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...
GALLEON + THE TRAFALGARS + SPECIAL PATROL "JIVE IS TURNING FIVE" @ JIVE / Saturday August 2nd 2008
Hangovers: everyone gets them, everyone loves them! where WOULD we be without them!? Flying halfway between the impossible and the infinite using nothing but the incorruptible power of our minds that's what! Hangovers: so much fun, so little memory! "Where am I? who am I? and why the fuck is that horse's head stuffed under my bed covers?". Hangovers: the inevitable rise and fall of all my Friday nights out and comical sight of me lost and dithering down Hindley Street in the following like a hollowed out zombie corpse moments before I pass out.. YEAAAS! Still for all you who missed out on all the fun (and oooooh boy did you miss a big one!), I'm told you can reenact it all using everyday household ingredients! Take a large coconut. Take a large axe. Split the difference. Throw half out the window (it represents the "left side of the brain" so clearly you won't be needing it). Take to the other with a screwdriver like a mortar and pestle. Upend a fresh ashtray into the hole. Follow it with a kitty litter chaser, three spoonfulls of orange juice, two swift taps of a vacuum cleaner bag and a pinch of ratsack. Add warm milk. Add a goldfish. Sprinkle in three drops of tabasco. Spark up the oxy-acetyline torch (that you JUST so happen to have lying around). Realise you have it facing the wrong way. Run around screaming as your eyebrows catch on fire. Collapse head first into that coconut shell and wait till someone rings triple zero. Got all that? good! now that we're all on the same page.. let's move on!
Tonight I find myself here at Jive. Not just any 'ol night at everyone's favourite "Soup Nazi" to the stars, oh no! tonight we're in for something truly special! Tonight we're celebrating their 5th birthday! 5th birthday!? Five freaking years of Jive keeping our shit alive!? Wow! who knew!? Let's cue the harp, the wiggly wobbly special effects and blow an entire episode's load of original content on all the wondrous memories that this place has brought to us over the years! Doesn't it make you go all misty eyed just thinking about it? Wringing your brain inside-out attempting to come up with one single freaking anecdote!? Yup, thanks to five years of Jive's tireless efforts in getting us stupidly drunk in style: we've all forgotten just how special this place is, most of Year 12 Physics, and quite possibly how to tie our shoelaces properly! And they're every reason why we pack this place out to capacity every weekend in search of our minds since lost to the bottom of their plastic pint glasses. Thanks Jive! You're the greatest!! And tonight to mark this most auspicious occassion (and to bury most of our corpses in the parking lot come morning) they've invited five of their favourite live bands to come celebrate! woweeee! let's get loaded!
THE BEARDS (****) myspace :: First act for the night would've been the skull fuckingly brilliant sounds of John Woods and his acoustic guitar. But since I got here too late I've got no fucking what John Woods (and/or quite possibly his band) actually sounds like. Hmmm. Of course we all know this has never stopped me in the past, so with some "indepth research" I can proudly claim the following undisputable facts: John Woods is Director of The Abductive Systems Group in the Department of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia and the Charles S. Peirce Professor of Logic in the Group on Logic and Computational Sciences, Department of Computer Science, King's College London. He is also Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lethbridge. Wow John Woods! who knew you could do ALL that and perform in a wildly successful blues and roots band!? For all we know John Woods could also be a fiendishingly adept French chef, taxi driver, astronaut, assassin, gender illusionist, street mime, proctologist, horse whisperer and celebrity hairdresser. And to think I freaking missed it!? sheeiiiit! So instead *cough* we present you with The Beards..
Oh shit, not THESE idiots again!! *cough* I mean.. YAY! it's The Beards!! weeeeeee! :) Yup if ever there was a band to drown your hangover out to, it would be The Beards! They write songs about beards, they perform songs about beards, all four of them are the living embodiment of beards, and they will keep writing and performing songs about beards until each and every one of us grow beards of our very own, and I run out've every single ridiculous joke that I could ever possibly write about beards... aaand here's a video of them! It's awesome! It's all about beards! Mmmmm beards! Come suck on a beard baaaaaby! It's ever so rich and beardly!
JACKSON FIREBIRD (****1/2) myspace :: And if it wasn't nearly impossible enough attempting to write up that one, here's act two! Jackson Firebird. I saw them last night. I'm seeing them again tonight! two times, in the ONE weekend! Awesome! Still, thanks to all the shit I drank last night (which in no small part was inspired by their knuckle dragging antics at Producers Bar) I'm struggling to remember not only who the fuck these idiots are, or why their drummer Dale gave me that weird look of recognition at the bar earlier tonight (waaaiiit!? weren't we all at the Cranka drinking ourselves retarded after the show?); but also most simple vowels, sounds, shapes, smells and colours. "Déjà vu? what déjà vu!? Everything's new again! weeeeee!" (and people wonder how I've kept a website like this running for so long!) *cough* Still for those of you who missed this shit from the night before: in a nutshell, a coconut and two banging rocks: Jackson Firebird are everything that is awesome about The Black Keys, John Spencer Blues Explosion and The Chemical Brothers "Dig Your Own Hole" as reinterpretted by a troupe of performing colobus monkeys. Aaaah I ask you, what MORE could you possibly ever want from a two piece blues band!? huh? HUH!!? :)
Tonight's set therefore boils down to all the subtle differences. Namely that I'm not nearly as shitfaced drunk as I was the night before; which you'd think would be a trivial detail, except that I pretty much had Jackson Firebird pegged as a "Falafel" band (ie: awesome when you're drunk, shit when you're sober), yet to my infinite surprise tonight I discover they're pretty much the same drunk OR sober. Whether this is testament to the true brilliance of their songwriting and performance, or simply one of many signs that I've caused myself irreversible braindamage is anyone's guess. Either way: Jackson Firebird? FUCK YEAAAAH!! They've got the shitcrazy breakbeat drumming, the droning guitars, the yammering, the yelping, the shrieking and hundreds of their fellow drunks cheering them on tonight. Aaaaaah what's not to love!?
SPECIAL PATROL (****) myspace :: Act three Special Patrol reminds you all those awesome things in life you hold dear waaaay beyond their relevance: chewed up old tennis balls, dog eared paperbacks, worn out sofas, VCRs, tape decks and your parents. We should've all thrown this junk out years ago yet we still cling to them. Take my old desktop PC for instance. It was a late 90's Pentium 2 400mHz processor: 26gB of hard drive space, 128mB of RAM, a keyboard from the late 80's missing an F6 key, a blown out monitor, everytime I switched it on I had to reset the time, occassionally the second hard drive wouldn't boot properly, both optical drives were broken and I used it solidly until the middle of 2006. Or what about my mobile phone: a crusted up Sony Ericsson from late 2004. It stopped working a year later due to excessive alcohol abuse, I took it in for servicing only for them to tell me that every single circuit board had rusted. They gave it back to me, I switched it back on, it started working again, and I've used it ever since! YEAAS! Or what about my leather wallet with the gaping tear in the pocket so all my spare coins fall out? or my busted up old Doc Martens? or my watch held together with rubberbands? or my mangy blue backpack from 1993 with half the pockets rendered useless after hoarding sticks of charcoal from that ONE week of life drawing I had in 2nd year Uni? All these cherished items took YEARS to achieve that level of whimsical dysfunction. Special Patrol however, were lucky enough to be BORN this way!
Special Patrol. They're "The Sound Of Settling" by Death Cab For Cutie, "New Slang" by The Shins, Bernard Fanning's "Wish You Well" and Kav Temperely from Eskimo Joe as a decrepit old octagenerian attempting to sing after being dragged through the ugly end of Hindley Street. So blissfully broken, worn out and cheerfully shambolic! Just like a fuzzy pair of slippers! Just like your grandfather trying to dance a jig! Theirs is an infectious singalong chorus and the artful twang of an acoustic guitar buried at the back of a box of 12" vinyl covered in mildew and fungus and sold for $2 a pop at a garage sale. They're every pub an hour before closing when everyone's too drunk to stand upright but nobody's ready to go home. And this is me in no way implying that they're waasy past their use-by-date. Oh no! Special Patrol only gets better with age!
THE TRAFALGARS (***) myspace :: Speaking of way past their use-by-dates here's our headlining act The Trafalgars! Banging out all those happy go lucky jangly guitars and harmonies of 60's mod and 90's britpop. Recycling all those awesome sounds of The Beatles, Blur, Oasis, Supergrass and Jet. So light and carefree. So instantly and effortlessly likeable. Everyone loves The Trafalgars! They're everyone's favourite party band! Let's raise our pint glasses up on high, hit the dancefloor enmasse and sing-a-long!! "Hey! waaaait *shit* where'd everyone go!?" Yup, that's The Trafalgars! and this is half of your crowd tonight fleeing for the exit signs the minute you monkeys hit the stage. Damn! Which is a little odd, because you wouldn't think there'd be anything wrong with this band per se. I mean they play some cool tunes. They have some laughs. It's all so ridiculously catchy. What's NOT to love about The Trafalgars!? I'm not even joking, they're actually really good! But then we realise this is 2008 and NOT 2003 and if the history of popular music has served us ONE hard earned lesson: it's that EVERYONE hates a band that comes late to a party. To demonstrate, let's do a quick word association game. I'll throw out a few names and you just shout out the first thing that comes to mind: U2, Guns & Roses, Limp Bizkit, Coldplay, Fatboy Slim, Jet. Yup, that look on your face halfway between lemon suck and skunk attack says it all! It's called the "NME Effect". One minute you're shit hot, next minute you're a joke and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it but wait 10-20 years before you shtick becomes instantly cool again. I mean shit, who KNEW disco would be cool again!? MGMT that's what! those lucky rat baaaastards!
So let's spare a thought for The Trafalgars. In such a utopian age of ipod back catalogues, where every single decade in popular music is living in the here and now in peace and harmony, they had to pick the ONE that went sour. They're the inbetweens. In limbo. Lost between scenes. Still plugging away. Still playing gigs. Forever chasing former glories. Forever trying to catch up with the next big thing. And I should know! I was stupid enough to start up a band that sounded like The Prodigy back in 2001. Maaan that shit went down like a lead balloon! Why!? because I was five years too late to catch the bigbeat wave, and five years too early to catch the nu rave buzz (and I wasted four years on that schtick!? awesome!) So let's hear it for The Trafalgars! You don't know it yet, but give them 5-10 and we'll be all over this again like flies to shit! :)
GALLEON (***1/2) myspace :: And speaking of all kinds of annoyingly "popular", here's the final surprise guest for tonight: Galleon. You may remember them as the artists formerly known as "Foreshore", you may've ran screaming from the mere mention of that name. Come to think of it I probably did too! But now they're a shiny new band! Galleon. Wow! Who knew they'd swap one ridiculously nautical sounding name for an even MORE ridiculously nautical sounding name!? Galleon. Yup, from face value alone you'd probably have them pegged as "Yacht Rock". The soothing soft cock sounds of the late 70's and early 80's (heeey!? did someone say Phil Collins!). The same easy listening schtick that pretty much makes you want to punch a hole in the wall anytime you hear Coldplay. Although granted Galleon do a bloody good job of it. They're the hammering guitars of Kisschasy, Bloc Party and Van She mixed up with all the embarassment of the Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20 and Maroon 5 that you would never admit to owning in your CD collection even if someone had a gun, cocked and pointed to your head (but you'll still catch yourself humming along to in spite of yourself). So catchy! So cheesy! So daggy! OOOOOH your mum's gonna love it! Even more disturbing is that with a sound like this, Galleon are almost guarenteed a ridiculous amount of high rotation on commercial radio stations nationwide, TV spots on Rove Live, Channel V and MTV and legions of screaming teenage girls! Yup, this is what being REALLY "popular" is all about! Yeeeeouch! If only they weren't so damn likeable this'd really start to piss me off!
So it's a little odd to find them playing here between 1AM and 2AM to a crowd of next to no one. Although, to all their credit Jive knew that this was the ONLY time they could get away with it without causing a firecode violation. Firstly to avoid all their "screaming fanbase" otherwise packing this joint out to pimple popping point and second from the rest of us wanting to torch the place to the ground if we EVER heard this shit sober. Yup, we all know this time of night ALL too well. It's the only time of night you'd ever be drunk and retarded enough to dance like a spastic to Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake or the Pussycat Dolls in some shittyarse indie club banging it for the sake of irony, and waaay too drunk to remember any of this shit come morning. Oh yes! and right now a band like Galleon have never sounded better! weeeeeeeeee! :)
2:20AM - And there we have it: probably the most fucked up lineup I've seen in months and yet this joint's gone and sold it out for another night running!? Wow, you freaks sure know how to throw a wild party! You even cured my hangover! Is there anything you can't do!?
So let's hear it for Jive! Here's to your ever increasing splendour serving the Adelaide music scene! Here's to all the awesome bands that have graced your live stage over the years! Here's to your spastically bright coloured walls, beer stained carpet, swirly vomit dancefloor and your awesome balcony seating! Here's to all your fluffy couches, foosball tables, rich velvety curtains, persian throw rugs, and your increasingly awesome lighting that makes my photos look ever so ridiculously badass! Here's to all your friendly bar staff (including that perpetually pissed off dude with the shaved skull who always looks like he wants to kill me.. you rock!). Here's to another five years! No fuckit, here's to another fifty! You're the best Jive! Anytime I'm not getting drunk at every other venue in Adelaide, I'd gladly get drunk in yours! :)