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...
SEABELLIES + BOOSTER "EP LAUNCH PARTY" LIVE @ THE ED CASTLE + THE METRO / Saturday April 3rd 2010
Maaan I tell you what, but when it comes to drinking, like serious "combat drinking" in a social situation? I've got that shit pretty much nailed. And it's not just that "hand-eye coordination" thing getting it from hand to mouth (pfft.. what are we fifteen? is this a remedial class? is this a fucking playground on a Wednesday night with a six pack of Strongbow!? ha ha ha! GET OUTTA HERE!!) no we're talking some serious a-grade ninja proficiency in tackling the infamous amber assassin, the goonsack gorilla or the tequila tornado; defeating it in "hand to hand" combat like it's fucking "Crouching Cider, Hidden Flagon" and then pissing all over its corpse.. FUCK YEAAAS!! I mean let's not dick around here duuude, you really need to know your shit to survive in THIS industry. Being a rock photographer in the Adelaide scene is a deadly DEADLY business. IT TRULY IS! Every week is a battle. EVERY WEEK IS A FUCKING SUICIDE MISSION!! It's like painting a "bullseye" on your liver and inviting every arseclown around to take pot shots at it with a rifle, a shotgun, or a bazooka. NO SHIT! They will hunt you down maaan, every performing artists of every illbient persuasion in this city, especially if you're stupid enough to host a blog on it, and they will drink you under the table and into a pinewood box faster than you can blink, sneeze or flush a toilet! It's kill or be killed, it's drink or be drunken, it's "Charles Darwin" at its most skull fuckingly brutal and slapstick comical AAAHAHAhAHaHahA!! And yet, despite all these impossible odds, I HAVE SURVIVED!? Oh and I've done so much BETTER than that too.. I have wine, dined and conquered them all! In fact I'm SO diabolically badass at this: I'm its grand master dojo, I'm its wizened Yoda, I'm its Bernard Black, Frank Sinatra and Hunter S. Fucking Thompson! But even so? even I know when I'm way out of my league, even I know a "mission impossible" when I see one.. OH YES!! For THIS Saturday night, this April the 3rd 2010!? I face the great "grand daddy" of them all: THE WEDDING RECEPTION!
Now you might be wondering: what the fuck has any of THIS got to do with the Adelaide music scene!? pfft.. absolutely nothing of course! (but don't worry we'll get there soon enough) because clearly THIS, this shit right here exists on a whole OTHER level of depravity. "What.. a pissy little wedding reception!?" OH SHIT YEAAAH!! I mean look it this way: you can go to a gig any day of the week right? there's nothing special about them, I mean not in the grander scheme of things. And even an artist's single, EP, or album launch party, as skull fuckingly epic as it may be will only be supplanted by the next one in six months. It's ongoing, it's endless, and at the rate they're going of late (duuude tell me about it!) they're almost superfluous! But a wedding? Oh maaan! if it's done right, THEY'RE A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT!! Everyone's dressed to the nines, everyone's looking to celebrate the SHIT out of it, there's all that pomp and ceremony, free food, free alcohol, and wait.. did I mention the free alcohol!? Duuude, it's the binge drinking equivalent of the fucking Olympics! It's the ONE event in your itinerary where it's not just socially acceptable to get blasted, but a damn near requirement! (fuck, even the bible endorses it.. THAT'S HOW INSANE IT IS!!).
Now obviously I wont give you all the gruesome details here, I mean fuck what do you care right!? a wedding's a wedding! Except to point out one of five things. Firstly it's NOT my wedding.. HA HA HA THANK FUCK!! (but hey wouldn't it be freaking hilarious if it was!?). Secondly the ceremony's held in Glenelg, but the reception's hosted elsewhere in Reynella (I forget where exactly but it was a wine cellar, there was another reception next door, and it took me fucking forever to get here). Thirdly I've had all of one and a half hours sleep this morning, and it beats me why, and so as you might expect? I'M COMPLETELY FUCKING FRIED! Fourthly this scotch fillet steak here was absolutely delicious. Oh and fifthly? I might JUST have washed it all down with eight or nine beers *cough*.
And here's the lucky couple! aren't they awesome!? aren't they the best!? OH YOU BET THEY ARE!! (thanks for the free piss!). Of course for sake of "you seriously don't give a shit" I won't bore you with who they are, or how I'm involved; just as I won't elaborate on whether I'm related to one, or BOTH of them; or whether they're friends, or if one of them is my work colleague, drug dealer or parole officer. "Huh, what!?". Because clearly they're none of the above duuude! they're complete and utter strangers to me, and there's a damn good chance I simply crashed this wedding for cheap laughs (or maybe they're hired actors and I fabricated the whole thing instead) in effort to make a point.. a point that I've long since forgotten. Hmmm. Wait did I mention I've had more than eight or nine beers and only slept one and a half hours? SHIT YEAAAH, WEDDINGS RULE!!
10:47PM - And now completely unrelated to all that? here's me arriving at The Metro. Or what I like to call that "magic turning point" in any given episode where everything starts to make a lick of sense in a "live music blog" kind of way; except clearly I'm waaay too drunk and sleep deprived to make much sense of anything. Hmmm yup let me just remind you again, this wedding I was at? SO TOTALLY KICKED MY ARSE!! But hey why should that ever concern us, we're at The Metro maaan! And you know what that means? OH OF COURSE YOU DO!! it's time to hit the bar again.
10:53PM - And THIS is why I'm continuing to drink myself into a coma tonight!? OH YOOOU BETCHA!! Because the way I figured it? nothing could be "funnier" after dragging my drunkarse through a wedding, than to "slum it" here at The Metro for YET ANOTHER LAUNCH PARTY. And hell we haven't had nearly enough of those in the past few months have we!? AAAHAhAHaHAhAHAhahA OF COURSE NOT!! Yup this one's for Booster, it's to launch their brand new EP "Cracktopia", they're being supported by the likes of Hills & Trains, Lipsmack and Andy Roberts (ummm yay?) and if you slip into that pokies lounge just now? you could totally scam more "free" choc chip cookies than you'd ever know what to do with.. I mean fuck, HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY GO WRONG!?
11:11PM - And better yet? since it's an "all-ages gig", by arriving at the ridiculously late hour of 11PM I've already missed out on all the support acts too. Woweee and don't I look all "bent out of shape" about that too? Or more accurately I look like someone might need to call me an ambulance, but don't worry duuude I do this shit all the time (even when I'm sober). I find a spot in the centre of the room, especially when it's empty, and I lie in it.. WHY!? well why the fuck not!? It's ever so soothing, it's ever so relaxing, it's a great way to find your "chewy nougat centre", and if you do this at the end of the night with all the broken bits of glass scattered about? I swear it's totally like miracle acupuncture! No really, gimme five minutes of this and I'm ALL SET TO GO!!
BOOSTER (****) myspace :: Which at long last brings us to our headlining act, here on their night of nights. YEAAAS!! This is the moment they've been working towards for months now, MONTHS!! Endlessly plotting, scheming, occassionally recording and rehearsing, hoping to make THIS launch a night to truly remember (and I should know I'm the idiot who designed the CD cover art!). And by all accounts its been a roaring success too! (or at least by The Metro's goofyarse standards). They've already pulled well over a hundred payers through the door (and one drunkarse photographer who snuck in for free *cough*). They've been a hooting, shrieking, cheering mass for all the support bands (I mean you should have seen them during Hills & Trains. IT WAS MADNESS I TELL'S YOU!! MAAADNESS!!). In fact it's been SO wildly successful tonight, by the time Booster finally make their appearance on stage, almost everyone's already gone home!? AAAAHAHAhAhAHaHAHaHA!! Yup, as far as launch parties go (and need I remind you JUST HOW MANY OF THESE FUCKING THINGS I've been too lately!?) this one's definitely the most mellow and understated.. and yet after all I've been through of late, no less welcoming! Yup there may only be twenty to thirty people in here right now, but they're fanatical maaan, they're loving the SHIT out of this! The band are truly in their element, ridiculously well at ease, almost to a fault (they DO fuck up one or two songs.. but I doubt anyone would've really noticed) in fact they're so chilled out and relaxed on stage it very much reminds me of the kind of band you'd expect to see playing a cruise ship on a Tuesday or Wednesday night (which may explain why the carpet's undulating in that peculiar way.. or yeaaah perhaps not) and it's definitely making me want to hit the bar something fierce to get where they're at. Their setlist is an ecclectic mix of old and new. From their opening numbers "You Dog", "She's A Live One" and "Grow" to a surprising appearance of one of their old favourite "Prozac" from their first EP (complete with extended space jam in the middle). Every song here is a well worn masterpiece in stoner fuzz and 70's rock (think Jimi Hendrix meets Led Zeppelin IV and The Eagles Of Death Metal) and it's no less pronounced in the new songs in the second half like "Birthday" and "You" (or that all time classic "C158" SHIT YEAAAH!!). In fact what strikes me most about this set tonight, is in how Booster have truly adopted their "signature sound" not just like a second skin, but like the songs and them are simply one and the same. It's in all the little flourishes, the colour and the quirks that make it for me. Like the added cowbell their drummer Sean Kemp throws in like an afterthought; or the mad squinting shapes Josh Biggs pulls on bass; or shit.. even Craig Lewis on guitar and how he's tearing into riff after riff with newfound fanaticism (and he's usually the umoving statue of the group!? SHIT DAMN!!). Yup tonight's set is loose as it comes and maybe even "laughingly undercooked" in parts, but it's the richness of character here that truly elevates it. Booster. They weren't the biggest launch, or even the best.. but definitely the most authentic!
12:21AM - After the gig, and somewhere between beers "twelve" and "thirteen" (and no that's not in standard drinks.. OOOOH FUCK NO!!), I'm approached by these two exciteable midgets. Awwww aren't they cute!? Now I can't remember if they knew me from somewhere, or if they knew me by reputation (oh fuck no!) or they simply saw me stumbling around blindly with a camera just now taking photos of the band? either way after asking just about EVERYONE ELSE in the room if they could get an "awesome photo" of them for their "facebook whatever-the-fuck" (and being all too unsatisfied with the results) they figured they'd ask ME instead. Hmmm. Because clearly the ONE imbecile in the room, wearing a suit and tie, slurring all his words, and swimming through the carpet fibres laughing his arse off just now, has got to be "THE DEAD SET PHOTOGRAPHIC PROFESSIONAL" for the job!? Still all things considered here? they weren't half wrong. No really, HOW GOOD AM I!? My camera's totally pointing in the right direction and everything.. YEAAAS!!
12:48AM - Unfortunately, like many things in life, this proved to be a bit of a mixed blessing. For as soon as you get one awesome social pic? then guarenteed everyone else within earshot will want to get in on the action too. FUCK!! I mean I know I'm this brilliant genetic freak and all, and I can still operate this teeny tiny compact camera with utmost precision whilst simultaneously possessing the raw processing power of a door stop (I mean no shit.. how in hell did I get those live shots of Booster!?). But just once, JUST ONCE I'd like to be one of those freaks who can't. I mean could you imagine how much easier it'd make writing these blogs? "Spoz goes to wedding, Spoz gets drunk, Spoz hits town, Spoz gets more drunk.. AND YOU DIDN'T SEE SHIT ABOUT IT!!".
1:01AM - Still as much as it would've been hilarious to stick around at The Metro and get even MORE retardingly drunk (wait.. you mean to tell me with "medical science" now that's actually possible!?) this wasn't the end of my "live music blog" coverage for the night. OOOOH FUCK NO!! For as it turns out a few weeks back, after I'd planned on attending that wedding, attending that Booster launch (and apologising to The British Robots for not being able to attend THEIR launch party at Rhino Room) I also heard about THIS gig at The Ed Castle. Because hey if ever there's anything that tops drinking beers fourteen through to sixteen tonight? it'd definitely be drinking them all with a "backing band" (and then possibly being stupid enough to write a blog about it).
SEABELLIES (****1/2) myspace :: Now originally in arriving here tonight I was hoping to catch a set by the 20th Century Graduates. I mean hell they WERE playing in support, and no I don't need to explain to you WHY it would've been at least five kinds of fuck off awesome to see them either (or in other words feel free to watch this live video of "Fireflies" featuring Larissa Perry going apeshit with a tambourine.. and yeaaah I think you'd understand). But regrettably I'd already arrived way too late (even by Ed Castle's standards) and I just missed out on them. FUCK!! Still it's not all bad news however, far from it, as I did arrive just in time for this.. and THIS I swear more than made up for it! NO SHIT DUUUDES, THIS TOTALLY MADE MY NIGHT!! WOOOOOO!! Yup this is the Seabellies, they're from Newcastle, and from stepping in just now (five or six songs into their set) I can't help but think of this band as a "warm open fire on a cold winter's night". I mean REALLY! well not literally of course (because otherwise I so would've brought me some marshmallows and a jumbo bag of popcorn and gone nuts) but there's just something ever so warm and inviting about them netherless that simply draws you in and never lets go. In overall style think of them as a mix between the Broken Social Scene, The Arcade Fire and I Heart Hiroshima. It's that free spirited indie eclecticism of the first, the soaring bittersweet melodies of the second and the spikey art pop sensibility of the third. Better yet though, it's so self assured, so subtle and so artfully expressed: it speaks more on its own terms than anything else it might be influenced by. The band fills the room, they own the stage, or more accurately they're treating it like a giant comfy sofa: especially Trent Grenell their lead singer (with his goofyarse grin) who looks like he just woke up here this morning after one hell of a drunken bender, and hasn't quite gotten around to finding his shoes or figuring out which "postcode" he's in. The band frequently sing in gang vocal, sometimes in harmony. They're equal measure euphoric, melancholic and wistfully nostalgic. Their arrangements are loose, jamming and free spirited. Everything's rich in reverb (but not drowning), washed in colour and dappled light (but not blinding). I mean whoaaa, I MEAN SERIOUSLY WOW!! IT'S LIKE THE MOST FUCK OFF AWESOME EAR CANDY I'VE EVER HEARD!! (or possibly just tonight). Of course I know I'm just rambling here. I know this may just be the "beer goggles" talking (it would definitely explain all the notes I didn't take.. damnit!). And I know I'm clearly dishing up way too much praise (and not cracking nearly enough jokes at the sight of their bass player Eddie Garven "cracking the shits" everytime he goes near a microphone.. AAAHAHAhAhAHAhA!!) but even so? even if I was of "sound mind" right now!? duuude it'd still be damn near impossible not to be blown away by it. Seabellies. I'm not even shitting you, I only caught half their set, I so wish I caught more.. JUST GO FUCKING SEE THEM!!
1:51AM - After the Seabellies finished, I got all excited over the possibility of a single, an EP, an album or whatever-the-fuck they might have been promoting on this tour, and that maybe, just maybe I could buy me a copy, rip it onto my ipod and spin it into a face melting aneursym. And so (perhaps a little too over eagerly) I asked one of the band members about it, only for them to shake their heads sadly and tell me that "no they didn't have anything". FUCK!! And so to make up for just how "deeply shattered" I must have been feeling right about now (no wait? perhaps it was just gas *burp* scuse me) here's Wolfgang from The Shiny Brights with the most fuck off awesome "Daryl and Ozzie" t-shirt I have ever seen. No really, HOW FUCKING MAD IS THAT!?
2:38AM - And yup just like before at The Metro, the minute I whip out a camera to take a photo of anyone doing anything even remotely stupid and/or drunk, trouble comes a running. Or in this case it comes a running all the way from London in the form of Nick Hadley. WHOAAA NO WAY!! Yup, you may remember THIS hysterical shit weasel as the former drummer for Dead Popes Of The Vatican, The Gels and Angelik and as co-winner of the 2008 "Photogenic Fuckwit Of The Year" Award (or in other words feel free to watch this "educational video" if you need to learn more). And yes he actually DID fly halfway around the world JUST to make this appearance tonight.. or yeaaah possibly he just came by to pick up some "dry cleaning" and drum for The Gels here on Thursday night. Either way before they kick him out of the country again? WELCOME BACK NICK HADLEY!!
2:53AM - And in no way deeply disturbed by my "Close Encounter Of The Drunkarse Kind" just now, I figured I might hide out in the band room for a while. Awesome! Now normally with all these lights on, all these pink walls here would totally give me a wickedarse migraine (I mean seriously it's like shaking up a can of coke and throwing it in a microwave.. only that "can" is my brain) but since I'm well on the way to my sixteenth or seventeenth beer here? yeaaah I'm not bothered in the slightest. In fact I might even just whip off all my clothes here and see if it'll give me a tan!
3:10AM - Before too long The Ed Castle empties out of most of its patrons, in fact it's almost shocking to see how quickly it's gone dead in here (clearly unrelated to every one of them seeing ME coming from a mile off yammering, drooling and foaming hysterically). But you know what? it's actually quite relaxing. I find my spot at the bar, I order me up a beer, soak in the soothing sounds of sinewaves smashing into squaretooths.. or whatever-the-fuck else that DJ is spinning in a "crack addict meets tanning salon" 80's ouvre, and for the first time in ages I simply unwind.
3:33AM - Twenty minutes later I wake up in Supermild. It's anyone's guess how I got here, although I might be willing to entertain the theory that I "walked here" in my sleep. Which may begin to explain why I'm dressed in my pyjamas, and by "pyjamas"? yeaaah I probably should put some clothes back on. Anyhoo after ordering my eighteenth beer I figured I might join THIS nitwit in the beer garden, who the sake of argument we'll call "McFluffy", in smoking a cigar. And no I've got no idea WHY he's called "McFluffy" just like I've got no idea why he keeps calling me "Vortex". Only to suggest that maybe my blood alcohol content here has finally crossed over into what most would consider "clinically dead but still able to run for the Russian presidency". Awesome huh?
4:04AM - Now obviously there was nothing to entertain us here at Supermild tonight, and I mean nothing, And so fuck it we simply came up with our own "entertainment".. namely burning things.
No shit, we're so freakingly badass right now.. it makes my pee pee twitch!
At some point (ie: preferably before some bartender stumbled upon this insanity only to discover half of Supermild was on fire.. hi Ruby Chew!) we figured we might want to put this fire out, but only after we agreed not to use my beer (and so fuck it we simply stole someone else's instead).
4:09AM - And thus we celebrated all that we had created and destroyed, here in this most drunken of nights. And we pondered over its deeper meaning, its deeper significance in the grand scheme of things. And then we went back to the bar for another round, and then I came back to ponder it some more, and then fuck it I finally took that last bus home. Yup turns out in the end: all of this didn't mean shit-fuck-all! But still it makes you wonder now don't it? especially in how I managed to wake up on a Sunday with no hangover? Aaaah such is the sweet mystery of life!
Yup, I don't know how I've done it maaan but I've done it! I survived the fucking impossible here! And all of it on only one and half hours sleep!? DUUUDE!! Nobody has done what I have, I mean nobody! Well ok, maybe they have.. BUT NOBODY HAS WRITTEN A FUCKING BLOG ABOUT IT!! Well ok, maybe nobody except for Joe Blogs (and that dude IS the reigning champion of all things "drunk blogging") BUT STILL, IT'S FUCKING EPIC ALL THE SAME!! I'm flabbergasted, dumbfounded, astounded to have made this all happen I TRULY AM! For I have taken on "The Beast" here and defeated it in battle! YEAAAS!! I AM LIKE A GOD TO YOU!! And now that I have won where so many others have failed so spectacularly? Yup, let's all just hope and pray that I NEVER DO IT AGAIN!!