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...
THE SALVADORS + SMALL AFFAIRS + ALL NIGHT GIRLS "PLUS ONE" @ THE ED CASTLE / Saturday September 25th 2010
YEAAAS!! another whizzbang night at The Ed Castle! I fucking LOVE The Ed Castle I really truly do! I love the screaming shit out of it maaan! I love it like a previously undiagnoses mental illness that ultimately gets "named after me" in some fartarse medical journal whatever-the-fuck only to be adapted into a cinematic spiritual successor to the Saw franchise rendered so eye gougingly "hilarious" (because it's secretly a slapstick comedy) no classification board in the world would ever give it the green light to screen it.. WAHOOOO!! No shit! sometimes I love The Ed Castle so damn much I want to punch something hard.. with my head, repetitively and excessively until I achieve unconsciousness and then I wake up somewhere that ISN'T The Ed Castle because THAT'S HOW MUCH I FUCKING LOOOVE THE ED CASTLE!! And yes I know it's a weird kind of "love" to express, some might even call it "ragingly sarcastic" bordering on downright psychotic in nature (and believe me that's on a good night!) but I really truly DO "love" it here maaan.. I wouldn't give it up for the world! like cigarettes, or cocaine, or heroin, or cigarettes laced with cocaine and heroin (or herpies!) or rather like being subjected to Vampire Weekend's "A-Punk" over and over in an endless loop screaming in a foetal ball for the pain to stop and ooops.. here comes the Baywatch theme? but in a really REALLY ridiculously "awesome" way I swear! AAAAHAHAHahAhAHaHAhA!! or yeaaah maybe I'm just in one of those moods tonight, and it beats me why as it's clearly totally unrelated to all the above's hysterical outburst (noooo.. that's just me having some FUN!!) just as it clearly has NOTHING to do with The Ed Castle being my very own personal version of "Groundhog Day" where every night's the same until I fucking explode and want to kill everyone.. HELL NO!! EVERY NIGHT HERE IS A SHINY NEW ADVENTURE!! no it's for slightly more "obscure and intangible reasons" than that, completely unrelated to all the hilarious writer's block and insomnia that I might have been cursed with this week (yeaaah not like you've noticed!) either way? fuck damn it's ever so awesome being back here AGAIN tonight.. HA HA HA duuude, it's gonna be the best night ever I SWEAR!!
ALL NIGHT GIRLS (****1/2) Yup to put it "mildly" being in a live venue reviewing live bands or even at The Ed Castle for that matter (joke very much implied) is pretty much the last thing I'd ever want to be doing tonight. Thankfully I had other options cooking "just in case", so I made a little pact with myself: if ever THIS opening act did end up blowing the hind end of a horse? (or even a donkey for that matter) I could simply abandon ship and get howlingly drunk at a house party I clicked "maybe attending" to that was happening just off of Rundle Mall instead.. SCORE!! Which was a brilliant plan if ever I had one, as I could totally hit that bottle shop at Tattersall Hotel near the corner of Hindley and King William (aka: "The Little Pub Just Off Hindley Street") hit me up a carton of pale for $40 odd (bargain!) and be laughingly drunk at that party HAVING THE ABSOLUTE TIME OF MY LIFE in next to no time, with who the fuck knows who? WHO THE FUCK CARES!? because you totally wouldn't be reading shit on it.. YEAAAS!! And the very fact that I didn't do that? probably speaks more volumes in boundless praise to THIS band than anything else I could write in following. Yup this is All Night Girls, and yup they are every reason I could think of AND THEN SOME for sticking around tonight, duuude they totally blew my shit away! Chances are you've never heard of them before; just as I barely knew shit on them either. They're still quite new, this is maybe their second or third show, they don't even have a myspace, facebook or a twitter account to their name (word is they'll totally have that shit hooked up in two weeks time once they have some recordings to show for it though) but you might recognise some of their band members. Both Nick Bastiras on vocals and guitar and Mick Armstrong on bass you might recognise from guest appearances in Jimmy & The Mirrors in the past year or so, Travis Williamson on drums in everything from ...So Yeah to The Scarlet Ives (to that one off appearance in Nazz & The Red Ponies for the Triffids Tribute show back in 2008) as well as both Mick and Trav being in Unspoken Things back in the day (no really.. they totally released albums and everything!). But even more notoriously so? you might remember all three of them from Tyger Tyger. Yes.. Tyger Tyger: the most fuckoff insidious scenester viral marketing campaign (thinly disguised as a live band) ever to pummel the Adelaide scene into dribbling submission since Tony Font Show (and if you don't know who THEY WERE you clearly didn't get out nearly enough in 2006-2007). And as much as Tyger Tyger were five kinds of retardingly awesome for making outrageous twats of themselves on a live stage? (in lieu of any "artistic credibility" short of a well timed dick & fart gag) thankfully THIS band have very much gone the reverse. Yup All Night Girls are a band that deserves attention for all the RIGHT reasons: the music itself. In the simplest of terms you could think of them as the best bits of The Verve meets The Jimi Hendrix Experience; only that kinda sells them short. Nope it's more about the mad virtuouso proficiency in which they deliver their shit like it's nothing but fuck off authentic. From Nick's vocals: channeling all the rich nasal sustain of Richard Ashcroft (with all the melancholy and none of the ego) to his shredding guitar solos that reference everything from Jimi Hendrix at their most frenetic to Queens Of The Stone Age at their fuzziest. To Mick and Trav's languid rhythm section: in a slacker groove not too dissimilar to The Dandy Warhols meets Sly & The Family Stone. It's all about the nuances with this band, it's a contemplative 60's blues psychedelia vibe rich in texture, awash in reverb, weighted in well crafted songwriting that only rewards you more the more you hear of it. And as much as they do their best NOT to draw attention to themselves in performing it, preferring the music to speak for itself.. they still have no trouble drawing a crowd around them. From a whistling empty band room at the start they have a dancefloor packed by the end, they're loving the absolute shit out of it.. and hell you really can't ask for a better response than that can you? All Night Girls. They may be unassuming almost to a fault here tonight, but with shit of this calibre still drawing peeps in from far and wide!? chances are we'll be hearing all about them soon enough!
SMALL AFFAIRS (****) myspace :: Thanks in no small part to just how surprisingly "non horse blowing" our opening act was (and perhaps the one or two beers I might've downed in between to aid me in that assessment) I feel slightly LESS like I want to kill someone here, or something, or a great many of both all at once with a few pounds of well placed C4 explosive whilst laughing hysterically (that I'd totally have ready access to too.. because yes I really AM Wile E. Coyote) which I admit is an utterly irrational feeling to have as I have nothing but LOVE for The Ed Castle no matter how many times I might end up here with nothing new to fucking write about it (duuude don't get me started.. AGAIN!!) and I should really be directing all this energy towards the much more worthwhile goal of blowing up "The Death Star" instead (aka: do I really need to tell you WHICH "live venue" I'm referring to?) but yeaaah that's really neither here or there. Either way? I'm still a little "on edge": our second act is a complete unknown to me, there's still that house party happening in Rundle Mall that I could totally blow everything off for to get obliteratingly drunk at.. and believe me if I see even a hint of a microkorg, flock of seagulls or anyone attempting the "chicken dance" to a four four beat here? (aka: "The Ed Castle Special") I could just as easily write this whole thing off as a blog about JUST the All Night Girls and EVERYONE ELSE CAN GET FUCKED!! WAAAAHAHAhAhAHahAhaHA!! (no really, don't think I won't do it either!). But that was before they hit the stage tonight, and when they did? duuude there was no way in hell I could even THINK of leaving the band room even if I tried. Yup this is Small Affairs, they're from Melbourne and tonight they're launching their second EP "Words From A Stranger" but from the ragtag "murderous" look of them all? they could just as easily be smashing windows side of stage, hurling in a few molotov cocktails and themselves headfirst into this band room and mounting a political uprising they're THAT mad gunning to be here tonight. Seriously, from the first five minutes on stage all we can see or hear of this exploding shitstorm is a lot of thrashing, gnashing, flailing and hysterical screaming.. most of it coming from their lead singer Cam Ford: who appears to get most of his insane rock posturing from the school of Michael Hutchence (only the reared by wolves feral as fuck version) but he's hardly the only one at it. Next to everyone else on stage (short of the drummer) is whizzing about like mad dodgems, throwing guitars and bass about a few shades short of a concussive head injury.. in fact it takes a good ten to fifteen minutes of witnessing this shit explode about me till I can make heads or tails on what the FUCK they actually sound like. In the simplest of terms you could figure it as a mix between 60's garage at its most volatile and 70's proto punk at its most incendiary. They mostly remind me of The Saints in that respect (and admittedly all of ONE song "I'm Stranded" that I know them for) but they also reference everything from the oldskool sounds of The Ramones, the Sex Pistols and maybe a little bit of The Stooges, mixed in with shit like The Vines and The Libertines; but only at their most howlingly incoherent (they pull a mad cover of The Rolling Stone's "Jumping Jack Flash" too!). Everything about their stage presence and performance tonight is ludicrously fuck off loud, abrasive, hyperactive and sinewy bordering on starvation. Or rather like those wacky rage zombies from 28 Days Later if ever they were given musical instruments to play with. Or rather like the sonic equivalent of a room full of mouse traps going off to a hailstorm of ping pong balls dropped from above whilst someone flicks a light switch on and off screaming "Fight Fight Fight" (they even play a few slower songs too!). And yes I do realise that a lot of what I'm saying here DOES border on ridiculously hallucinogenic (or in other words.. what's new?) but trust me they're just that kind of band. "Shock and awe" might be one way to put it, watching flailing rats explode in a microwave is possibly more apt; but I totally mean that in the best way possible. Small Affairs, no really! If you love your shit howlingly obnoxious and stabbingly angular stuffed into a small confined space? (and believe me they're totally doing wonders for me right now) then you'll totally bug out to this!
THE SALVADORS (****) myspace :: Which brings us here to our headlining act and yeaaah.. I'm pretty much sticking around right to the very end aren't I? aaaah fuck it! But don't let my hilarious lack of "enthusiasm" here dissuade you in any way shape or form, for there are plenty of head explodingly AWESOME reasons to stick around for our final band tonight aren't there!? YOU BETCHA!! (no seriously I wrote "awesome" in all caps and everything!). Granted I can't think of many right now but at the very least they're more than welcome to a live stage for one reason: and that's because they make us feel five kinds of retardingly happy to be here. Now admittedly this might sound lame for a great many of us more discerning "indie snobs" out there who want something a little more "thought provoking" from our music: as this band ain't exactly the most fuckoff arty, integral or cutting edge act in the Adelaide scene (HA HA HA duuude don't make me laugh!). Nope they're more the blissfully white bread, vanilla, middle of the road, Sunday School "wholesome" schtick your nanna would love the shit out of (or knit a sweater for). They're ridiculously clean cut, enthusiastic and beaming with cheesyarse grins. I mean just look at their lead singer Tom Opie ferfucksake! like he's in his 20's going on 80's fumbling about the stage all "happy go lucky" with his oversized bar of soap? pfft seriously!? he's so inoffensive he's practically Fred Basset with a fucking guitar! And the band he's with? they're so running that "Vampire Weekend" thing into the ground aren't they!? (as much as there's a little bit of The Shins, The Kooks, The Beach Boys and The Patridge Family in there too). Just as they sound like ever other inoffensive easy-to-please "indie pop" band Triple J loves to thrash to within an inch of its life from Hungary Kids Of Hungary, Oh Mercy, Little Red to Yves Klein Blue (and no that's not me stifling a yawn I swear.. I SIMPLY CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT!! WAHOOOO!!). Just as their single "Atacama Disco" has already been high rotated to the point of a mental illness on Triple J all last summer (just as I don't doubt they'll have a sequel THIS summer that'll be five times as annoyingly catchy.. squeeeeee!). And yet as much as we could stand here at an objective distance and find a million and one reasons to poke fun at them for this shit? it's a whole different matter when you're standing in the thick of it, front of stage, after you've had one fuck of a week and you're looking for any excuse to blow off steam.. I mean hell, they might be white bread as fuck but FUCK DAMN DO THEY MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD!! And in so many ways THIS is what The Salvadors provide for us in spades tonight (and then some!). Yup with a crowd packed to the ceiling around me laughing it up (and threatening to spill over onto the stage) and a band all chipper as shit in front of me playing like a proverbial picnic full of prozac on a warm summer's day: it's damn near impossible to hate this band EVEN IF YOU TRY!! Every song of theirs is just as ridiculously infectious in "hound dog" vocals, staccato rhythms, dit dot melodies and pogo stick afrobeats as the one that comes before it. Every member of the band looks ridiculously happy to be here almost to the point you feel the inescapable urge to beat them over the head screaming with a fire extinguisher thinking that they're "pod people" all a sudden (or worse still.. Jehovah's Witnesses!?) if you weren't so caught up in the giddy euphoria of it. And yes I realise they're not exactly the "edgiest shit" happening, there's nothing all that imaginative about it, or even wildly different about anything they play and it all kinda blurs into one after a while; but who gives a flying fuck when you're mad bugging out to it like this!? not when they encapsulate everything awesome to be found in sunshine, lollipops and puppies and you pulling bucket bong after bucket bong laughing it up on a beanbag to a blissful cascade of Saturday morning cartoons they're not! and in a totally "wholesome" g-rated way too!? Yup that's The Salvadors! They might be the musical equivalent of farting in a bathtub.. but trust me they're no less satisfying because of it!
1:47AM - Feeling as if a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders; thanks to the live bands of course and completely unrelated to just how many beers I might have been consuming all night until my brain went off like a balloon pissing out air.. "pfffplplplplplpl" I briefly entertained the notion of continuing my mad celebration of all things The Ed Castle at The Ed Castle until I took one good look around me: at the front bar, the DJ booth and the bar garden outside to remind me again just how ridiculously "awesome" it was to be here and yeaaah.. I thought better to celebrate that shit elsewhere. I mean I might be brimming with all kinds of newfound "appreciation" for this shitdive again? BUT LET'S NOT GO NUTS! And so I take one last photo of the band room to signify this utterly inauspicious occassion (as much as it wasn't THIS photo: as the one I took tonight was kinda balls, so I'm using one from a few months ago) as someone casually comments in passing: "I wonder what the caption for THIS photo will be.. this place blows?" (HA HA HA seriously? what makes you think that!? I could totally party here ALL NIGHT LONG!!) and then I'm out that door.
2:49AM - And so with no other "obvious option" available (as likely it was waaay too late to be at The Exeter and a little too early to hit up Supermild) I simply went straight back to The Ed Castle: and doesn't it just look like the hippest happening head explosion hootenanny to be at too!? WOWEEEE!! (completely unrelated to THIS photo I shot in the deadest part of the venue upstairs to signify just how whizzbang excited I was to be here of course). Yeaaah fuck it, maybe I'll set these chairs up in a pyramid and we'll take turns doing human bowling ball into it.. any takers?
2:52AM - Yup clearly I'm at a loose end here: I'm waaay too bored to deal with any of this shit right now (or in other words I'm not nearly drunk enough despite all my wishful thinking) and yet I'm weirdly compelled to stay. Which possibly explains why I'm laughing it up with these nitwits out in the beer garden. Still if it helps? Laura IS wearing a ridiculously awesome polar bear hat just now, which at the very least might explain half of these fucked up retarded photos in following..
For nothing quite entertains on a Saturday night slowly circling the proverbial plughole in every way that I'm being "sarcastic" and I'm having the time of my life! AAAAHAHahAHaHAhA!! *ahem* (yeaaah I don't buy it either) than the high brow art of "prop comedy". And to Laura's infinite credit? the minute we ran out of dumbarse photo opportunities with her polar bear hat (mostly because she wouldn't let anyone else near the hat.. you fiend!) nothing quite trumps it in the hilarity stakes than the sight of her wearing these spastically a-grade "goggle" glasses.. SCORE!!
No wait.. I stand corrected.
And then there's THIS photo which I probably could've left out.. except I'm very much enjoying the idea of either Laura or Olivia stumbling upon it, having an "adverse reaction" to it (ie: anything from screaming obscenities, attacking their computer screen with a hatchet, setting it on fire only to accidently burn their whole house down) safe in the knowledge that I have a blog read by a thousand odd people who can relentlessly poke fun at them for it, and all they can do in retaliation is charge me $12 on the door next time I go here and.. yeaaah let's just forget we even saw this.
3:16AM - Aaaah Supermild.. the last refuge for the damned! And for the record no matter how many times I've been here well beyond the point of sustaining a debilitating brain injury? (ie: somewhere around April 2009 I believe) it never ever gets dull for me. WHY!? because I'm usually waaay too obliterated drunk to give a flying fuck either way.. YEAAAS!! it's like the perfect system!
4:05AM - Of course I'm nowhere near THAT drunk now.. and yes it's a tad bit uncharacteristic of me, I know that, and I know I have some serious "catching up" to do. And so for the next hour I did just that, with absolutely nothing on the photographic record to show for it (and it was everything I dreamed it could be.. and SO MUCH MORE!). Still in effort to mark the passage of time: here's a cigar that I swear totally wasn't mine, that I totally wasn't smoking (seriously.. I'm just minding it for someone else who ducked off to take a whizz in the bushes!) either way? you can't go wrong with this shit when you're drinking in style can you!? nope.. GOOD *cough* TIMES!!
4:22AM - And speaking of good times that may or may not involve getting stupifyingly drunk with a few too many Cubans (or a few too many Dominicans passing themselves off as Cubans) lemme tell you about closing time at Supermild tonight. Duuude if you missed out on this shit it was like a greatest hits compilation of every reason imagineable to drink yourself blind here on a Saturday night multiplied by ten! and I'm not even being sarcastic in saying that "wait.. what? you mean to say you were being sarcastic before!? YOUUU LIE!!". No seriously! the rest of my night could've gargled the proverbial nutsack of a narwhale and gone back for seconds (and thirds) and all this would've STILL totally rocked the shit out of it! And I don't just mean Lucy here fluttering about with a furry hat just now (with attached furry mittens!? squeeeeee!) although admittedly it IS a ridiculously awesome photo in its own right. No she was merely the tip of the iceberg maaan! one in a cast of festive thousands! all contributing to the head exploding "awesomatude" that was raging unabated within these four walls tonight. No shit duuude, it's like I never wanted to leave!
Yup sometimes I feel like I'm experiencing the same night ad infinitum to the point I swear my head's gonna fucking explode and kill me; especially if I find myself covering a gig at The Ed Castle for the upteenth billionth time after a heinous week of writer's block screaming myself blind like it's Groundhog Day (duuude it's like an event horizon to a blackhole I swear! THERE'S JUST NO WAY TO ESCAPE IT!!). Except we all know that ain't true! HA HA HA my brain is perfectly fine maaan! it hasn't exploded! it hasn't imploded or spontaneously combusted, I totally keep it in a jar of formaldehyde and everything! (sometimes I even roll it in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, cook it over a slow flame and sing songs to it!). Nope every night is a shiny new adventure I swear! every night is different, subtle it may be.. but totally different! They may look the same, smell the same, sound the same, they might even start out the same with me yammering like a mental patient outside of The Ed Castle wondering why I ever agreed to this shit in the first place? but it doesn't matter how it starts, it's where it all ENDS that matters the most! For no matter how much all THIS drives me completely fucking insane? it's still a mad trip worth taking every single time!