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...
GENERATION SWINE + ANGELIK + THE WITCH DOUBLE A-SIDE SINGLE LAUNCH PARTY @ THE ED CASTLE / Friday July 23rd 2010
Ho hum another Friday night rolls on by with me standing outside yet another live venue rambling some blah-di-blah "opening paragraph" whatever-the-fuck and oh look I'm at The Metro again? YAY IT'S THE METRO! Everyone loves The Metro riiight? HAHAhAhAHaHA duuude I'm having the absolute time of my life like it's a blinking nonstop rave party! Except wasn't I here on Saturday? and again on Thursday? only I didn't cover either of those short of posting some retarded-arse "arty farty" B&W blog, or as "man about town" Matt Hayward once described them as: "oooh look I can do that on my iphone too WHOOP-DI-FUCKING DO!" (yes I know he's bit of an arsehole but he does it ever so eloquently I can't help but praise him for it.. you baaastard!) and aaaah fuck it who the HELL cares what I'm writing here anyways if I always end up at Supermild!? HA HA HA duuude I'm so losing my fucking miiind here I swear! I'm a cuckoo clock, I'm Pavlov's dog to the weekend routine (and both my ears are ringing), I'm living out Groundhog Day smashing that alarm clock over and over screaming obscenities till I'm black and blue in the brain, and I bet I've written this exact same schtick a thousand times before in my nightmares climbing these walls too! FUUUCK I hate this time of year, I really do! This winter, this soul sucking exercise in futility that never EVER FUCKING ENDS!! It's the mind numbing "monotony" of it that kills me the most. Everything's all bleached of colour, freezing cold, dark, dour and depressing. I see nothing but horizontals and verticals stretching out before me, boxes within boxes and subroutines, hamster wheels spinning, a blinking cursor cursing me like a teeny tiny punching fist: "Write another blog Spoz, write another blog Spoz, write another.." AAAUGGHHH FUCK OFF!! And yet here I am at The Metro again coming back for more!? Yeaaah I know.. let's just say I'm doing it for the "greater good" tonight. If not for my own amusement, if not for the Adelaide scene (pfft!) then at very least for the hundreds and thousands of YOU grinning shitweasels reading this crap each week deriving such great pleasure from my utter undoing, oh how I hate you all.. welcome to yet ANOTHER episode of Spoz's Rant!
Still for those few of you who ARE curious about Adelaide "art and culture" that ain't oestensibly about binge drinking thinly disguised as a live music scene, it was a DVD launch (and a free screening at that) for a feature film directed by one Stephen Banham, aka: "kid brother" to Matt Banham from No Through Road (the same Stephen who's cooked up many of their music videos, go figure?). And by "feature film" I clearly mean a zero budget "labour of love" populated with goofy non-actors (many of whom from the live music scene looking altogether shitscared to be on camera), occassionally hamfisted dialogue and a laughable disregard for any kind of "production values" but in such a way that it was also refreshingly "honest", utterly endearing and disarmingly relatable on all three accounts; and hell at the very least you've got to admire the sheer audacity of it. Obviously this isn't a proper review as such (and it's a pretty lousy sales pitch too) but if the whole grass roots "mumblecore" scene is totally your bag and if you want a warts and all insight into relationships of Adelaide's awkwardly indie twentysomethings circa 2008-2010? then totally hit up Format Space (15 Peel Street) in the next few weeks to score yourself a copy. It's only $10. It'll totally help the local film industry. There's not a single CGI, vampire, musical, sequel, prequel, reboot, retrofitted for 3D, Sam Worthington whatever-the-fuck in it.. what more could you want?
10:21PM - But of course my Friday night doesn't end there.. OOOOH FUCK NO, not by a long shot! Even as much as I might have "fantasised" about how awesome it would've been to drink myself to a shit grinning oblivion at The Metro and write this whole thing off as little more than an hilarious "non event" because THIS STUPID FUCKING BLOG IS KILLING ME, I SWEAR!! (or at least it would be believe me! if I didn't secretly get a kick out of how "insanely popular" it's become) I still had other "business" to attend to tonight: namely drinking myself to a shit grinning oblivion at The Ed Castle instead. And yes I know what you're all thinking in following: aren't I always at the fucking Ed Castle!? Isn't that a large part of my problem to begin with? this whole "reliving the same experience over and over writer's block is ruining my life migraine head explosion" sorta thing!? Well yes and no. I mean as much as I DO have an ongoing love/hate relationship with this "scenster shithole" bordering on a mental disorder (oh let me count the ways!) they ARE offering me something a "little bit different" tonight to make it all worthwhile. You see instead of featuring the usual fashion tragics in indie A-Z (ie: insert bleedingly obvious punchline here) Ross Osmon the diabolical band booker that he is (no really I got nothing but love for that midget) has decided to branch out a bit tonight by making The Ed Castle the west end equivalent of The Crown & Anchor in its prime circa 2006 (right down to the hooting baboons flinging their faeces everywhere) for one fucked up night of beer fueled piss stained debauchery.. YEAAAS!! He's brought in all the bands, they've brought in all their hilarious knuckle dragging fans (who in turn have brought their own exotic and undiagnosed mental illnesses) I mean shit duuude how can we possibly go wrong!?
THE WITCH (****) myspace :: Well obviously we CAN'T go wrong with this shit (at least as far as I'm concerned) and our opening act are very much testament to that "fact" in spite of (and largely thanks to) all of their hilarious dysfunction in expressing it live. Yup this is The Witch, formerly "Diesel Witch". The name of which they seemingly changed on a whim recently, after two years playing willfully obscure gigs in all the fucked up places you likely never frequent.. at least as much as I'm aware of!? As according to Luke Willis one of their alternating drummer and guitarists tonight: "it was shit", or if we take the explanation according to their Triple J Unearthed site? too many people kept confusing them for "Johnny Diesel" and likely not in a good way. Awesome! Still it thankfully makes fuckall difference to their signature sound right down to Jack Smith attempting to play his bass guitar tonight with a 50 cent coin in lieu of a proper pick (pfft.. you idiot!), as they're arguably one of the most insanely brilliant bands in the Adelaide scene almost as much as they're one the most infuriating. They're "brilliant" because they cook up this shitcrazy surf punk, proto grunge, garage rock that simply cant be beat (especially if you've been subjected to way too many shitty indie disco bands for the past eighteen months to the point you almost forget what REAL music sounds like). Or more specifically think The Pixies, Dead Kennedys, The Black Lips, Snowman, The Vines, maybe even a little bit of Brian Jonestown Massacre (but only because I FINALLY saw that movie "Dig!" last weekend and I swear I see a bit of that clownshit insane Anton Newcome influence creeping in there somewhere). Or in other words think 60's style gutter trash rendered utterly infectious with frequently swapping "Crime Converter" instruments and you wouldn't be far off the mark. And as for why they're so "infuriating"? yeaaah maybe it's part and parcel to their hilarious lack of gig promotion or any kind of public exposure to the point that it's practically wilfull (although they ARE starting to address that), or maybe it's simply because I'm going to all the wrong shows and I keep missing out on them (because yes I DO go to The Ed Castle way too often for my own good). Either way they've somehow released two EPs "From The Sea To The Swamp" and the instrumental jam "Surfedelica" (which you can download here), one "Best Of..." compilation (which they were giving away earlier this year) and rumours have it they're also cooking up an album to be released.. aaaah you know whenever the fuck they feel like it. Triple J even featured them in an issue of Jmag a few months back (April I think?), even going so far as to use one of my live photos from that February show I caught to front it: something which the band totally failed to warn me about (and I only discovered it when I bought an issue myself) as it was kind of a "last minute thing" and yeaaah do you see an overall theme developing here!? Yup I believe the word is infuriating. Still if you DO have the "good fortune" to catch them at a live show (quite like tonight) you can almost forgive them for all this shit as it very much lends to their blissfully shambolic "creative dynamic".. duuude it's one of the main reasons why they're so freaking genius! Fronting the stage as a three piece: Chris Busbridge and Luke taking turns between guitars and drums, and Jack on bass, they fill the air with a scatterbrained, sketchy as fuck collision of loose noodling jams masquarading as songs; every one of them a potential classic, just as much as you suspect they simply threw all them together on the spot as a "joke". In performing it they have little in the way of actual "stage presence", shrinking from the stage lights like they're being subjected to a police interrogation, in a way that you half wonder if we're being treated to a sound check instead. And yet in all the mad sounds they're cooking up, especially in Luke's rapid fire guitar licks and Chris' punch drunk vocals you still can't help but grin ear to ear; and by the end almost everyone in this room is bug eyed tripping in unison to it? Yup that's The Witch. They're one of those happy accidents in a live show you swear could never happen twice and yet they do it every damn time!
ANGELIK (****1/2) myspace :: Which brings us to our second act who were originally set to headline (as it IS their double A-side single launch afterall) only they've since swapped places with our third act, likely under the pretense that no one in their right mind would ever stick around to see them play at 1AM. Except as we all know no one who ever frequents this scenster shithole at any time of night is ever in "their right mind" (case in point? the dribbling nitwit who's writing this blog right now.. weeeeee!), only this band wouldn't know that because this is the first time they've ever played at The Ed Castle. Awesome huh!? TOTALLY!! Still despite this, they still have absolutely no trouble in packing out the band room with all their fanatical fanbase hooting and shrieking (and flinging faeces) for them out front. And despite any impressions I might have made about their "intellect" (or lack thereof) in saying all that? for the simple fact these fans actually FOUND the band room in the first place easily gives them one up on all the blinking diodes who flock here for Plus One (only to never leave the beer garden). Or in other words? duuude they're just MY kind of people! even as much as I'm standing "upwind" of them. Just as this is my kind of band for all the reasons that don't necessarily make them a "critics choice award" unless you've been sniffing turpentine. Yup this is Angelik. You've might have heard of them before as they've been around for ten years or more (short of that brief stint between 2004-2006 when they went completely batshit insane, moved to Sydney and all but disappeared). And yes everything about them DOES scream "dirty pub rock" very much in the fine knuckle dragging tradition of The Crown & Anchor (as it's one of the few remaining live venues in Adelaide short of The Metro where it's not an endangered species laughed at by disaffected hipsters) and yet it's only made them all the stronger for it. Weird but true! For as much as they might lack in a fashionably cutting edge sound, subtlety, or anything approaching an affinity for basic hygeine standards they DO excel at crafting some exceptionally fuck off loud, lewd, fast and furious songs to rape a beer bottle to (or a whole carton) whilst killing everything that moves. Or what I like to call a "falafel": the more obliteratingly drunk you get, the BETTER they sound (see.. just my kind of band!). Still in saying all that I dare say they might've developed a bit of added "depth and diversity" to their sound over the years: a quality which is very much evident in tonight's single launch. Firstly there's the novel addition of fifth member Todd Lawrie (former bass player from Trixie Plain amongst other things) who joins them on stage to provide xylophone and scissors for both of their launch singles "Dirty Lover" and "Cut Myself From You". And as retarded as that might seem (I mean c'mon he's playing the scissors ferfucksake!) it actually works brilliantly in all the ways you seriously think it wouldn't. Secondly there's all these quirky directions they're going in with their new songs. We already got a hint of it in previous shows with the song "The Ferry Man" that worked a sticks percussion opener very much reminiscent of The Ting Tings.. but there's more of it here tonight. In their song "Eat Your Heart" Sam Baroudi works a minimal guitar drone very much reminiscent of "Enter Sandman" by Metallica (giving them a surprisingly "cleaner" edge I hadn't heard before). In the songs "This I Know" and "Cut Myself From You" they almost approach a smokey blues ballad in style. While "My Life" for the first time sports this really nifty vocal harmony between lead singer Laken Smith and bass player Pete Kearnes. I mean it might not be much compared to most other bands, but when you consider we're dealing with a "balls to the wall" pub rock band combining the dirtiest elements of Hole, Magic Dirt, The Distillers and Nirvana (and running it into the ground for ten years or more) such "wild experimentation" as THIS practically comes off like a revelation! Better yet they nail it in the delivery, the crowd is lapping it up (as much as they're pissing up the walls) and for the simple fact they actually brought their own lights to brighten up the stage tonight? easily gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from me. Angelik. They've always been an a-grade soundtrack to drink yourself stupid to, but now? who knows.. maybe they've got something we can appreciate when we're sober too!
GENERATION SWINE (****) myspace :: And speaking of drinking yourself stupid? (something which I might be fast approaching if not fast surpassing by now) ooooh trust me, you'll want to be well beyond that point if ever you wish to appreciate the "finer qualities" of THIS our headlining act; if only to survive their ridiculously shit "awesome" stage presence without your whole head exploding.. WHOAAA FUCK!! Yup this is Generation Swine. And yes I know.. BELIEVE ME I KNOW! I mean shit duuude I WAS standing here in the same room as them tonight doing my best to keep a straight face (no mean feat mind you!). And for the record? No I've never seen them before, no I've never even heard of them before, no I didn't know half of what to expect (obviously not from the look of them) but what I DO know for certain is that I sure as hell wasn't expecting THIS shit.. "HA HA HA NO FUCKING WAY DUUUDE!!". Or in other words? yeaaah let's just remind ourselves that YES we are at The Ed Castle, and depending on just how dribbingly retarded we are right now!? YES this has got to be the most skull fuckingly horrifying or hilariously a-grade improbable shit we've ever seen explode onto this live stage since Blistered Palms played here back in 2008 (or perhaps ever since it was a drag queen joint before that) HA HA HA duuude they totally made my night I swear! Now obviously I don't need to tell YOU what they sounded like. You can just tell by looking at them that they're a glam metal band pushed to the ridiculous extreme as epitomised by Guns N Roses, Mötley Crüe, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Poison, Warrant, Skid Row (and all manner of Sunset Strip bands straight out of my nightmares circa 1982-1991). But the question is are they any good at it!? Well obviously I can't tell you that either.. as in all honesty this is the last style of music I'd EVER be into (and feel free to check my references if ever you need proof) but shit damn were they fucking brilliant at it all the same! In fact I dare say they were the funniest damn glam metal band I'd ever seen (and hell I've unwittingly seen more than my fair share from Airbourne, Wylde Throe, Diamond Sins to Dangerous!) which is probably the most praiseworthy thing I could say about them with any kind of informed "authority". Still with all that being said? yeaaah let's see if I can hamfist a review regardless? Generation Swine. In essence they're as authentic as it comes, duuude they totally nail it! Without a hint of irony they own this stage tonight as the very cliched epitome of "glam metal" cranked well beyond a cartoon caricature (or even well beyond that which you'd find at Enigma Bar). In fact I dare say it's the best thing about them. They take no half measures, they take no prisoners, they live and breathe this shit like it's the only thing they know.. OOOOH FUCK YEAH!! Firstly they sell it with their lead singer Matty D'amöre. Clearly that's not his real name, only a crazy person would ever call himself that (and yes I realise the irony in ME saying that) but you'd be hard pressed to believe it WASN'T in the way he prances and prowls about the stage like a demented cross between Axl Rose, David Lee Roth, Iggy Pop and that wacky serial killer out of Silence Of The Lambs (aka: "It rubs the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again."). So much so all the girls here (read: hilarious groupies dressed to the nines like a tattoo parlour gone horribly right), are thrust giddily to the front lapping up his every move like he's every essence a rock idol (and again I'm doing my utmost to keep a straight face here but they're really not making it easy for me!). Secondly we have his more than capable band of misfits surrounding him: a scribbly overblown mess of hair, excess guitar wank and gunning gasoline rhythm that totally back him up every inch of the way. I mean suuure every song kinda sounds the same to me. They've all got cheesy names like: "Goin' Down", "Tie Your Mum", "Don't Deny Me" and "Fatal Attraction". I can barely stand to watch more than ten minutes at a time without gouging my eyes out screaming, pissing myself laughing, or both. But what can I say? they're damn near legendary at what they do! Generation Swine. They're a tribute band on steroids that's long forgotten who they're a "tribute" to.. but when it's THIS ludicrous? duuude it's damn near impossible to deny!
1:36AM - With the bands all but finished for the night and believe me not a moment too soon (I mean no offense guys you did some mad shit out there, it's just been a SHIT of a week!) all I was looking forward to now was drinking myself "blissfully paralytic" at the bar; and not even in the HA HA joking exaggerate sense (seriously if I don't wake up the next day with a price tag on my toe and most my internals harvested I seriously haven't done it right!) Thankfully I'd already called in a dedicated team of kamikaze experts to speed me along the way, namely one Joe "Pisswreck" Blogs here: having the absolute time of his life on the "dancefloor" to The Ed Castle's resident Strangelove DJs (who might I add are spinning some exceptionally dopearse selections tonight).
1:43AM - And of course the ever infamous Simone. Who just like Joe Blogs before us obviously needs no introduction to the point you're probably hastily scrolling past the both of them hoping there's a drunkarse photo of YOU in here somewhere to upload to your facebook profile (I mean shit duuude why ELSE would you all be here? for a "live music blog"!? AAAAHAHAhAhAHahAhA!!), because yes they're the "bane of my blogging existence" just as much as they're shit awesome friends to get hideously drunk with.. WOOOO!! Except clearly all this "hideous drinking" doesn't apply to Simone right now as obviously she's of "sound and sober mind", hasn't skipped out on dinner tonight, and hasn't been drinking triples for doubles (or maybe ALL of those drinks are for her) in the mistaken belief it'd actually cover the difference. Role models? pfft.. oh we got plenty!
1:45AM - Which yeaaah, if you read the inherent sarcasm in my last statement (I mean shit duuude when shouldn't you!?) possibly begins to explain all the photos she "insisted" I shoot of her in following stumbling about blindly (and frequently under) the bar in the mistaken belief she's a "shit hot supermodel" (as much as she's arguably doing an awesome job of it) but hey do you see me complaining here!? OOOOH FUCK NO!! (just as, in saying all this? yeaaah she's clearly not Simone at all but her identical twin "Schlimone".. and that's JUST what she'll likely tell you too!).
"Um hello 000? yeah I know it's ME again, and no please don't put me on hold.. can you send a..? oh wait, it's already on it's way? and several people have already called it in? oh nevermind then!".
3:05AM - Many many hours hence (or more accurately a little over an hour later but easily many MANY drinks later.. eeee!) I find myself here at Enigma Bar. And no I don't remember how the fuck this happened exactly, and by "I don't remember" I clearly mean both Joe and Simone did such a great job at The Ed Castle killing every single brain cell responsible and not because I might've conveniently "edited out" anything I saw on my camera the next day by repetitively throw it into a wall laughing hysterically until the little lights stopped blinking. *PHEW* (oh trust me you SO don't wanna know!). Either way while I WAS here for an "all too brief period in time" (ie: before common sense clearly got the better of me) I couldn't help but notice two things. Firstly this wacky digital display that reads "beer tower" as if to somehow suggest that by ordering it, it'll actually perform a crucial load bearing function to prevent the entire upstairs floor from collapsing around our ears.
4:57AM - Which many MANY hours hence invariably leads me to Supermild. The "futhering adventures of which" I'd usually document in more hilarious detail here (ie: on any other night where I'd actually give half a shit) except clearly I DIDN'T tonight purely because Ruby Chew was leaving just as I was arriving, she's clearly their "good luck leprechaun" at the bar (as much as she totally doesn't meet the diminutive stature requirement.. but shit damn she's pretty!) and clearly I was all bummed out about it, so I posted this whimsical piece of toilet graffiti instead. YEAAAS!!
Yup, I hate this time of year I really do. It makes everything a punishing grind, a harrowing soul sucking ordeal, a retarding repetitive exercise in utter futility. In every way that it truly isn't and it's probably just "vitamin" related or an occupational hazard of doing the same thing over and over till my fucking head explodes.. GNAAARRGGHHH!! Or maybe I should just get out into the sun more often and stop being a "whinyarse bitch" about something I choose OF MY OWN FREE WILL and enjoy the hell out of 99% of the time (HA HA HA I mean WHAT THE FUCK am I complaining about maaan!? I love this shit it's freaking hilarious!). And so I focus on all the little things here, all the stupid and insane things that keep me endlessly entertained, I squirrel away all the nuts I find (figurative or otherwise) I drink myself blind to while away the darkest hours before dawn, safe in the knowledge that in little over a month's time spring WILL come.. and not a moment too soon!