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...
DANCE TIL YOU CAN'T SAY YEAH! + FRIENDS LIVE @ THE ED CASTLE + THE EXETER / Saturday March 27th 2010
Every night out I have a plan. And every night it's the SAME plan: to get drunk. And every night out when I'm getting drunk? I also like to invite along as many of my friends as possible so they too can get drunk. I like to think this is me being "sociable", which is real swell because I like being sociable almost as much as I like being drunk; and being drunk is how I met most of my myspace and facebook friends (hi everyone!) and as we all know they're THE BEST KIND OF FRIENDS to get drunk with.. FUCK YEAAAH!! You see how this plan works SO brilliantly? Of course you do! you likely have the same plan too, getting drunk is awesome! However unlike many of you I also have a live music blog to feed. It's anyone's guess how I ended up with one (although likely I was drunk at the time) but over the years it's somehow accumilated a "following" of well over a thousand people (and that's every week!? SHIT DAAAMN!) which I readily admit is really weird, especially considering they're all just reading about me getting drunk. Hmmm. Now obviously I'm not going to change my plan anytime too soon, FUCK NO!! since hey I really DO like getting drunk (wait.. did I establish that already?) but I also realise that I need to keep all of you people "wildly" entertained in doing so. And so every night I've devised a different "itinerary" cleverly disguised as a "witty narrative on the Adelaide music scene" in effort to disguise the fact. Sometimes they get quite overly elaborate too. Take tonight for instance. A few months ago I'd "planned" (and I use the term loosely) to go see some live bands at Jive. I heard The Mess Hall were playing, I'd seen them once before back in August 2008, they were nothing short of skull fuckingly supreme and I was very much looking forward to seeing them again tonight (duuude.. that drummer is a machine!). Better yet they were supported by Bridezilla and Cabins, and as much as I didn't know who either of those bands were, there's a damn good chance some of you WOULD and it'd be a brilliant excuse for me to get drunk. YEAAAS!! Small problem however? at the very last minute it got rescheduled for Sunday.
So instead I came up with a second "plan" (again I use the term loosely) to go see God God Damnit Damnit at Rhino Room. However that proved to be a bit of a "double edged sword". On the one hand I hadn't been to Rhino Room in well over a year, and for a damn good reason too: their stage lighting is some of the worst in Adelaide (so much so it actually puts the "blackening despair" of Rocket Bar to shame.. and that's saying something!). On the other hand it's God God Damnit Damnit: a thirteen piece psychotic funk band crammed into on a teeny tiny live stage that can barely hold five, in a room that can barely hold thirty, and even if I shot it with just the flash? duuude it'd be fucking hilarious! On the other hand I saw them play at the Jade Monkey back in March 2009 (capacity approximately one hundred) and I'm not even kidding you I almost fucking died. Why? BECAUSE THEY'RE A THIRTEEN PIECE PSYCHOTIC FUNK BAND!! and it's more than that? they also tend to attract the kind of post apocalyptic ferals, mutants and unshaven weirdos to which full contact physical violence is about as natural to them as "blinking" is to us. On the other hand they ARE supported by Mongolia (a band weirdly enough from Ireland), and Günter & The Safeword (duuude.. three words: Tony Font Show!) who'd both be ridiculously awesome to see. On the other hand? two of the conditions of me getting my "name on the door" (courtesty of Günter & The Safeword) was me (a) not making fun of Günter & The Safeword? and (b) not mentioning Tony Font Show!? YEAH? WELL WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO WRITE ABOUT THEN!? SHEEESH!!
And so yeaaah fuck it.. I decided to get drunk at The Exeter instead.
FRIENDS (****1/2) myspace :: Now as many of you may know The Exeter is an awesome place to get drunk at. AWESOME!! I mean no shit maaan, why else would I be here tonight? for the sparkling conversation and five star dining!? AAAAHAHAhAhAHaHAhahA!! *ahem* but on the flipside it's rarely the best place for live music, and by "rarely" yeaaah it's pretty much a toilet. No seriously, there's no point arguing with me here, we all know it, we've all seen it, it's damn near infamous for it! Every night they cram every band into this teeny tiny front room where you can barely fit ten people (let alone twenty). There's absolutely no stage lighting, and I mean NO STAGE LIGHTING (there isn't even a proper stage!). And their live PA system, as much as its tweaked to perfection by their resident mixer Dan (duuude he's a fucking miracle worker at it) is still little more than a screaming bucket of shit. Hmmm.. so why am I here again? well fuck didn't we already establish that!? TO GET DRUNK YO! But hey if I manage to catch a band quite like Friends while I'm at it? then all the better duuude! Why? Well as luck would have it since they SOUND like a "screaming bucket of shit" already with their psychotic blend of Nirvana's Bleach and Nick Cave's Grinderman cranked upto an apocalyptic earbleed!? they're one of the few bands in Adelaide that actually sound all the BETTER for playing at The Exeter than anywhere else. NO SHIT! For with Friends there truly is no such thing as way too much distortion, dissonance, howling feedback, mad thrashing and flailing, shredding, incoherent screaming, or what could only be described as the sound of a Belfast pub on Saint Patricks Day two minutes after David Beckham walks in (oh and we all know he'd fight like a girl too). And with all their lights switched off in the front room too? it's EVEN BETTER!! Simply stand point blank to the "blast radius" with a beer in hand (or preferably a jug) as they pull the maddest shapes in the flash light.. duuude it's the craziest shit ever! They're a screaming barrage, they're an eye gouging intestinal purge, they're more exploding catharsis delivered in one hit than you torching a stolen cop car and pissing all over the ashes.. DUUUDE, THEY'RE A FREAKING MASSACRE!! And suuure I admit it's a little bit hypocritical to "accidently" choose this show at The Exeter when surely God God Damnit Damnit would be that much more fuck off extreme down at Rhino Room (and then some!) but I ask you? can you get beer on tap at Rhino Room!? pfft.. of course you can't! Yup as much as this is about me "accidently" reviewing this band tonight (and let's face it it's a technicality at best considering I hardly remember any of it) it's all about the beer! Friends. Just like a turd burning in a brown paper bag and everyone's invited? aaaah I ask you, what more could you ever want!?
11:32PM - A few too many beers later it suddenly occurs to me that there might be another band playing at The Exeter right now and I might be missing out on their skull fuckingly supreme set. No really! Apparently they're called Dud Pills, they feature former (or current) members of Skeletons, The Weevils or maybe it's Bitch Prefect? or yeaaah fuck it.. you know, one of those endlessly interchangeable lo-fi garage bands that always seem to play gigs at The Metro only to break up six months later only to reform under a totally different name? I KNOW, AWESOME HUH!? And yes it SO would've been "awesome" to see them too, only to soon realise just how much "needless effort" this would involve with: all the standing around, the listening, the concentrating and all the retarding need to be conscious and shit.. and I figured I'd just keep drinking instead.
12:17AM - Eventually however, someone (I forget who) suggested an even better plan of me drinking at The Ed Castle. Now obviously I can't remember WHY this was a better plan as I'm pretty sure I already had beer at The Exeter, and wait.. did I mention the beer at The Exeter? but regardless it appeared to have more than enough "going for it" to convince me to take the fifteen minute walk to get there from the other side of town. I mean no shit how ridiculously epic is that? EPIC AS FUCK!! Unfortunately this rousing tale of "vast distances travelled" wasn't nearly enough to convince the door bitch that my name was on the door just now, and so I had to pay my $8 entry to get in. Which I admit doesn't sound like much.. except that it could've been used to buy beer.
12:56AM - For the past half hour or so while I was drinking myself blind in the beer garden (gooood times!) I could've caught a set by Melbourne band Hey Fever: a band that I vaguely recall from waaay back in September 2009 as having a lead singer who sounded rather like a barking schnauzer being repetively run over by a garbage truck. "Huh, what!?" EXACTLY!! And as much as it would've been the perfect soundtrack for drinking to? yeaaah I simply couldn't be arsed right now. I mean they're likely a great band and all but with such a busy "drinking schedule" ahead of me? who has the time!? And so here I am making an appearance half an hour later instead just to see if the headlining act is worth the effort or not. Hmmm.. so back to the bar again? duuude, totally!
Still before I could act on that genius plan of mine I was distracted by THIS: a setlist that clearly could only belong to the most skull fuckingly awesome band ever envisaged by man, woman or beast, or a disturbingly amorous combination of all three; or maybe it was just Ross Osmon's shopping list (aaaah making fun of DJs.. does it ever get old!? OF COURSE NOT!!). Either way, with curiousity and my blood alcohol content clearly getting the better of me, I just HAD to find out. I mean shit duuude, who knows? this band could be the single greatest discovery I've ever made!
DANCE TIL YOU CAN'T SAY YEAH! (*****) myspace :: Yup there are some bands among us that truly aspire to great things, and in doing so become great themselves. And we could be oh so proud nay humbled to have known them! seen them! heard them! sniffed their hair in passing! or even spied on them from afar with a pair of binoculars as we giggle like demented schoolgirls (whilst possibly even dressed like them HA HA HA HA isn't that right Natasha Khan!?). For we do not think this creepy, or weird, or overstepping the bounds of common decency or privacy; for if they throw furniture or pull a restraining order on us? we can still stalk them on facebook for THEY ARE GREAT! And then there are bands who look not to that which is "greatness" or "exemplary" or "exceptional", no they simply throw back their heads and laugh! LAUGH LIKE RIGHTEOUS KINGS THEY DO! For these bands are not just "great", they're far beyond greatness, they are the stuff of living legend itself! YES, LEGENDS I SAY!! And then there are bands who become so much more than even that, as impossible as that may seem to our limited human understanding, they become true immortals, extraterrestrials, interstellar bodies with gravitational pulls that know not the bounds of science, or reason, or ludicrous literary superlative. WHO ARE THESE MAGICAL BEINGS WHO WALK AMONG US, AND YET SEEM SO LOFTY AND FULL OF LIGHT!? Then there are rubberbands.. yeaaah they just turn out to be bad puns. But more astounding still are those who through sheer raging powers of ineptitude, incompetence, or chromosome damage become something even greater. For they are more than just woeful, horrendous, stupendous or even skull fuckingly foul, they are sheer brilliance exemplified! Now obviously Dance Til You Can't Say Yeah! are neither of these things, but still fuck damn are they inspiring all the same! Formed between current, former, or possibly "recently deceased" members of Zeta, The Keepsakes, The Honey Pies, Friends and Oh My Guard! they are a band beyond reckoning! Formed for one night for their debut, farewell and album launch they simply astound us with everything that we've come to "love" and "admire" about indie disco. Obviously inspired by the greats: MGMT, Empire Of The Sun, !!!, The Presets, Art Vs Science, Aqua, A-ha, A Flock Of Seagulls, Milli Vanilli, The Village People and Jupiter Lead. Obviously so much more (and less) than the sum of their parts. They're an ejaculatory tour-de-force, a symphonic feast for the senseless, they're every one of our dreams and worst nightmares come true all at once. With their pounding beats, bass, synth and other such instruments from which they could barely play, they pounded their square notes into our round round hearts. And we did sing for joy, sing rapturously, riotously, happy in the knowledge that YES tonight they did play! and they were loud! OH SO VERY LOUD!! in both sight and sound! and we did experience them in all their glory bordering on the biblical!! AND WE WILL NEVER EVER SEE THEM AGAIN. Dance Til You Can't Say Yeah!? Wow! I mean seriously wow! I think I just soiled myself.
2:06AM - Yup the audience around me were simply stunned, shocked, overwhelmed, or was it underwhelmed and a little undercooked? or perhaps all the above whilst simultaneously feeling a little bit "gassy". Either way you could tell they were utterly gobsmacked and flabbergasted by the head exploding magnitude of what we just saw. I mean suuure many of the more "knowing" and discerning among us may've simply shaken their heads in disbelief, dismissing Dance Til You Can't Say Yeah! as little more than an hilarious spoof. Of course they were dead right, just as we all knew they were dead wrong as well. They were more than just a spoof or a satire or even an unexplainable crotch stain to us, they were heroes amongst men! And the crowd did embrace them. And they did welcome them as one of their own shouting and cheering. And they did hold them aloft chanting as one, and they did carry them out back, roast them alive and feast on their brains. I'm told they tasted rather like walnuts with but a hint of hickory and lime. Mmmm lime!
"duuude, seriously.. WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED!?".
I also should note that I have absolutely no recollection WHY I took this photo either, what its grand significance was at the time, or why I'm including it now, except maybe to suggest that this freak in the middle is what I'd half imagine all the "hipster tragics" at The Ed Castle will be wearing when civilisation finally collapses in on itself and becomes a cheesy Duran Duran music video collage in rampant cannibalism, tribalism and arseless chaps, or perhaps it's just in three weeks time when Matt Van Schie tours here (you know whichever comes first). Oh wait now I get it! they're trying to tell me his fly's undone? Awesome! *ahem* no really WHY am I posting this shit again!?
2:49AM - Now I know what you're thinking about this photo: but no it ISN'T just some random homeless guy we dragged off the street with offers of "free" musical instruments (no, we only do that when Lady Strangelove play a show here.. tee hee!), instead it's none other than Hayden "Barking Schnauzer" Somers, lead singer for Melbourne band Hey Fever (although yeaaah I can see now how you might be confused). Turns out he remembers me from that wacky review I wrote back in September last year, and apparently he was SO wildly ecstatic about it, he said he'd totally hook me up with "more drugs than I could possibly handle" if ever I chose to party in Melbourne.
And these are his shoes.
3:04AM - And speaking of "open invites" that may later come back to haunt me when I wake up halfway up a tree, in an emergency ward, or hosting a children's television show on ABC3, here's Sara and Simone dressed as pirates. And what's that got to do with anything? yeaaah I forget. But what I DO remember is when, half an hour earlier they sent me an SMS asking where I was: to which I dutifully replied "The 9th Circle Of Hell". To which they asked me "will they let us in dressed silly?". To which I took a long hard look around me, thought it over for a good ten minutes or so, almost forgot what the question was, and then replied with a resounding "maybe". Of course this doesn't really explain WHY they're dressed as pirates, but hell.. do we really care at this point!?
3:58AM - This is a photo of me stealing Sara's hat. Hmmm yup I totally went there. AGAIN. Now obviously most of you saw this coming from a mile off, as yes I'm well aware that I DO steal a lot of hats, beanies, scarves, gloves, glasses, and the occassional unbaptised souls (they're ever so crunchy.. like bacon bits!) in service to this blog. And yes it's totally retarded, yes it's like the dumbest habit I have; I mean seriously all it takes is 15 drinks and I just go completely nuts!? WHAT THE FUCK KINDA KLEPTOMANIAC NINJA DO I THINK I AM, HUH!? And yet even so, all that can never erase just how ridiculously awesome this hat is. No shit duuude, I'm mack daddy as FUCK!
4:00AM - Now obviously such "award winning moments in photography" called for celebration. And as luck would have it one foamy bottle of "congratulatory awesomeness" just so happened to be left here in the sink in front of me. FUCK DAMN!! OF ALL MY LUCK TO LIVE IN SUCH A GOLDEN AGE OF RIOTOUS PLENTY!? But then I couldn't help but think to myself: who's beer is it? how long has it been sitting there? is it warm? ewwww! it's totally warm isn't it!? what if somebody peed in it? and what if that "somebody" was ME all of two minutes ago only I'd long since forgotten about it? I MEAN WHO'S TO KNOW!? except yeaaah clearly none of that shit EVER happened (pfft.. since when do I ever pee in bottles!?) and I drank it anyways. No really I swear.. and it was awesome too!
4:02AM - Moments later after I'd thoroughly washed, rinsed and disposed of the bottle in a "thoughtful manner" (and not simply ditched it over the fence laughing while it was still full, into oncoming traffic *ahem*) I figured I'd had enough fun with Sara's pirate hat for now, and maybe I should share the wealth around with pretty much any hapless bystander who happened to pass my way, like say with Eleanor here.. and is it just me, or does she seriously PIMP THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF IT TOO!? fuck damn duuude it's like a gift that keeps on giving! YEAAAS!! WOOOOOO!!
4:03AM - And so expecting pretty much the same result, I figured we'd try it with Alex Ciaravolo next. I mean hell he IS guitarist for 20th Century Graduates and they're like the happiest damn band on the planet. What could possibly go wrong? HA HA HA DUUUDE WHERE DO WE EVEN BEGIN!? It's like one minute we were all laughing and singing, lollipops and leprecauns, rainbows and kittens.. and then we put the hat on him and this sickening feeling of utmost dread washed over us, like we're talking serious Ringwraith from Lord Of The Rings type evil shit here.. and we just had to back the fuck away. "NO, NO!! LEAVE THE HAT FOR ALL I CARE, FLEE CHILDREN FLEEEE!!".
4:39AM - After what felt like many hours (or minutes!?) running for my life from The Ed Castle, I finally came to at Supermild here. Yup I don't know how long I'd been here, or why I was here, or by what miraculous circumstances I'd been brought to safety (was that you Gandalf!?) but thank fuck for this magic elixir maaan.. or I'd still be plagued by all those blood curdling screams even now! Aaaaah beer, is there anything you CAN'T DO!? my red bull, cough syrup, ice breaker, camera tripod, vitamin supplement and raison d'être in one! Seriously if it wasn't totally inappropriate I'd marry you on the spot and have a million and one hideously deformed beer babies. YEAAAS!!
5:06AM - And so here we are at the end of the night, and as you can see: despite binge drinking nearly enough lighter fluid to flatline an entire Australian cricketing team and a Russian parliament in one: Simone here is nothing less than the very epitome of elegance, style and grace. Oh so svelte, steely eyed glare, reflexes like a cat! SHIT DAMN!! it beats me just how the fuck she does it either (as I'm pretty sure Sara was floating off to sea by now) but I dare say we could truly learn a thing or two from her exceptional example. YEAAAS!! Everyone take note: this is how it's done!
5:09AM - And here I recline under these concrete benches equally as dapper, distinguished and debonaire myself; like a deadset 21st century sophisticate; like nothing less than Frank Sinatra himself. I know! I'm on such a lofty level of head exploding righteousness right now I should teach classes shouldn't I!? FUCK YEAAAH!! Bow before me pitiful peons for I am like a GOD UNTO YOU!!
And no, I can't quite explain WHERE that bottle came from either..
Yup no matter what happened here tonight, or how much it may have deviated from my original plan, or how it wasn't even much of a plan to begin with (and believe me I'm still struggling to make sense of half of what I did) it was a complete and utter success! But shit duuude was there ever any doubt? FUCK NOOO!! It's a genius plan, it's a foolproof plan, it's the best and only plan you can ever rely on! For no matter where you go, what you do, who you see, or where you may end up laughing wrecked and retarded.. as long as we're all drunk at the end? it's a night well spent. Medical science, statistics and tagged facebook photos be damned: everyone's a winner!