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...
FUSE FESTIVAL "EXPLODE" SHOWCASE 2010 LIVE @ RYMILL PARK / Wednesday February 24th 2010
So.. let's just set the scene here. In three words or less: I'm proper fucked. In many words more retardingly elaborate: duuude where do I even begin!? It's a Wednesday evening; that much I'm dimly aware of.. or perhaps it's 7:03PM, February the 24th, if I want to be REALLY accurate. I'm circling the drain, perhaps it's an actual drain, or perhaps it's a metaphorical one; either way it bears an all too uncanny resemblance to a bus stop near my house; only the horizon is spinning way too fast in an all too peculiar way. Hmmm yup, it's gotta be a drain alright! I've had all of four hours sleep, or maybe it's less.. seriously this is beginning to become a bad habit isn't it!? Maybe it's got something to do with me being up until 9:30 this morning frantically finishing off four days of photo editing, uploading and writing to get that last episode out before THIS one hit (damn you writer's block.. why now!?). Or maybe it's got something to do with me attempting to "sleep", in following, through the irrepressible whine of what could only be (a) an orbital sander working across the street, (b) a small CC motorbike doing burnouts, (c) a fuck off mosquito the size of a house brick thirsting for fresh blood, or (d) all three of the above involved in an horrific love tryst with a chainsaw inches from my bedroom window (or yeaaah maybe it's because I live for this shit until I swear it fucking kills me!?). OOOOH YEAH, "I'm proper fucked" alright! I mean I don't even know WHY I'm doing this again so soon. Every day another flood of invites hits my facebook square in the nuts; it makes my eyes water just looking at them all. I try knocking them back, I really do! I blew off Brian Jonestown Massacre last night (everyone was asking me "DUUUDE, WHERE WERE YOU!?"). I'm blowing off Polyphonic Spree tonight, all I ask for is eight hours sleep I swear! And yet in February, in Adelaide, such a thing clearly DOES NOT EXIST. For all the "maybe's" and flat out "no's" I can throw out there, sooner or later I have to answer ONE with an emphatic "yes".. and so here I sit, laughing hysterically, waiting for my ferryman across the river Styx, awaiting my grisly fate. I mean suuure it may LOOK like a regular bus stop.. but trust me, looks can be deceiving!
8:04PM - *Sigh* and so here I am an hour later, after wolfing down a particularly lethal dose of Kentucky Fried Mouse in Rundle Mall (YIPEEE!!), arriving at the ONE insane offer I couldn't possibly refuse tonight.. The Fuse Festival: a music industry conference and showcase festival, or more specifically their opening night "Explode" extravaganza featuring thirteen of the finest "export ready" live acts Adelaide and Australia has to offer, spread across two stages and five hours in Rymill Park. And yup, that teeny tiny "popping" sound you're hearing right about now IS in fact my brain exploding (or at the very least "pounding" a particularly nasty headache) in the vain attempt to come to grips with this insanity. I know, I really DO dig the deepest holes for myself don't I?
To explain for all of you peeps otherwise unaware, The Fuse Festival is a three day industry event fashioned in a similar style to Austin's infamous "South By South West" Festival, only on a slightly smaller scale. The first two nights are devoted to live shows: tonight's Explode showcase being the first, Thursday night's "Ignition" showcase (featuring over seventy live acts spread across twenty venues) being the second, while the third is devoted to a series of keynote addresses, panel discussions, round table discussions and networking events all hosted at Nova Cinema in Rundle Street. Or in other words? yeaaah simply think of it as the indie equivalent of selling yourself in front of all those judges on Australian Idol during audition and "dying a little inside", or rather like being featured on THIS fucked up blog (tee hee!) only on a much more disturbing level. Yup we're talking the "business" end of the music industry here, we're talking silent judgement on the basis of "name branding", "image" and "marketability", we're talking hoards of jetlagged VIPs roaming Rymill Park, bearing invisible clipboards, wearing frowny faces, representing record labels, touring promoters, PR and A&R, and wondering out loud whether YOUR pissy little band is "worth taking the risk" (which despite what your mum always tells you.. it most certaintly ain't). Yup if ever you've played a show at Jive that fell a few shy of "selling out", if ever you've run foul of a band manager, if ever you've run screaming from a Top 40 chart in abject horror, then you know just what I'm talking about here. Suuure it's a meat market, sure the crowd's about as judgemental as they come (or rather like The Ed Castle beer garden on a Saturday night.. YEAAAS!!) but without all THIS? most of what YOU steal in bittorrents each week simply wouldn't exist. So as much as it may be "evil" it's a NECESSARY evil; and also as a damn nifty place to discover new music.. which is obviously the one and ONLY reason I'm mad enough to front up to this hell in the first place.
Speaking of such, before we dive right into the "deep end" here, a brief word on the setup. In essence there's two stages, but they're two stages that run in tag-team to each other: the moment one finishes, the next one is already up and running. So short of perhaps a few "fifteen minute breaks" (and the occassional introduction by MC Claire Knight), it's pretty much a nonstop barrage of live music, and me rushing about like a fucking madman to cover it all. Awesome! On top of that, each band gets maybe five songs (at best) to showcase their shit, there's a honking big "cheesegrater" in front of each stage (for a photo pit which obviously I didn't think to scam accreditation for.. DAMNIT!), it's an all-ages show (so throw in a veritable "obstacle course" of ankle biters too), the stage lighting is at best "cheerfully erratic" and at worst a mad string of expletives I dare not repeat here; and all in all we end up with one of my "favourite" shooting scenarios outside of MTV Kickstart at Rocket Bar back in 2008 (dear gawd!). Oh and did I also mention I've had all of four hours sleep too? oh yeaaah, this shit's SO gonna end well isn't it!?
THE BEARDS (***) myspace :: Which brings us to our opening act, or at least it would've been if I'd arrived here half an hour earlier. Ooops! And so regrettably I've already missed out on our first reggae act Kingfisha (and quite rightly so as I'm told they're nothing short of a skull fuckingly supreme) and missed out on our second act Jimblah: or more accurately ignored for the past fifteen minutes, as it was just the one guy cranking out yet another blah di blah hiphop jam (and it's not like we haven't heard THAT a billion times before from Triple J last year.. DAMN YOU, SCOTT DOOLEY!!). And so instead I find myself here facing off against act three: The Beards. Now obviously EVERYONE who's ever read this blog before (or fuck it, possesses anything above a third grade reading level) knows what The Beards are all about, and even if they don't.. duuude it's says so in their fucking title! They're The Beards. They write and perform songs about beards. They're a one joke band. They're a one joke band that only gets funnier and funnier with every retelling (no shit they're freaking hilarious!). And by "joke" I clearly mean their ever "growing" fanbase, quite like the hirsute equivalent of a Grateful Dead concert (and no less terrifying) chanting their name like the second coming of Zombie Jebus (or possibly even Jerry Garcia). No shit, it's what gives them their strength bordering on biblical proportions, it's what makes them a fierce folicle force to be reckoned with. For The Beards demand nothing less than full blown fanatical devotion, they won't leave until every one of us is singing along and growing a beard of our very own. Which would be all kinds of ridiculously awesome to witness in every OTHER scenario, than the one they're finding themselves in tonight. Ouch! No don't get me wrong, this wasn't a bad performance per se (even if it was all too short), it's just that they were dealing with an exceptionally TOUGH crowd that wasn't giving much back. And with a band like this where it's all about audience participation, where it's all about an atmosphere "bristling" with static electricity? it's like they're head butting a brick wall. Suuure the songs as always were delivered with the same evangelical zeal they're known for: "Baby's Got A Beard", "Beards Across Australia" and their ultimate classic "If Your Dad Hasn't Got A Beard, You Got Two Mums". And they did win a few chuckles, one knowing glance from a photog out front stroking his own luxurious beard, and some polite applause.. but still it was painful to watch. With their brief twenty minute set done with they dutifully shuffled off stage, only for their bass player Nathanial Beard to be stopped dead in his tracks by some random frowny faced VIP in his mid forties: "Hey where are you from!?". "Adelaide". "Where are you playing next?". "Check out our website at thebeards.com.au, it gives you our full listing". "Yeah!? WELL YOU SHOULD'VE TOLD US THAT DURING THE SHOW.. SHOULDN'T YOU!!". Only for Nathaniel to blurt out an apologetic retort and storm off stage *cough* I know, huh? it's like I was witness to an overbearing parent chastising a child for the ONE THING they "screwed up" in an otherwise rock solid performance.. and to think we can expect a whole lot more of this open "hostility" as the night wears on? Awesome!
MAYFIELD (***1/2) myspace :: Following up on the smaller stage we were treated to a teeny tiny set by Laura Hill & The Tuesday Bandits. In brief, if you can picture them as an easy to please, cafe latte mix between The Audreys, Norah Jones and the soundtrack to Dawson's Creek (aaaahahahaha.. wait did I even say that!?) with a slight hillbilly country twang, you wouldn't be far off. Still before I could even think of wandering over to get any photos (or better yet provide you with a more comprehensive review that'd make them sound infinitely better than just a cheap punchline in this blog *cough*) it was already over, at which point our fifth act immediately leapt to the stage. Yup this is Mayfield, this is their first live show in Adelaide for 2010, and by the looks of their extensive ten month touring schedule through Europe: this is very likely their LAST show for 2010 too. Fuck, I know! Apparently they're big in Germany (and no.. I'm not even kidding either) which leaves me once again in the regrettable position of witnessing an otherwise shit hot live act, in comparatively unforgiving surrounding. Hmmm.. and I believe we're beginning to see a trend here. Yup for those of you otherwise unacquainted (ie: if their lead singer Ziggy West's meaty approximation of Kurt Cobain isn't enough of a bleedingly obvious clue) think of Mayfield as Nirvana's "Bleach" cross polinated with a teeny bit of Alice In Chains "Dirt". They're grunge as fuck, fuck full of meaty guitar riffs, quiet / loud screaming vocals in the heavier songs, and all manner of alienating angst in the noodling "ballads". They're also undoubtfully a cliche, one straight out of the early 90's Seattle rulebook (especially in how their opening number "The New Black" so closely resembles Nirvana's "Negative Creep"), but damnit they do it SO FREAKING WELL you can almost forgive them for it. As always they give it their all on stage tonight: Ziggy punctures a lung or two, Sam Knight on drums almost does likewise belting the bejebus out of the skins, while Jett Hicks on bass pulls all manner of hilarious emo shapes in between, and without a doubt they sell it as nothing but 100% fuck off genuine. Still, without their accompanying mosh pit climbing the walls (and their infamous baboon chorus to boot), most of the REAL impact here is lost on this crowd.. even if they do start to draw a small following in the end. And then just like that, four songs and twenty minutes later they're off again!? Awesome.. guess we'll see them all again in 2010 huh? *YAWN* so who's next then!?
FOXX ON FIRE (***) myspace :: Our answer dutifully arrives (after a short fifteen minute break) in the form of THIS band: Foxx On Fire from Melbourne. I'd seen them once before, late last year at The Ed Castle to be precise. And thanks to the fanatical presence of one beserker no neck Klingon (aka: super fan) shadow boxing, dropping to the floor pulling pushups, and otherwise punching the air screaming along hysterically to every one of their songs.. yeaaah they were kinda hard to forget. Unfortunately there's no sign of him tonight (I mean no shit.. wouldn't he be JUST what this sadsack "industry" event sorely needs!?) but their signature sound that inspired all that madness is still as infectious as always. Think of them as an archetypal indie disco act, only before you collectively roll your eyes at me (I know.. I'm usually one of them!), think of them as everything GOOD you used to remember about that shit before all those other hilarious Adelaide "jock rock" bands like The Touch (and their many diabolical disciples) totally fucked it up for the rest of us. Think of The Rapture: especially all the shrieking cacophony found in "House Of Jealous Lovers" laced with a liberal dose of "Pieces Of The People We Love", think of that smooth smooth summery subtropical cruise ship feel with a jamming four on the floor; maybe this makes them "yacht disco" in that respect (aaahahahaha!), but it's certaintly not a BAD thing. Throw in a few other equal minded influences in everything from The Happy Mondays, !!!, to Primal Scream "Screamadelica" and some seriously solid songwriting for nailing that blissed out "Madchester" groove, time and time again, and you've got a killer combination for flooding just about any fashion tragic dancefloor in next to no time. Which is why, like all the other bands before them tonight, it's altogether funny to see them playing to THIS ambivalent crowd: many of whom in a concert of furrowed brows, arms crossed, checking their invisible clipboards rather than responding to it. Awesome! Still the band gives it their all (I mean hell they ARE being silently judged afterall) with their keyboardist especially, one Edward "Shitcrazy" Housden, doing his utmost short of flagellating himself retarded in effort to whip everyone into a frenzy (which is obviously easier said than done). Still, slowly but surely they DO draw a small following swaying up front, they pull out their stock standard puppet prank in response (which you may remember if you saw that Ed Castle gig) where they tell everyone to "get down" (quite literally) by sitting on the floor (which eventually everyone begrudgingly complies with) only to raise everyone up again (and no.. it didn't quite work out as rapturously as they imagined it) and all in all it isn't a total disaster. Still could you imagine if they cranked this shit at Parklife!? duuude it'd be a fucking riot! Yup that's Foxx On Fire "dying a little inside" tonight. They've got the right vibe, no doubt about it, but it's gonna take a whole lot more to thaw out THIS icey industry crowd!
THE MEDICS (****) myspace :: Which brings us to our seventh act, who are bearing the full brunt of this unholy judgement upon them when they arrive on the small stage.. and duuude it shows! They're nervous as all hell, they look for all the world like they'd rather curl up in a ball and die (especially that second guitarist who's all but disappearing to the left of me.. DAMN THAT STAGE LIGHTING!!), and better yet they're suffering all manner of "technical issues" threatening to cut their fifteen minutes short!? Yup this is The Medics, they're from Cairns (which they helpfully inform us is "two thousand and seven hundred miles away.. it says so on Google Maps!") and they're undoubtfully one of THE surprise "fuck off awesome" discoveries of the night. No shit! In that utterly unassuming introverted kind of way (almost painfully so), they channel all the face melting wonder of Jeff Buckley's "Grace" in the vocals, Radiohead's "The Bends" in the guitars; so much so they remind you of that closing song "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" in the best way possible (and that's saying something!) with perhaps a little bit of At The Drive-In thrown in for good measure (ie: for all the "frenetic" emotional bits). Or in other words everything about them, from the hopelessly forlorn expression of their singer weeping into his acoustic, to their sad sack symphony in instrumental accompaniment veritably screams MELANCHOLY. Which perhaps comes off a little bit "goofy" in delivery, simply because they look for all the world like a Tame Impala cover band from the sunny beaches of Hawaii and NOT the kind of likely louts you see crawling out of the industrial wasteland of Manchester, circa 1979.. but in impact they're no less harrowing, haunting and downright mesmerising. They play all of three songs but they immediately win everyone over. A small huddle of ankle biters (surely no older than twelve) cling to the cheesegrater in front of them utterly lost to the sound, beaming with smiles, while the rest of the crowd here hushes in awed silence. It's a magical moment, not at all ruined by the fact that next to every one of their songs is making the speakers distort, and yes it's over all too soon. DAMN! Yup, this right here is EVERY REASON why I dragged myself out of the house tonight, this is what makes it all worthwhile. The Medics, go see them: they'll totally nail your innards to the ceiling and drop your eyes rattling to the floor. And with any luck (or in other words: if any of THESE "black hearted" industry types take any notice?) then they'll surely go far!
JIMMY & THE MIRRORS (***) myspace :: For some utterly inexplicable reason the organisers here decided to follow up The Medics with a slamming hiphop act. "Pfft.. WHAT!?". I know! Apparently he's called Delta (if anyone's interested in looking that shit up) he's from Adelaide, he's playing the big stage, he's worked with The Dap-Kings (I've only heard the name.. but they seem important!) and supported the likes of Grandmaster Flash, KRS One, Run DMC, Kool Keith, Jurassic 5, Cut Chemist and Z-Trip (or y'know, all the greats). But since his entire set is essentially him reviewing HIMSELF, telling everyone in rhyme just how fuck off BRILLIANT he is? yeaaah it feels kinda pointless repeating it to you all now (cause hell, why would I ever disagree!?). So fuck it.. if you like phat beats, deep bass, and a shitload of shouty rhymes? then totally look that shit up. As for me!? I really couldn't care less (as obviously Aussie hiphop is the LAST thing I'd ever be accused of being a fan of). Which leaves me then with our ninth act on the small stage: Jimmy & The Mirrors. Now in all the time I've seen these idiots live, I swear I've never been able to quite figured them out. In sound they're a howling dog's breakfast of 70's to 80's Australian rock acts like Skyhooks, The Hoodoo Gurus and Mental As Anything with a generous dose of The Kooks thrown in for good measure; that much I'm certain of. Only imagine it all being spat out simultaneously IN THE SAME SONG at a million miles per hour. It's end to end shouty verses mixed up with shouty choruses, guitars and keys flying off the walls like pingpong balls, a smashing four on the floor rhythm section that totally makes your head spin, and it's me not having a single fucking clue when one song starts and another song finishes (in fact I'm not even sure if that video I shot tonight is the one song, half a song, or three of them all at once). Throw into that dizzying mix their dyslexic "fashion sense", which is slowly but surely being overtaken by their shitcrazy predilection for multicoloured warpaint, and then let loose an epilectic strobe light to boot and the end result is rather akin to throwing your enfeebled brain into a high powered blender, smashing the "on" button with your fist, only to forget you're meant to put a lid on it, only for everything to end up all over your face or on the ceiling. DUUUDE!! Still as much as I don't get it? (and believe me I've tried), girls go FUCKING MENTAL for it. I mean it's like Beatlemania in here. They're a shrill shrieking orchestra flapping all their bits about, they're loving every damn minute of it.. oh and did I also mention I've only had all of four hours sleep!? oh I'm totally feeling that now, it's beating my skull in concave.. GET ME THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!! *cough* still with all that being said, I readily admit they do a damn good job at what they do. I don't know what that IS exactly (and most of their "judges" here are equally as baffled) but they're definitely making their impact felt all the same. Jimmy & The Mirrors. They're a shock and awe tactic in every sense beyond retarded, but if you're that chance percentile who possesses both X chromosomes, both "blonde" genes, and you love to party? THIS is the "party band" for you!
And just in case anyone has any lingering doubts over just WHO this band is appealing to (I mean really!?), they had one more hilarious "shock and awe" tactic in store for us. And by "us" I clearly mean that estrogen shitstorm exploding around me like there's no tomorrow (kill me.. kill me now!). Yup moments into their last song, a pack of underwear models bum rush the stage wearing little more than matching "Jimmy & The Mirror" underpants, proceed to "Chippendale" up a storm, and then all hell breaks loose in the crowd screaming for more. And as much as I'm cupping my sorry head in my hands and cursing profusely, I KNOW I just I have to take photos of it all just so I can make fun of it on this blog.. "DAMN YOU JIMMY & THE MIRRORS, DAMN YOUUU TO HELL!". So whad'ya reckon? would you sign a band after a stunt like this!? Yeaaah I thought so too: and that right there is every reason I swear WHY this "music" industry's going straight down the toilet!
THE PAPER SCISSORS (***) myspace :: Which brings us (through no logical segue whatsoever) to THIS our tenth act. Yup this is The Paper Scissors, they're a band from Sydney, and they're a band I know next to nothing about despite the fact I SHOULD know a whole lot of "something" about them: thanks firstly to a song of theirs "We Don't Walk" being high rotated to the point of a screaming aneurysm by Triple J back in 2006 (hell I've even got it on my ipod.. go figure!?), secondly for all the shitcrazy superlatives they've received ever since they last toured Adelaide back in.. fuck I dunno? July 2009!? and yes obviously I wasn't THERE at the time (I think they were at Jive and I was at The Ed Castle) but I've long since heard ALL about what I'd missed, and THIRDLY for the fact I could've sworn I'd seen their drummer Ivan Charles Lisyak before, like say filling in for Philadelphia Grand Jury back in May (maaan that dude was hilarious!). Either way, as far as first impressions go, they actually make for quite a good one here (excusing the fact they played for all of twenty minutes.. DAMNIT!!). In a nutshell I like to think of them as Blur's "Song 2", only made into a fully fledged band. And as much as they don't quite share Damon Albarn's distinctively "cockney" delivery (as obviously Jai Daniel Pine has a peculiar "shrieking cadance" all to his own.. and painfully so!) they still share a lot of that same gunning, verging on punk "pop" energy; only broadened into a full scope of erratic arty expression. Think garage rock wraught high strung, rife with punk intensity, with a minimalist twinge of angular "indie" to round it all out. They also share a good deal in common with Philadelphia Grand Jury too, only minus all the unabashed goofiness; as from all the intense stares of Jai, Ivan and bass player Xavier Naughton tonight they're nothing but dead serious. Next to every song of theirs is ripped through in the space of three minutes flat. It's a shrieking kinetic mess of lyrics, yelps, shredding guitars, dirty distorted basslines and drilling beats. It's punchy as fuck and all kinds of rough around the edges. And then before you know it, they're flying off the stage again? Yup that's The Paper Scissors in one, blink and you'll miss them (especially with this crowd), but I dare say from what little I got here.. I'd damn curious to sample me some more!
THE SWISS (***1/2) myspace :: When it comes to seeing our eleventh act here on stage tonight, I've gotta ask you "what the FUCK are they doing here?" (and at a freaking "showcase" event of all things!?) "NO REALLY, I ASK YOU.. WHY!?". Now don't get me wrong, I'm not dissing their shit in ANY way, they're brilliant at what they do (they really are!) it's just that they aren't exactly a "secret" to anyone anymore. I mean seriously who are we KIDDING here!? They've already signed onto Modular late last year (congratulations by the way.. it was LONG overdue!), they've played Laneway Festival THIS year, their song "Bubble Bath" off their upcoming EP of the same name (which is awesome by the way) has been receiving regular high rotation airplay all over Triple J for the past few months, their bassplayer Surahn Sidhu just made a Friday afternoon guest DJ appearance on the SAME radio station with Vijay Khurana after flying in from LA ferfucksake (damn that was hell trippy to wake up to too!) and both him and Tony Mitolo their drummer are already touring the world with Empire Of The Sun as Luke Steele's backing band (no really check out the Aria Awards red carpet photos.. it's freaking hilarious!). I mean shit duuude.. WHAT MORE INDUSTRY EXPOSURE DO THESE GUYS FREAKING NEED!? FUUUCK!! And to add more "insult to injury" here!? (aaahahahaha I know.. I'm really laying it on thick here aren't I?) they're also the first band of the night to absolutely flood this joint with screaming fans. I shit you not. It's like Rocket Bar, Electric Circus, The Ed Castle aaand Sugar all joined forces for some serious floor fucking, and I swear it was almost impossible to fight my way through this throng to photograph this band out front; and when I did!? oh maaan it was hilarious (and I swear this happened too): some "douchebag" metrosexual proceeds to use me like a stripper pole, pulling all sorts of perverse moves.. simply because, as his girlfriend explained to me later, "I'd taken their place". OH YEAH, they're clearly complete fucking unknowns, and NOBODY HAS EVER HEARD OF THEM BEFORE!! *cough* Still for the benefit of all you nitwits who've otherwise been living under a rock for the past six months, here's a brief rundown. The Swiss are from Adelaide, they're a band that formed waaay back in 2002. Two members: Sid and Tony, used to be in Morals Of A Minor (where I was first introduced to them). They play "indie disco", only think of it more as authentically retro disco, or more specifically "italo disco".. now I'm not altogether certain what that is: except I read it up once, and apparently it's what the Europeans picked up on in the mid 80's after disco died out in the USA, they threw in a shitload of synths and vocoders (to make it purely electronic), in many ways it formed the predecessor to the Chicago house music explosion of the late 80's / early 90's.. oh and countless hipster fashionistas have been obssessing over it ever since. Yup that's The Swiss and then some! And thanks to the rubberband dynamic between Sid on bass, popping and locking with the hummingbird speed Tony on drums (quite possibly the BEST Adelaide drummer who's almost never in Adelaide), combined with Luke Godson's easy going astronaut grooves on synth and vocoder they forge a blissfully spaced out jam that's damn near impossible NOT to bug out too (which of course many people do). Everyone already knows this of course, they're laughing it up for all the time they're on stage, and they really don't need to prove ANYTHING to anyone anymore, but hey it's nice that they're still "slumming it" with us anyways (pfft.. you show offs!). The Swiss. Go see them sometime, go buy their new EP, because let's face it duuude, they clearly "need" ALL the support they can get!
THE KILLGIRLS (****) myspace :: On the flipside however there's THIS band, our twelfth act, and one of Adelaide's best kept secrets who truly DO deserve all the industry exposure they can get tonight (and then some), despite the fact they've already played to well over 80,000 screaming fans at The Fringe Opening Night Party a little under a week ago (WHOAAA FUCK!!), as surprisingly they've been all too elusive in the Adelaide scene of late, ie: ever since their triumphant launch party at Queen's Theatre waaay back in May 2009 (oh and the riotous fun we had too!). And by "elusive" I clearly mean they haven't been appearing in nearly enough ridiculous episodes of THIS blog, because clearly THAT'S HOW STUPENDOUSLY LARGE MY EGO IS AAAAHAHAhAhAHA!! *ahem*. Yup let's face it The Killgirls are a band that's truly impossible to ignore, I'm awfully embarassed I haven't seen them in well over nine months (NINE MONTHS!?) and I dare say I miss them terribly. WHY!? Because like few others "local bands" in Adelaide scene they TRULY command the stage. And not just through Mario Spate their lead singer and his hilarious take on Brian Molko meets Gerard Way meets Christina Ricci's hissy fit "stage persona" (he's ever so "theatrical" dont'cha know!) but more so in the unassuming way his band brings their psychotic presence the fore. It's a lethal combination: Rusty Huchinson stabbing away at his guitar, Nick O'Connor tweaking out on his bass, Tony Irish butchering the drums, Adam Hood lurking in the shadows on his growling synths, Mario screaming up front; there's just no denying them. Midway between the fuck off ferocity of Nine Inch Nails and the dancefloor intensity of the Klaxons mixed with The Presets, there's only ONE way to respond to them: blood on the walls, bodies to the floor, teeth and claw marks on the ceiling.. DUUUDE!! And here tonight, even in the shrinkingly short confines of their fifteen minute set (hidden away on the smallest stage too like it's almost an insult) they still make their unholy presence felt like a giant punching fist, punching deep into your chest, yanking out your heart, still beating, and making twisty balloon animals out of it.. WAHOOO!! And better yet, short of "Under Pressure" and their closing number "Set Yourself On Fire" the rest of their songs also appear to be brand new (which is good news for anyone hoping for a second EP.. or dare I say it an album!?): one of which proving particularly memorable, as it presents this diabolical synth attack, growling ever loader through the speakers like an intestinal exorcism, in quite the way you'd expect the Death Star to sound everytime Darth Vader lets rip with a monster fart. Yup it appears time truly hasn't mellowed them, it's only making them ever angrier, and it only makes me dig their shit more. The Killgirls. It's been a LOOONG time, but with any luck? we'll hopefully see a whole lot MORE of them in 2010!
HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY (**1/2) myspace :: Which at long last brings us to our thirteenth and final act (THANK FUCK.. I THOUGHT THIS SHIT WOULD NEVER END!!) and also what some could arguably consider to be the "safest" pick of the bunch. For if ever there was a sure bet for any jaded industry type to sign up on for immediate distribution, promotion and public exposure it would be THIS band. They're Hungry Kids Of Hungary, they're from Brisbane, and they make just the kind of inoffensive, easy to please, "indie" wallpaper pop music that even your mum, or I dare say it.. even your grandmother would simply adore. In closest approximation they very much remind me of Yves Klein Blue, only minus all the eccentricities. Or very much like Vampire Weekend without all those "wacky" African bits. Or come to think of it very much like Vampire Weekend without all the personality (no wait.. I totally didn't say that did I? AAAAHAHAhAHaHAhA!!). Or better yet simply think of all the edginess of say Paul McCartney (no wait he totally came up with "Helter Skelter" and that shit's nothing short of evil incarnate!). Or what about Chris Martin? or maybe even Cliff Richard!? OOOOH, NOW WE'RE TALKING!! Yup to put it mildly (and "mildly" is clearly too strong a word here), Hungry Kids Of Hungary are as vanilla as they come, in fact they're SO vanilla they're practically clear. Think of them as ridiculously preppie and whimsically rife with 1950's goodtime innocence. Think of them as songs about twee courtship, tentatively holding hands, and saying things like "hey you're ever so neat, you're ever so swell, I'd really like you to be my boo!" at the school dance. AWWW CHUCKS!! And yes they absolutely bore me to tears, but hey that's just me.. and what would I know!? I'M A FUCKING LOON!! I'M COMPLETELY FUCKING INSANE!! Because I tell you what maaan.. the girls here, OOOOH THE GIRLS they absolutely a flutter, they love them to bits! And the guys? yeaaah they're simply here in droves tonight because THIS is where girls are at. It's a vicious cycle I know, and it's one of the many reasons why I'd punch Ben Lee in the throat if ever I saw him walk down the street: "NO YOU PENCIL NECK SHIT, I'M NOT CATCHING YOUR FUCKING DISEASE!! " but clearly I'm getting ahead of myself here. Hungry Kids Of Hungary are awesome song writers, no seriously they TRULY are! Nobody else comes up with sugary light ditties, nifty little pop ballads, and "bitter sweet" tales about how all that "puppy love" went so horribly wrong (because maybe they did something horribly wrong WITH a puppy) quite like they do! Now obviously I'm not getting it, but it's nice to know that other people (quite possibly more well adjusted than I) DO, and they're here in droves tonight singing along, beaming with smiles! So.. as much as I'D rather gouge both my eyes out screaming than listen to this shit? I still begrudgingly accept that YES they're good at what they do and I'll totally respect them for it. Hungry Kids Of Hungary. If ever there was proof Satan exists and is walking the Earth.. you're totally looking at them right now. FEAAAR THE BEAST!!
12:32AM - Yeah ok clearly I've lost it, we all saw it, and it wasn't pretty. I mean just YOU try reviewing nine fucking bands in one fucking night, at an industry fucking showcase, with all of four fucking hours sleep behind you.. AND SEE HOW YOU FUCKING HANDLE IT!! FUUUCK!! And yes to be fair if I saw any of the above acts anywhere else (on any other night), I'd likely be lumping praise on them, and not be standing like I was, half an hour earlier at Rymill Park with a pounding SKULL FUCKING headache, as Hungry Kids Of Hungary had to leave the stage "early" to much booing and hissing: because it was midnight, it was an all-ages event, and everyone had to go home. HA!! Now of course I could've just done likewise, I mean why torture myself ANY further? But then again.. why leave this night on such a sour note? why not seek the sweet sweet "curative powers" of a pale ale, a few laughs and a late night laughing it up retarded with my chosen family of freaks and loveable fuckups!? Which is why, quite against all medical advice, I headed to Producers Bar to see what mischief and malarky I could find. YEAAAS, HERE'S TO NEVER GOING HOME ANGRY!!
12:38AM - Now some of you may be wondering: "why THIS shit hole all of a sudden!?". I mean I get it Producers Bar is a bit of an odd choice, it's not one of my usual haunts (it sure as shit ain't Supermild), in fact I don't think I've ever been here ever since that wacky Fuse Festival showcase they threw here last year (aaaah and the hilarious hijinx we got upto to!) but of course I had my valid reasons and my valid reasons were obviously FREE BEER. Turns out, hours earlier I'd scammed myself a "gold pass" to Mayfield's VIP After Party from Jett Hicks their bass player (what a freaking legend!), there was promise of a bar tab, which believe me I was more than happy to exploit, even if it meant mooching with THESE monkeys.. only to realise when I finally DID arrive at said party: said "bar tab" had long since run out, and most of the party along with it. Awesome!
12:59AM - Instead of simply heading straight home after all that (OW!! my screaming cranium!) I ended up here at The Exeter instead. My logic being: if I indeed have the WORLD'S WORST HEADACHE threatening to burst free out of my skull like an enraged acid spitting xenomorph, then only the sweet amber antidote THIS place provides could possibly satiate it. Hmmm now if only I could find a fully qualified nursing staff (read: psychatric) to administer such an assinine cure?
1:05AM - Whoaaa shit.. they arrived a lot quicker than I expected!
Yup, this is Jeremy Lake and Jon Wignall who you may otherwise recognise from The Keepsakes and 20th Century Graduates, and some other random chick who for the life of me I can't remember the name of (no really, who the HELL is she again!?). Oh and as for why they're here at The Exeter on a Wednesday night, OR why they're wearing indian headdresses!? Well as much as it'd be freakin hilarious NOT to explain this one: turns out they attended that wacky Polyphonic Spree show I otherwise blew off tonight (I know, and I'd totally be kicking myself in too if I knew anything about that band beyond all those shitcrazy multicoloured robes they wear) and they were in a mad mood to celebrate. Which obviously matters little to me right now, beyond the simple fact they provide an excellent backdrop for some serious binge drinking: if only to drown out the unholy sound my retinas are making right now, witnessing all this malarky explode around me.
Case in point: check out whatsherface's totally batshit insane outfit here! Notice how it all matches and everything? Isn't that the best fucking thing you've ever seen!? DOESN'T IT MAKE YOUR EYES BLEED WEEPING RAINBOWS OF PURE JOY!! I know mine sure as shit do. Hey I know, let's take like a billion photos of her pimping all this mad shit till she develops a psychiatric disorder.. YEAAAS!!
Ooop there we go. Time for me to get another beer? yeaaah.. I'm just gonna do that now *cough*
1:34AM - And so it was here that I stayed, drinking myself deleriously "blind" until all this looked perfectly normal to me; like say THIS photo for instance. What? isn't this how everyone smokes their cigarette? through Jon Wignall's belly button!? you mean THEY DON'T!? pfft.. I laugh at you!
And of course no shitcrazy montage would ever be complete without me getting in on the action. Would you believe my headache's totally gone, and along with it most of my higher brain function? and now I can't remember a clue of what the fuck I did for the past five hours!? Awesome huh!?
1:56AM - But of course, just like any other night at The Exeter, we're soon sent scurrying for the exit, when we venture inside for our sixth trip to the bar, only to stumble into THESE two idiots instead. I'll let you make up your own mind WHO provided the most violent "allergic response".
2:25AM - Instead of heading home after all that (since let's face it I'm way too retardingly drunk for THAT now) we figured we'd hit The Crown & Anchor instead.. because clearly nothing bad has EVER come from The Crown & Anchor. No really, why are you looking at me like that!? I swear it's true, I FREAKING LOVE THIS JOINT.. it's the best damn "human toilet" in all the Adelaide CBD!
2:38AM - A few quiet games of pool followed, of which none of us proved to be ANY good at, completely unrelated to the fact we were obviously blind drunk at the time (for as we all know, that's how ALL the professionals snooker players prepare for their tournaments in the UK.. fact!).
And here's me taking a shot of Tom Krieg from The Battery Kids from a slightly different angle because apparently, everytime I'm pissed out of my eyesockets I always foolishly believe I'm a shit hot "photojournalist". No really, how'd you think I got into this mess in the FIRST PLACE!?
2:55AM - Speaking of such, here's a quick roundup of some of the colourful characters you're likely to meet at The Crown & Anchor on a Wednesday night (only to bury their lifeless bodies in the dumpster out back.. tee hee!). Like these hilariously skeezeheads for example: both apparently from The Notorious Daughters (the one on the right you may also recognise as Michael Turner from The Baron), a band which for the life of me I've never seen live and barely heard a wink about edgewise, save for Mike on the right constantly badgering me to feature them here on this blog. Because as we all know that ALWAYS works out for the best for EVERYONE involved!
And here's DJ Trip: resident frisbee spinner on a Wednesday night, who's appearing in this blog for no other good reason than he was just spinning a selection off of Fuck Button's "Street Horrrsing" a moment ago.. which I think we can all agree is the most ridiculously badass thing ever. No shit!
3:03AM - At some point, not at all coincidental to The Crown & Anchor closing up: it finally occurs to us that it's actually a Wednesday night. I mean it's not a major concern per se, just a teeny tiny observation that totally blew our minds. And as much as any of us SHOULD have gone home once made aware of such a thing (and especially me.. who's somehow forgotten I've had ALL OF FOUR HOURS SLEEP) if this photo is any indication? yeaaah we CLEARLY didn't give a shit either way.
3:06AM - Which is obviously why we ended up at Sugar instead..
3:08AM - Now I don't know about you but it's been a while since I've last been at Sugar, at least from what I recall; and hell I DO like to drink a lot. So correct me if I'm wrong here, but is it customary practice for EVERYONE to be given a complimentary mystery shot of whatever-the-fuck by some "random guy" the minute they walk in through the front door? or um.. is that just me!?
Case in point: here's two people who've clearly been enjoying more than their fair share of "mystery shots" and every reason to ask myself: "no really.. WHY aren't I here more often!?".
And utterly unrelated to any above argument, here's the club DJ who appears ridiculously overjoyed to see us flooding this venue all of a sudden, well past three o'clock on a Wednesday.. WOOOO!!
3:26AM - And for those of you out there thinking there's no way in hell this night could get ANY more utterly batshit insane? here's clear evidence that emphatically proves otherwise: as quite by "accident" we happen to stumble upon Tim DeLaughter, lead singer for the Polyphonic Spree, enjoying a few quiet "mystery shots" at the bar. I KNOW! And if I totally knew who he was, I'd totally be blown away by this too.. which is obviously what Jeremy here is experiencing right now..
Or at least he DID until I snuck my own head in for a photo too.. SCORE!!
4:21AM - And so here we are, a little under an hour later outside Sugar, half considering whether I should keep on drinking or whether I should catch one of these passing "hearses" to the "funeral home" for my own "swift burial". I mean suuure they LOOK like taxis.. but looks can be deceiving.
Yup it's official.. I'm dead, I'm long gone, I'm communicating this entire blog through ouija board and spirit mediums and aaany minute now a travelling cabal of voodoo priests are going slip on by my six feet of dirt, and they're gonna reanimate my still twitching corpse, and they're gonna send me out into battle again.. WHY!? Because as insane as it all sounds? this right here is only the BEGINNING maaan! This is only part one of FIVE fucked up festive misadventures this "weekend" has in store for me, and it's all downhill from here.. WHOAAA FUCK!! Yup may Zombie Jebus and his minions have mercy on our spleens: because by the time we're through duuude? (and this may take more than two weeks to relate in full) this city's gonna need a whole new street directory!