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...
MAMMAL + BUSHIDO + QUIET CHILD LIVE @ PRODUCERS BAR / Friday April 11th 2008
I've said it before and I'll say it again: but there is something seriously "odd" about Producers Bar. How it just sits there on Grenfell street, glaring at you, east of the Crown & Anchor, old as time itself; clawing and shrieking through your mind's eye, screaming to be let free. How could you not see it!? Yet such be the arcane majicks wraught within it's thin shell of lemon candy coating, that many of you are fooled; fooled despite all the evidence to the contrary. You may see a bar just like any other bar in Adelaide: prey to the same laws of physics, thermodynamics and fibre optics that would define many of its illbient ilk; but it is not. Look past those ever shifting surfaces and you'll see what I see. Those walls that bleed in such irregular colours, those lurching tentacles that droop from above, that indistinct smell of sulphur, those beady eyes that appear to follow you everywhere, yet nowhere. This is no live venue, this is no earthly domain, this be where dreams and nightmare collide like bumper cars. If it be hellmouth, wormhole, blackhole, matrix, vortex, ley line nexis or the perfect hosting ground for a children's birthday gone wrong; I know not. All I do know is that it is forever hungry, hungry and howling for my blood.
Yet once more, beyond better judgement, cruciform sacrament, or half remembered gibberish muttered from crumbling parchment, I find myself drawn to this place; this place that is not a place, this place that yearns for my inebriant dementia, this wall read with blackening scrawl I do enter. *Phew* Whether I be chicken come home to roost, cooking goose, or the world's worst tribute to Dr Seuss; who knows what retarding fright lies in wait beyond these walls tonight?
QUIET CHILD (****) myspace :: No strangers to the occult; opening act Quiet Child (quite like the name suggests) are to progrock what Haley Joel Osment or that freaky stick insect Dakota Fanning are to anything remotely resembling humanity. Effortlessly adept, articulate, malevolent, ethereal and damn near unsettling with eviscerating soul sucking certainty, they're a brooding terror that knows few equals. Yet despite their many affronts to the natural order, ie: Pete the lead singer's eerie ability tonight to channel all the vocal nuances of Maynard James Keenan, Chino Moreno and Matthew Bellamy whilst gargling a block of green cheese out've his nose or Brent the bassist's freak ability to cheat death no matter how many times we may've attempted to kill him; Quiet Child are a band that put me strangely at ease. With music this blissfully aneasthetising: you could saw through my skull, pop out my brain, beat it ping pong splattering between all four walls of this venue till reduced to one tenth of its (already peanut) size and return it BACK to my skull, and in more ways than one I'd be none the wiser. Such is their fiendish power! YES!
Momentarily caught unaware's: here drooling in a corner by the stage with my scalp slapped on backwards (damn you Brent, I will get my revenge!); my slumber is soon interrupted by a locust swarm of sharp shooters armed to the teeth with SLRs, DSLRs, and RSI double popping wrist joints; come to battle me to the death: all outnumbering my gizmo bugshooter four to one..
Only then to be assaulted by the evil pokemon twins: Miss Gee and Miss Moira, working on me a combined offensive of flying tackles, spiking opiates and eye bleeding fashion disaster that very much resembles what the Tasmanian Tiger would look like on an methamphetamine binge whilst simultaneously being arseraped by Ren and Stimpy armed with a strobe light. Yup, we've only reached the second act of this play and already I'm fast circling the drain.. yipeeee!
BUSHIDO (***) myspace :: Speaking of the gutter: here's the next band to grace the stage fresh from Melbourne, by the name of Bushido. True to their name, which by all reckoning should be a Japanese breed of fighting dog prone to having its face smashed in repetitively with cinder blocks (see Jaret Leto's black and blue appearance in the movie Fight Club), Bushido are a brutish force to be reckoned with. Imagine if you will James Hetfield from Metallica fronting Cog and the sound of Elvis Presley on the "throne" after devouring happy meal of cheese fried bacon the size of the Death Star, splice in the modern art sculpture your lungs would resemble after a 5 pack a day nicotine habit, the flaming wreckage of the Hindenburg colliding with the Titanic, drop two horse grade tranquilisers and a bottle of whiskey and you wouldn't be far off from the land of Bushido.
Forever straddling the extremes of the Bell curve: both in their propensity for scraping larynxes into furthering levels of knuckle dragging shred and for their noodling proficiency in bass driven intellectualist prog wank; it's anyone's guess where there coming from or where the hell they're going to. Are they evolutionist proof for the mass interbreeding between Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons 20-30,000 years ago? sure signs of lead poisoning in the Yarra river? or yet another signpost in the steady decline of Western Civilisation? who cares when you're this drunk, weeee! Bushido: it may not be rocket science, but they can sure slap up one meatyarse groove!
MAMMAL (*****) myspace :: Only now, after being suitably anaesthetised, lobotomised and cauterised by all the insanity before us 'til all that's left is base motor function, a feedback loop of spinal triggers and a few misquoted passages from the book of Revelations about nine headed goats and incest; could we be truly ready for a headlining this idiotic and inspired. Mammal; they're 50,000 tennis balls shot rapidfire into your pink bits, they're adrenaline freebased with crack cocaine, they're a sixpack of ferrets let lose on your face during a hail storm, they're that weird kid you knew in primary school who thought it'd be hilarious to show you the movies like Predator and Platoon by fast forwarding through all the "slow" bits. Or in other words: combine the schitzoid rap rock of Faith No More's "The Real Thing", Red Hot Chili Pepper's "Blood Sugar Sex Magic", Rage Against The Machine and Living Colour and you'd get a cocktail no less lethal.
Before we continue; let us pause to reflect upon the infinite talents of Pete (the pissant) Williamson on guitar, Nick (the whiplash) Adams on bass and the ever indistinct motion blur in sticks and stones that is Zane on drums; lest we forget that this is actually a four piece band and not just a one man pissing contest. As more often than not, at any given Mammal gig, you will forever be at the mercy of THIS idiot in lead vocals; one Ezekiel Ox, who's overblown ego on stage (to quote the infamous words of Beck Hansen) is rather akin to "a giant dildo crushing the sun". Imagine Paul McDermott from Good News Week mixed with Tyler Durden, Wolverine, Daffy Duck, a baptist minister and a black n white newsreel of Adolf Hitler cracking the shits and you wouldn't be far off from what we witnessed hurling abouse over the top of the bar here.
Still as entirely batshit insane as Ezekiel Ox any given day of the week (ie: check out the mirrorball helmet this twit was rocking back in 2006), he is still no match for this place in full flight. When those walls bleed aknew, when that air tears ragged and red raw, when those hooded acolytes materialise and that unearthly chanting begins "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" you know you're in for a world of trouble! Some have prevailed, yet many have failed: Lest we mention Saul Williams' "tent" embassy back in January 2007..
the face melting insanity that was Har Mar Superstar in April 2007..
or whatever the FUCK this was meant to be back in July 2007!? whooaaa!
So in hindsight it's really not at all surprising that this place would choose to claim yet another human sacrifice, when next we know it, we find an all too bewildered Zeke down to his socks and jocks, flapping his arms about and making chicken clucking noises on stage.. yeeeeouch!
To the surprise of absolutely no-one, the crowd soon responds in kind..
Short of an inflatable raft or a live goat being torn limb from limb, the situation here is rapidly spiraling out've control. We have no paddles, there is no spoon and this ship's sinking fast!
Fleeing the mad throng before him, wide-eyed with terror, Zeke fled to higher ground on top of the bar; only then to be set upon by bartender Sophie and her pincing tweezers of doom..
The look on his face says it all. Whether Sophie keeps a voodoo effigy: whether it be powered by batteries or whether it's set on fire, we may verily be inching ever closer to discerning the true nature of the beast that haunts these walls. Seriously, next time I go here, I'm bringing me a wooden stake, a crucifix, some holy water, silver bullets and a UV lamp.. who's with me?
No one I spoke to after the gig could explain what happened next. There was this blank spot, a missing point in time, the smell of rotten eggs, what sounded like a wounded animal being struck with an axe and then Zeke rematerialised in mid air, hitting the wall hard above the stage..
I wouldn't go as far as to calling this brain damage, but in the very least a head concussion was obviously in play during the second half of their set tonight. Yup, if ever there was an entirely wrong moment to capture on video, this freaky performance would be it.. eeeeee!
And like any good shock and awe campaign, victory was swiftly declared despite all evidence to the contrary. Anything to get these baboons off stage and into 24 hour nursing care ASAP. It may not have made a hell of a lot of sense, what with all the shrieking, the flailing and the public urination, but this was definitely the craziest gig I've seen all week.. FUCK YEAAAH!
1:18AM - How we managed to get out've there alive and to the Exeter on Rundle Street is a tale best left for another time, suffice to say after that wormhole collapsed, and that whole city block pretzelled itself to a singularity the size of a 10cent piece, things got a little bit freaky out there. Good news however: it appears I've lost the Pokemon twins. YEAAS!
Still visibly shaken by the whole experience, we employed the services of an exorcist to perform a cleansing ceremony on us. Normally we'd be suspicious of such profane pseudo-superstitious quackery but he swears the instructions and incantations he read off that cornflakes packet were legit. Which after considering what we've all lived through, is an iron clad guarentee we'd readily embrace quicker than whatever Emperor Palpatine is cooking up in the Vatican these days.
To complete the transaction, we passed around the sacramental silly hat..
And within no time at all, we were turning water into wine..
Although sadly, no one was willing to drink it.
2:09AM - At peace with the universe once more; I did what any self respecting imbecile would do in a time like this, head right on down to the Cranka and fuck it all up again.. yeeeHARR!!
2:16AM - It didn't take long for trouble to find me in the form of Koral, flailing banshee, mental contortionist and drunk provocateur from The Vampire Project. Damn, I knew I should've remembered to pack that crossbow, taser and nunchaku when I left the house tonight..
2:31AM - Moments later we find ourselves eeringly drawn east down Grenfell Street and back towards the belly of the beast. And it was here, mere metres from the smouldering wreckage of what was once Producers Bar that we found these freaks from SuperBee splattered all over the pavement. Damn, I thought no one else made it out've there alive!
2:33AM - Inexplicably in our absence, Producers had since metamorphosed into a glistening edifice by the name of "The Electric Light Hotel". They say the devil takes many forms, but we never thought the dark lord Cthulhu would ever choose to strike in the same place twice.
2:51AM - The bartender presents me with something unearthly green and poured in a shot glass, that the natives here apparently call "Aguar", although it is allegedly synthesised from the same mischievious coca plant that produces cocaine, everyone assures me it possesses none of the same narcotic effects. As an added bonus it comes with a wedge of lime covered in brown sugar. Hmmmm. Clearly in no sound state of mind, I down it in one hit and hit the floor.
3:01AM - Moments later I'm found wandering the beer garden brandishing a fire extinguisher screaming something about leprecauns trying to eat my soul. Thankfully, since Koral is a more than qualified bartender, it only takes a swift kick to the pink bits before I'm suitably sedated..
3:39AM - To the surprise of no-one, The Electric Hotel rapidly goes the way of Producers Bar before it into the nethering void. The flailing, screaming and the writhing of black tentacles still haunt me in my dreams, but I got out've there, again. *Phew* Guess it's back to the Cranka. I mean what more could possibly happen to me tonight with THESE fine folk to protect me?
I wake hours later in a bathtub full of ice, somewhere south of the slums of Calcutta. Fuck, not again! I don't know which one of you mischevious fools was responsible, but I suspect it was the one in the checkered red (I swear she's following me!). As for how I managed to regenerate all my missing organs so soon is anyone's guess? *cough* suffice to say, if lessons are ever to be learnt this night: it is that one never takes a trip to Producers Bar lightly.. oooh FUCK NO!