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 TOUCH + TYGER TYGER + LOVE ZOMBIES LIVE @ RHINO ROOM / Saturday April 12th 2008
I begin tonight's entry with an open letter to the live music venues of Adelaide. We've seen a lot of each other you and I, we've shared many a good time and I would like to think that over these many years we've come to a mutual understanding; so much so that some people may come to believe that you and I are one and the same; only that I'm not known to dispense beer, which is just as well as I've seen the kind of people that habitually drink from yours. For the most part I've been happy with our life together as you in turn are happy to let me shoot inside of you each weekend and not ask too many questions. We make a great team, but it's time I was honest with you. No Jade Monkey this is not about you, you can close your ears (you know I love you!). I have have a bone to pick live music venues of Adelaide: your lighting leaves a lot to be desired. At first it was all shiny and new and I loved nothing more than to go at it all night long, but now it's like you're always in this dark and depressing mood. I've been more than understanding, more than patient, times have been tough I know! I know it was hard giving up on all those cigarettes, I know you're all down because everyone thinks you're a binge drinker and how all the neighbours are STILL complaining about the noises we make whenever I'm about (pheeuw! tell me about it!). But why so gloomy all the time!? it's not the end of the world y'know! you've still got me! why can't you just brighten up? c'mon babe, you're the light of my life here!
Yes I realise some of you are to blame more than others. So maybe I'm being too hard on you all. But you, Rhino Room here on Frome Road, are the worst of the worst! Far be it for me to blame my own technique here, but what gives? I'm finding myself shooting blanks at the walls rather than get close to you! (Although lets face it, this may have something to do with how much I drink on this job) *cough* Yup I must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel if I'm pulling THESE kinda jokes tonight, but maybe, just maybe, tonight you can still turn it on for me..
LOVE ZOMBIES (*) myspace :: Wow, speaking of scraping the bottom of the barrel, what the HELL happened here? No your eyes are NOT deceiving you, that really IS a one star rating. OUCH! As such, for the benefit of the Love Zombies (who I bet are the nicest people once you get to know them), I'll offer up the following lame excuses: (a) it's all the mixer's fault and those technical malfunctions that plagued most of their entire set clearly robbed us of their artistic brilliance, (b) that micro korg the chick was playing was in fact a nuclear device counting down to zero and we should all be grateful she defused it in time, (c) I mean c'mon! have you EVER heard music played from a nuclear device? this shit's way ahead of it's time.. woooo!! (d) "it's like avant garde and stuff and like you're not meant to understand it schyaaah!", (e) what else were you expecting if you combined the stoner grunge of Pavement and the art punk of Snowman and Yoko Ono!? songs you can freaking dance too!? (f) this clearly ISN'T the Love Zombies, as the Rhino Room was so dark tonight we were all looking in the wrong direction, (g) binge drinking is bad m'kay? *cough* Of course I WON'T say outright what you're ALL thinking, as I've learnt well enough not to dig myself into THAT grave! No sir, nu-uh, I ain't saying it! I like these dudes, I really do. I reckon the sky's the limit!
So, in effort to provide evidence to the jury that I haven't freaking lost it: I present to you this live video of their final (and arguably) BEST song tonight, "Friday Trance". Is this the most mind fuckingly awesome shit you've ever heard? or am I clearly just not "getting it"? discuss! :)
TYGER TYGER (****) myspace :: And speaking of the most awesome live bands ever (huh, wuh.. what? why are you looking at me like that!?) here comes number two with a bullet, Tyger Tyger! Yup, if ever anyone was insane enough to use one of those 80's hollywood super computers, the Large Hadron supercollider and a gene resequencer to combine the narrative weight of Animal House, Porky's, Fast Times At Ridgemont High and Revenge Of The Nerds with the sounds of the Brazilian Mardis Gras, a six-pack of ferrets, a tab of acid, actor David Spade and the UK band The Arctic Monkeys; chances are you'd either end up with an environmental catastrophe five times worse than the Chernobyl disaster, Hiroshima, the BSE mad cow epidemic and bird flu combined; or worse still, you could end up with Travis and a band like Tyger Tyger. Do not be fooled! he may look for all the world like a toothbrush that's seen better days roughed up under the rim of a toilet seat, holding onto that mic stand for dear life (lest he fall over and the slightest breeze) but he and his merry band of misfits sure know how to blast out one fuck of a party time shitstorm..
Which is exactly what they would've happened tonight if it weren't for Mannix their drummer accidently punching a sizeable hole in the kickdrum 10-15 minutes into their set, and worse yet? it wasn't even HIS drumkit. Ouch! Yup, the look on Trav's face here says it all. For some bands this would've spelled the end of the night, game over, straight to the bar to drink yourself into a coma. Not Tyger Tyger. They've already drunken everyone's beer rider and they ain't leaving till everyone's damn near popping their illegitimate love spawn. So whilst Trav and Mannix spend the next 20 minutes in a flailing panic, searching for any venue in the east end they could steal a kickdrum from; Nick, Mick and Tim fire up an improvised blues jam, some twit from the crowd leaps up onto the mic (a suspiciously familiar twit you may or may not have been me, but since there's no photographic evidence you can't prove anything!) and the show goes on..
Moments later Mannix return in triumph, having stolen a kit from some fucktard band by the name of "Unspoken Things" (pfffft.. losers!), Travis jumps back on the microphone and they tear the roof off with one fuck of a finale (as captured here in all it's grisly detail on video). Yup, sometimes the most telling sign of any band is not how well you play, or how big your crowds are, but just well you cover up for the mother of all fuck ups: Tyger Tyger, FUCK YEAAH!
It's at this point that I'm really beginning to suspect that I've caught a standup comedy night by mistake. This suspicion is made no less apparent when I spot lead singer Josh from The Touch. For those of you otherwise unfamiliar with this band (this IS only their sixth gig afterall) you may remember them from THIS appearance at Rocket Bar, back in September 2007..
or this, from their first live appearance back in December 2007..
THE TOUCH (****) myspace :: Yup if there's anything that this website thrives upon on, it's idiot lead singers just like Josh here. And as such no live review of The Touch will ever be complete without at least making a passing reference to his freakyarse dance moves. Is it Ian Curtis from Joy Division suffering an epilectic fit? Peter Garrett from Midnight Oil? whatever the fuck kinda brain injury Elaine Benes performed in Seinfeld? or the end result of a puppeteer being repetively hit in the head with a fire extinguisher? who knows? who the fuck cares! cause fuck damn is this hilarious to watch!
Yup, that's the The Touch; probably the most ill conceived name for a rock band ever (a name which will become all the more creepy when they start pushing 40), but otherwise a surprisingly solid five piece of a band in spite of themselves. At their very best they could be compared to The Moving Units or New Zealand's Cut Off Your Hands, any other day of the week they could be compared to Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran fronting the Bloc Party, or at their very worst they're exactly what those idiots from N'sync or The Backstreet Boys would've sounded like if they ever attempted post punk (yeeeouch!). As such, they're the quintiscential spastic indie dancefloor filler that a place like Rocket Bar would've gone absolutely batshit for in 2007..
Of course I'm well aware there's least 20-30 other bands doing exactly the same shit, I'm also aware that most of you fashion tragics and scenster snobs out there have since moved on from this schtick and are now embracing shittyarse 80's electro. Still, what earns these monkeys the bonus points is the simple fact they don't give a shit. They're still flogging that dead horse, still cranking those guitars, still partying like there's no tomorrow and still touching everyone in entirely innappropriate places. And for all that (except the last bit), we freaking salute you!
Aaaah, just look at this rent-a-crowd (who've been packing out this venue all night in giddy anticipation of this final headlining act) absolutely losing their shit to this! The Touch may not the be sharpest sticks in the pile, but they sure as fuck know how to throw a wild party. Damn, where's my flamethrower and a few dozen empty graves when I need them?
1:11AM - Moments after Josh's head explodes in the finale: scattering skull fragments, Skittles, M&M's and one teeny tiny brain across Rhino Room; and moments after the fire department is called in to blast out the joint with water cannons, I awake to find myself splattered all over the emptying dancefloor: dumb, bug-eyed and goldfish staring into the mirror balls above..
"weeeeee.. look at all them pretty lights, so tiny shiny and fancy free!"
1:29AM - Finding me moments later, circling Rhino Room clucking like a chicken, I'm pulled downstairs by the band Tyger Tyger to join them on their misguided quest to get furtheringly retarded at Shotz. But not before they'd spotted that someone had since defaced Tyger Tyger's gig listing on the chalkboard outside. Obviously we had to get some photos with it..
1:31AM - Our epic odyssey to Shotz, was not without its fair share of gut wrenching tragedy..
and most freakingly awesome victory..
1:39AM - It took us many hours of intolerable hardship and misery, but we finally made it alive to those beaming gates. Aaaaah lose all ye remaining sobriety, ye who enter here..
And clearly this place is all kinds of awesome tonight if THIS is the only photographic highlight I could come up with in all the time I was here. Damn. The sooner they bring back Prohibition and burn this place to the ground, the sooner we can all sleep at night..
3:01AM - Many many hours (and way too many drinks) later and with the situation rapidly spiralling out've control at Shotz (they say it was a gas leak, I suspect vampire activity), I flee to the relative safety of the Cranka in search of more retarding mischief to amuse me..
Right on cue I bump into an all too inebriated Dick Dale (aka: lead singer of Adelaide's favourite punk trainwreck Kamikaze). Anyone with a passing familiarity to this blog will know all too well that this colourful idiot is never one to shy from making an absolute twit of himself on camera. For that, you need look no further than THIS shot we pulled back in January..
*cough* Anyhoo, for this week's installment he wanted to pull a stunt with the pool table. Time and time again we tried to set this shot up, and yet each time either the flash would fuck it up or we were just both too drunk to line it up properly; either way it just wasn't working..
So about 4-5 shots in, I thought I'd turn the tables on him with a little prank I like to call the Stuckey offensive (as named after it's devious inventor, one Adam James Stuckey back in 2003). What Dick Dale STILL thought was me attempting (and failing) to line up this shot, was in actual fact me filming the whole debacle and laughing myself retarded over how stupid it all looked. Understandably this eventually drove the poor fool to the brink of violence..
It got a little tense for a while there and I couldn't sworn he was gonna retaliate with the blunt end of that pool cue for all the trouble I put him through, but after a few beers he eventually saw the funny side of it all (mental note: next time I try a prank like this? bring backup!)
4:12AM - With the Cranka all but drunk dry for another Saturday night, I was on my way out onto Grenfell Street when I spotted these all too familiar idiots at the traffic lights..
4:21AM - And so, to the surprise of absolutely no-one, it's right back to Shotz again!
I wake hours later in a bathtub full of ice, south of the slums of Calcutta for another night running; and this time they took my passport too!? fuckers! How'd these pull this shit again!? Oh that's right "under the cover of darkness!" *forehead slap!* Hmmm, I guess there's a lesson to be learnt in all this irony: make "light" of your live music venue at your own peril. It may be dysfunctionally fucked up and forever skint on the electricity bill, but damnit, it's all we got!