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...
SIN CITY + THE GELS + WYLDE THROE LIVE @ THE CROWN & ANCHOR / Saturday May 10th 2008
A loose leaf blows free, whistling a mournful tune through emptying streets. The camera lens pans, follows through lights hung low to a building collapse, sullen to passers by folding like wet newspapers to the huddling corners, the sound of coughing; whilst incidental to the right a lone car rolls by like a tumbleweed, roof over bonnet, driven with rally precision by yet another one of Adelaide's finest licensed assassins; pause for dramatic effect, a small explosion echoes off and to the left and then nothing. Just another Saturday night in the east end ghetto. Where have all the people gone? Once the proud, now the fallen to fashion boutique, cafe, restaurant, all since closed to the sounds of slumber. Is this the rapture? superbug antibiotic resistant? glitch in the Matrix? rage virus? post apocalypse shadow theatre? boom night for the Marion cineplex? or just yet another in a long line of urban cliches forming a queue over the insterstate border? Here past these blue doors of Crown & Anchor may very well be the last souls left alive on this Earth (damn, I missed the end of the world again!?). Thus for all of you since dead, yet to be born or waiting to rise again to feast upon my brain, here's a hint of what you missed tonight..
WYLDE THROE (****) myspace :: You meet all sorts of larger than life lunatics here in the Adelaide scene. Big fish swimming in ever shallower ponds. Egos larger than orbiting moons. Egos with their OWN moons. Egos held aloft by tidal waves of their own self proclaimed brilliance. Egos with their own event horizons, tentacles and gaping maws; drawing people in, crushing lesser insects to singularities the size of bouillon cubes. How can we forget Travis Williamson from Tyger Tyger with middle finger raised, the living legend that is Dick Dale from Kamikaze, the howling tourettes syndrome of one W Shane Forster, Mario Spate from The Killgirls or Matt Banham collapsing drunk in a pool of his own urine outside your front door. And in no relation to anything you've just read here's our opening act. Wylde Throe: not to be confused with lead singer Dan and his band Steel Tiger that came before them (and not to be confused with Wyld Stallyns from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure); they're the sounds of Meatloaf as reinterpretted by Jack Black from Tenacious D having an epilectic seizure, they're the sounds of Iron Maiden and AC/DC as reinterpretted through an air guitar solo that goes on far longer than is entirely necessary, they're the sounds of every bargain basement CD and box set you'll ever find collecting dust at Crime Converters. Yup, just when you thought Nirvana and the Seattle grunge scene had killed off this entire sub genre for good back in the 90's; Wylde Throe are bringing it back with fiery vengence..
Still as much as I always sided with the other team in the whole Nirvana vs Guns & Roses turf war of 1991, you can't deny the spectacle that cock rock in all it's fuglyarse guises presents to a live stage; and Wylde Throe are NO exception to this rule. Short of their many howling guitar solos and thrashing odes to Bon Jovi and KISS, they're the most entirely awesome musical theatre you'll ever damn near see. Oh yes! And it's all the little details of their getup that make them too: from Dan's ridiculous sleeve tattoo, to the mad scribbling texta "tattoos" all over Chris the guitarist, to all their spazzed out guitar solos spilling into the audience. To most you'd think they were simply taking the piss but oh no it's much worse, they're the genuine article!
Yup, sometimes you almost forget they're actually playing music out there, but when you're cooking up mad shit like this? how could you go wrong!? Wylde Throe? FUCK YEAH!
10:49PM - And speaking of overly inflating egos (who me?) occassionally I hear rumours, wild rumours of a WHOLE other Adelaide music scene never covered here by Spoz's Rant. Of course I'd never believe it myself (as obviously I have the ego the size of a small planet that believes everything orbits around him), but they're out there: snuffling away in the dark, abandoned, alone and afraid, plotting my untimely demise with sharpened sticks. "Why oh why will Spoz never come see our band? what does it take damnit!? what does he want us to do!? FREAKING SWEAT BLOOD!?? THAT WORTHLESS FUCK!! I'LL KILL HIM!! GNAARRGGHH!!". Which of course is exactly what they want to do the minute I see their band and laughingly slap a one star review on them (wooooo!). Yes I know, I'm a cruel and sadistic fuck but hey, we all gotta have our fun somehow! Speaking of such, here's one such potential victim here at the Exeter..
Just look at them plugging away in the front room. Just like many of their ilk, they've been active in the Adelaide scene for way too many years, they've gone through a name change or two, probably released an EP, an album, played to thousands, and all the while I've managed to miss every single one of their live shows!? Damn. I've even made it a long running joke; we bump into each other from time to time and we laugh and laugh and then they leave crying *sniff* who knew my pissyarse website could lead to so much needless infamy?
LYLA (***1/2) myspace :: Perhaps you remember a pissy little UK britpop band by the name of Oasis? Big in the mid 90's, kinda shit ever since? Brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher still beating each other stupid with that blunt end of a whisky bottle, drunk in a gutter at 5AM? That same damn song from their first album "Definitely Maybe" played beyond projectile vomiting point on commercial radio? All that bragging that they're bigger than The Beatles? Noel Gallagher still rubbishing fellow UK bands in NME in the mistaken belief people still give a shit? Aaaaah so many memories! Or what about Jet? Everyone loves Jet don't they? They're everyone's favourite Australian rock band! Whoaaa, OK OK! take your finger OFF that trigger and put DOWN that shotgun! *cough* Yeah, beats me why I just mentioned all that? Beats me why I also just plaguarised this entire paragraph word for word from a gig write up I did four months ago as Lyla sound absolutely nothing like them. Except that they do. Except that they also manage to achieve all the above whilst reminding you just what was entirely awesome about this junk in the first place? All the buzz, none of the bullshit? Wow, who thought it was still possible to rip off Supergrass, The Rolling Stones AND The Beatles without causing a drunken punch up in a urinal; and yet Lyla have found a way!
Yup, such is the awesome freak of nature that is Lyla. Humble in spite of all their influences. Just a quiet 60's influenced pub band, sinking piss and playing the blues; here crammed in a teeny tiny front room of a pub with no lights, no air, a crowd so packed we're a few circus clowns short of a Guinness Book of Records. Aaaaah! Sometimes it just doesn't get much better than this here tonight. Seriously I ask you, Lyla, where have you scruffyarse bastards been all my life?
11:19PM - And after few well placed bricks of C4, a gas leak, an explosion, three emergency crews and the jaws-of-life later, I find myself back at the Crown & Anchor; as we are treated to the wax world wonder that is the many faces of Marty Gel bugging the fuck out on stage..
THE GELS (***1/2) myspace :: And what better way to introduce this next band. The Gels; they're an Adelaide institution (emphasis on the "mental", hold the pickle and with four times the cardiac arrest). They're pigs on a spit rotating on a rod of depleted uranium shot rapid fire out've a cannon into oncoming traffic. They're The Ramones and Iggy & The Stooges blasted at full volume whilst an exciteable midget slaps Robert DeNiro in the face screaming "didi mao!". They're a 20 piece bucket of KFC. They're 50,000 tonnes of rubble falling on a port-a-loo. They're a Japanese steak eating contest with air horns. They're like being stuck between a pair of sumo wrestlers farting in an elevator moments before the cable snaps. They're all that is awesome about watching elephant seals give birth whilst drill sergeants blasts out your skull cavity. Yup, if you love your oldskool punk rock lean, mean and hungry for blood, you've never quite experienced the full course meal offered by this band. The Gels: exploding all over the walls after that one last dinner mint..
Such is their maddening appeal. To think they've been at it for years; for well over a decade now. They've released albums, they've appeared on the cover of RollingStone, they've punched their weight, eaten their own weight and hammered it away above and beyond all medical advice to the contrary (and chances are they'll keep blasting the walls for another decade to come). Yup, just like a coronary their meat flavoured punk rocking blues will claim us all in the end!
SIN CITY (****1/2) myspace :: Sometimes touring acts get all the luck. Just last week, local trashbags Angelik thrashed out The Cranka to a roaring crowd of a hundred hooting baboons spilling out into the street. This week they've since tag-teamed with fellow trashbags Sin City from Melbourne, crossing the border to hit their home turf for "Bitchfest"; whilst Sin City arrives triumphantly at The Cranka tonight to play to the roaring crowd of.. "shit.. where'd everyone go?" Yup, that's Adelaide's night life for ya! Despite Sin City and Angelik both sharing freakingly similar musical DNA, so much so you'd swear they're evil twins separated from birth, and despite them playing the exact same venue here barely one week apart, you never can quite tell how the natives are gonna react to it (still you gotta hand it to these lunatics they still gave it a red hot go). Sin City; attempting to describe their set is rather akin to imagining Christina Ricci coked up out've her eyeballs attempting to play a vampire stripper in a Robert Rodriguez movie, whilst a 007 cliche of East Berlin closet S&M enthusiastics thrash out the howling punk rocking sounds of The Distillers at full volume behind her. Subtle they are not, but when faced with a near emptying room of 20 people such as this tonight, only the most psychotic of shock and awe tactics will wake the dead here..
For the most part they delivered the sounds of gunfire, chainsaws, deranged howling, blood on the walls, more howling, followed by Tommy Gun on drums attempting to incite a riot over the microphone, followed by more gunfire; all the while accompanied by the most insane over acting facials and flapping hysterical arm gestures you'd ever see outside of a 70's Hammer horror film production. Oh and occassionally they'd also break it up with quiet numbers such as this..
But then just like so many bands before them they went for one last trump card, as Molotov Barbie leapt off the stage for a bit of good 'ol fashioned audience invasion (*yawn* yup heeere we go again!). Seriously, is anyone else surprised when a band pulls this kinda shit now?
Yup we here at Spoz's Rant are no stranger to such loony off-stage antics: it seems like every week now another dickhead and their dog is climbing over the speaker stacks, stripping to their underwear, jumping over balconies, flying headfirst into the crowd with arms outstretched, using me as a pole dancing implement, throwing around cow's hearts, jumping around on top of bars or getting down and dirty and dry humping bass players from Wylde Throe. I mean fuck, this shit happens so often around here.. pffffft.. it's almost like white noise to me now!
wuh.. waaait.. whoaaa.. back up a few sentences.. she's doing what now!?
*cough* Yup I gotta hand it to them, out've all the crazy shit I've seen over the years, I don't think I've seen anyone try and pull a stunt quite like THIS at The Cranka. Oh yes! for dragging crowd participation to brand new lows? Molotov Barbie and Sin City we freaking salute you! (hmmm I wonder if anyone else is crazy enough to top this stunt NEXT WEEK?)
3:06AM - And since there's absolutely nowhere to go from here after a ridiculous stunt like that; give or take about 4 hours of heavy drinking, that's the end of my night.. weeeee!
But, be sure to tune in next week when we feature (a) Lee from Tony Font Show giving birth to a school bus, (b) Travis from Tyger Tyger being molested by an Emperor penguin, (c) Poetikool Justice raising the zombie corpse of Bob Mali to thrash out a polka medly, (d) all four members of the Klaxons being beaten to within an inch of their lives by all three members of the Femme Fatales, (e) all of the above whilst a tribe of colobus monkeys fly out've my arse.. YES!