Perhaps THESE are the homicidal automatons that Nobody Knew They Were Robots were warning about us about (I swear, if their keyboardist, Jess starts firing machineguns out've her nipples, I'm outta here!). Oh and for bonus points tonight, they're also joined on stage by a freakingly androgynous violinist who looks like the asian version of Prince by way of David Bowie's "Thin White Duke" period. I dont know if he hatched out of an egg or came to us from the same planet that spawned Michael Jackson, but DAMN could he play. Throw in a few lava lights, a few lines of cocaine and Kate Moss dancing in the cage, and we'd damn near have ourselves a party! weeeeeee! :)
As much as I'm kicking myself for missing the 20 minute psychedelic meltdown they performed at the end of their set (featuring that extra violinist and further joined by Mathias Northway on guitar), I did manage to capture this spacejam: "Sideshow by the Seashore" on video..
TONY FONT SHOW (****1/2) myspace :: Returning to Jive once more, I find myself upto my armpits and sinking fast to the hoard of howling baboons rushing the stage for act four: Tony Font Show. Yup, for all the credit I've ever given to the mad spectacle that is lead singer Lee's spastic clown hair, guitarist Rich's ability to play a guitar by thought alone, bassist Matt's uncanny channelling of a four year old getting all his christmases at once, or drummer Phil's insane collection of 101 screw faces; the real incentive to catch this band time and time again is for the insane crowd buzz. Out've all the live gigs you'll see in Adelaide, Tony Font Show would arguably possess the most hilariously stupid of them all. Out there in their hundreds, banging heads, crashing elbows, colliding into speaker stacks, licking the walls and flying in all directions. You'd think Tony Font Show would be doing us all a favour in thinning the herd over the years; yet every time they play, their numbers continue to grow out front of the stage and their IQ levels continue to plummet to record new lows. Sure, it may not be doing the gene pool any good out here tonight, but DAMN is it hilarious to watch!
Oh and as much as I would've loved to capture some photos or footage to back all of this up (especially of that new song "Bullhorny", ooooh FUCK does that shit go off!); short of throwing a large chunk of raw steak towards the bar, ringing a bell, then running in the opposite direction, something tells me that my one year camera warranty wouldn't begin to cover five minutes in THAT pit. Still, if you really DO want to reenact this set: I'm told hiring a fluffy panda outfit, suiting up and being the "clown" at a kids party will come a close second. If you can get out've there alive without suffering any internal bleeding, broken ribs or a head concussion then you'll be much closer to approximating the insane buzz I get everytime I'm here! :)
THE KILLGIRLS (****) myspace :: Back to the Ed Castle I arrive moments before the fifth and final act, The Killgirls; or what could otherwise best be described tonight as attempting to watch the closing scenes to Requiem For A Dream on a comedown without eating my entire face off, whilst some idiot in the corner flicks the lights on and off screaming "fight! fight! "fight!". Yup, welcome to every gig photographer's worst nightmare. Still, despite fact that out've all the photos I'll try and take of this tonight, only 1% will actually hit their target, this band is still banging one fuck of a buzz. The Killgirls: they're a Frankenstein 40,000 volt collision between industrial, indie and new rave. Or to be more precise, Nine Inch Nail's "Pretty Hate Machine" and Alec Empire's "Intelligence And Sacrifice" put into a shredder with the gunning rhythms of Arctic Monkey's "Brianstorm", the glitching vocals of The Presets' "I Go Hard, I Go Home", the spastic laser beams of the Klaxons' "Atlantis To Interzone" and the sort've Japanese cartoons that cause epilectic seizures. Sure, it may end up sounding like an 80's cocaine binge from hell, but damn does it fucking rock!
Although I'd already captured a freakingly awesome live video two months ago when they played the Cranka, one look at Rusty on the tambourine making an absolute twit of himself in THIS video, and damnit I couldn't help myself; this comedy damn near writes itself!
1:23AM - With my brain suitably microwaved to a fine steaming mush tonight, what better way to follow it in encore than a revolving door of windowlicking Transmission DJ's flipping burgers on the CD decks, a packed out dancefloor and me drinking myself retarded at the bar..
Which is all fun and games (and alcohol poisoning) until these two familiar freaks from Mona Lisa Overdrive ambush me out've the blue and attempt to sell me comprehensive life insurance.
2:23AM - Fleeing through the exit doors out back, I'm shocked to discover that it must've been raining for the last hour (and I didn't even notice whoaa!?) and now the flooded out beer gardens are mostly deserted save for one drowned rat clutching a cigarette and a hoard of the equally nicotine dependent who are huddling under the canopy of the beer garden bar and puffing up a storm. And as for these two dribbling fools? duuude, your guess is as good as mine..
2:52AM - speaking of things which I may or may not've edited out with Photoshop (*cough* wait, what was I talking about?) here's some equally spaced out photos of Will from Tokyo City Sex Shooters (and more recently the most awesome viral youtube phenomenon that likely none of you have EVER seen: Italian Spiderman) making a complete twit of himself on camera.
3:48AM - Many hours and many (many) beers later and at last my mission comes to an end for another night. Collapsing here by the corner of the bar to sleep forever more. One night's venue tag ending with my toe in a tag and a mile wide grin: a fitting end to a misfit's misadventure..
Which would've been true if I didn't continue to drink well after this, bump into a few friends at the last minute, attempt to blag our way into Supermild on Hindley Street (and fail miserably), stagger blindly into Aussie Pizza House further down the road for fuck knows what (I think cheese and or possibly bacon was involved!?) before finally catching a taxi the fuck out've there whilst everyone else chose to scrape the bottom of the barrel at either Mile High or The Palace. Except, since I didn't take any photos, clearly none of this EVER happened.. weeeeeee! :)