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...
BOOSTER + PENELOPE SUICIDE LIVE @ JETTY BAR / Saturday May 24th 2008
Despite what you may've been led to believe; Adelaide's live scene isn't just confined to our fair city centre. Look to the suburban expanse, those outer limits, deep down into the boondocks and chances are you'll uncover a wealth of live venues just waiting for your gargling patronage. How could we forget The Jolly Miller, Squatter's Arms, The Ramsgate, Lockley's Tavern, Exeter On Semaphore, The Highway Inn and the Northern Sound System!? Aaaah such wonders never cease! Sure I've never covered ANY of them in this blog but that's besides the point; they're shining lights each and every one of them! Our city is well and truly blessed even to it's furthest reaches! And yet above ALL these mighty bastions of culture and fine frivolity there is one that's even greater: it is not just a pub, nay! it is a pub of legend, a pub of glory, a pub of infamy, a pub that stands above all else that dare challenge it. It is a pub they simply call the "Jetty Bar".
Here nestled amongst the seaside shopping district of Glenelg and conveniently situated at the end of the tramline. Bold, majestic and host to a history of greatness. Long is the list of Adelaide's finest who have graced this stage over the years and many have been the memories obliterated in the living of it. If Glenelg be our St. Kilda, then surely Jetty Bar would be our Espy. Oh yes! Hold your head up high, flair those nostrils wide and breathe deep those musty carpets ripe in swirling casino pagentry, behold these royal blue walls, their golden pokies lounge, their video screens lofty and resplendant in TAB sports betting and Top 40 chart countdowns. And how could we forget the crowds: snuffling, hairy, partially erect, knuckle over knuckle, shrieking into their pint glasses; that chorus of ripe baboonery like a choir of angels? Oh, how could you not quivver, fall to your knees and weep tears of joy to be a part of it? I know I do..
*cough* yup, to cut the cheese: we all know why we're here. It's the same reason why any band in Adelaide is EVER foolish enough to play here. Sure it's a shithole, sure it's a dive, sure it's fuck full of bogans, bikers and thugs and chances are you'll be stabbed in the throat if you dare but look at them wrong. But damnit, don't they just pay monkey loads of cash for any band shitcrazy enough to play it! Yup, it ain't pretty but bless their webbed feet for it, for without these smash and grab suburban cash cows, Centrelink would be upto their armpits and drowning in it!
PENELOPE SUICIDE (**) myspace :: Welcome to the first band of the night.. and oh no! wait, it's their second gig? and better yet it's their lead singer's birthday!? and they're singing happy birthday on stage? woweee! if you're as familiar with the opening scenes of Shawshank Redemption as I am, you KNOW what time it is! FRESH FISH!! FRESH FISH!! YEEEHAAAARR!! *cough* my apologies, I don't know what just came over me (heh.. must be the surrounds!). Yup, such is the unenviable fate that awaits these doe-eyed deer; victim to my whimsical wrath ever so soon (hmmm, perhaps they were hiding out in the suburbs for a reason.. oops!). As such, being as they are green to a live stage tonight: wild eyed, stilted, animatronic, coin operated in their carefully rehearsed movements and their shrinking stage presence; we could probably forgive a lot of what we saw and look ahead to what we're yet to see. Penelope Suicide. For their first gig, they packet out the Worldsend to record numbers, tonight they're host to a sea of people. As for their sound? They're Garbage's "Cherry Lips", Varuca Salt's "Seether", The Cranberries "Zombie" and whatever the fuck that chick rocker band from Wayne's World was called. Filtered through an AC/DC guitar chug, a pubrock percussion and an 80's advertising jingle in lyricism; it's a strange mix, but for the most part beyond all the awkwardness (and a freaky bald guitarist who looks all too disturbingly like a giant penis) it works. They have the potential, they have the energy. they're lapping up every moment of it as the crowd cheers them on. Oh yes! there's nothing but a shiny future ahead for these fearless midgets that it almost makes you proud to be there at the start of it! weeee!
BOOSTER (***1/2) myspace :: Which brings us to the headlining act Booster. They looked out to this "sea of people" still standing before them in the wake of Penelope Suicide: those two crusty old veterans killing braincells by the bar, those three bucktoothed yokels laughing hysterically in the corner, that one band photographer drinking all of their beer rider out've the esky by the stage; and they KNEW what to do: play hard, play fast and get the fuck out of there before anyone knew what hit them! Booster. If anything could be said for them tonight, it's that they took to this "smash and grab" venue like a seasoned pro; and short of a curious extended interlude in their song "Prozac" (which sounded for all the world like Roxy Music's "Avalon") this was a double digits setlist condensed into a parking space you could trash compact a segwey into, featuring songs that barely sneezed past the 2 minute mark, performed by a band that was off and running the minute that last drumstick dropped. *Phew* Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles Of Death Metal, Ozzy Osbourne and a whole lot of thrashing and flailing? This wasn't so much a performance as a crack military team parachuting in to assassinate the President. Game over duuuuude!
And for those of you who missed it (and I did my very best NOT to blink so I wouldn't), here's a little taste of what flew through here in the form of their final song "C158". Short, fast, loud and one helluva skidmark burning in the toilet bowl afterwards? who could ask for more?
12:01AM - So here I am by the entrance to this majestic palace. Taking a moment to pause and reflect over a place that gives SO much to this Adelaide scene and asks for so little. Or at least I did, before joining Booster as they flew out those doors and into the nearest screeching car wreck back to civilization. We came, we saw and.. WAIT, WHAT'S THAT OVER THERE!? *runs*
12:36AM - Passage back from the badlands is never without it's fair share of peril. It is here: midway between nowhere and somewhere in the dropping off of drumkits and the loading up of bongs that things got a little bit weird. Garden gnomes? stone frog ornaments? things of stone, glass and plastic kitties!? what the fucking piece of crap have we gotten ourselves into!?
1:23AM - Traumatized by the events of this night, I crash land here within the city limits a howling beast of brain eating hysteria. Unfortunately first victiom Travis and his freshly scooped out skull cavity proves no nourishment; so my search widens ever east and westwards..
2:48AM - I cannot speak of the preceding hour, or the things that I did, or the littering of bodies that Adelaide city's council workers will be sure to find stuffed in the dumpster the following morning; suffice to say I arrived at Producers Bar at the tail end of their wacky "Wish" and their "90's theme night"; a dribbling, drooling, hollowed out shell of a human being. Thankfully though this provided me with just the convenient sized vessel to fill with more beer.. YES!
2:52AM - And no, I have no clue what this photo is doing here, except I always thought this shit looked pretty and never found a lame enough excuse to slap it in a blog until now..
3:11AM - Moments later I arrive at the Crown & Anchor. Of course this would also be the moment I'd make YET another lame joke at the expense of this establishment, but quite frankly I've already used up all my best insults in the last few weeks. Mmmm.. blue.. oh so pretty!
3:35AM - And just like any other end of the night at the blue bug zapper; here's four very good and graphic reasons why the South Australian government should speed all those wacky "anti-binge drinking" laws into action. I mean shit.. who cares about our city's vibrant nightlife, our music scene, the entire comedy content of my blog!? just LOOK at these freaks! AAAUHH!!
Speaking of such, here's one such specimen here! this is Sophie: the teeny tiny fluffingly cute bartender you'll often find behind the bar at Producers with a smile and a wave. The very same bartender who'll harvest your organs when your back is turned. The very same demon spawn from the fiery pits of hell. She's vowed to feature in at least 20 episodes of Spoz's Rant by the end of this year. So far, this would make her 2nd (or arguably 3rd) appearance..
And this photographic masterpiece is me making her regret every single moment of it..
Aaaaah yes, doesn't my camera just bring out the best in everyone?
4:51AM - I don't know who's entirely fuckarse insane idea it was to end the night here (quite frankly I blame Sophie), but yes we ended the night here at Zhivago. And as much as I would love to tell you just what all us binge-drinking sociopaths DID in this seedy establishment at the arse end of the night? duuuuude what happens at Zhivago sure as fuck STAYS at Zhivago!
Thus bringing to an abrupt close yet another horrific chapter in the life and times of Spoz's Rant. One week you're upto your neck feasting in the glory of it, the next you're upto your neck rifling through dumpsters in the southern suburbs desperate for a fix. Fuck I love this city! :)