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...
DIESEL WITCH (***1/2) myspace :: Yup the fact is I wasn't all "here" tonight, I was out of my miiind! as much as someone who looked a whole lot like me sure as shit WAS, but as for me? oh I was long gone the minute I walked in and promptly "left the building". And the only way I could explain it, is to say that the "weather" totally made me do it. Yes the weather! or to be more precise something ever so slightly surreal about "tropical grade" humidity (we're talking swampy as all fuck atmospheric "pea-soupiness") mixed with chronic insomnia that makes me want to drink like a bug eyed amphibian. Seriously, beer almost never tastes as good as it does on a night like this, you could drink two to three times what you'd normally drink (or think is even physically possible in one night) and never get drunk off it, only to fuck yourself up hours down the line when you realise the alcoholic content is just as suicidally lethal (it's only been delayed in transit) and as for what ANY of this aimless gibberish has got to do with our opening act here tonight!? pfft.. NOTHING YOU IDIOTS!! as thanks to all these wacky photos and videos and all the "comprehensive" notes I've kept in between, you can totally disregard everything I've just said and pretend I have half a fucking clue what I'm talking about here (which I most certainly don't). Yup this is Diesel Witch, formerly known as The Witch, formerly known as Diesel Witch. And before you ask? apparently they changed their name because they kept being associated with Johnny Diesel & The Injectors (go figure?). And as for why they've since changed it back!? well as much as they technically like to call themselves by BOTH now (as much as their myspace is to be believed) a more likely explanation is that their guitarist/drummer Luke "Moon Face" Willis did it simply to fuck with us. And I say this from experience too: he's just that kind of hilarious shitweasel to do that, and without him Diesel Witch wouldn't be anywhere NEAR as "entertaining" for me to write about. Case in point, last time I saw them at Format? (in support of The Crying Game and the Avant Gardeners) he thought it'd be "funny" to aim a smoke machine directly at my face anytime I took photos of them.. so I simply kept taking photos anyways just to spite him (apparently he really didn't appreciate all those "glowing reviews" I kept giving them). Tonight when he sees me AGAIN "shit grinning" front of stage (after suggested on facebook he should totally bring that smoke machine again tonight) he starts heckling me over the mic: "hey Spoz, shouldn't you be at The Ed Castle now or something, taking your silly little photos?" only to add (a little sheepishly) off mic: "thanks for coming anyways" (except I probably shouldn't have mentioned that last bit.. ooops!). And it's this hilariously "antagonistic" attitude that extends to their live performance too. Just when you have their sound pegged as a little bit of surf guitar "A" mixed with garage/grunge "B" and celebrate the fuck out of them for it (ie: see every other slightly more "coherent" review I've ever written about them) they go and up the distortion levels till it's practically sand blasting our ears. I mean here they are playing Jive tonight with their ridiculously a-grade sound system (and ever infamous sound engineer to boot) and so they "retaliate" by sounding like they're shredding "Crime Converter" instruments through a megaphone in a toilet cubicle? and not by accident mind you, they're actually doing this shit on purpose just to fuck with us!? Yup and it's the "awesomest" thing about their set too as much as it's near painful to listen to. It's that much looser, thrashier, fuglyarse and primal, like the sound of The Pixies being gang fucked by "goon fueled" teenagers in a cement mixer, like a belligerent "fuck you" to the Adelaide scene establishment. So trashy in fact they manage to blow up a fuse to one of their guitar amps: to which one of the other band members jokingly fingers the blame with.. "it's the comedy stylings of Luke Willis everybody!", only for Chris "Bird Beak" Busbridge's guitar strap to fuck up moments later in the last song (again possibly Luke's fault) to the point that they barely escape the live stage without burning it to all the ground they're that "antagonistic" about being here tonight!? Yup that's Diesel Witch. They're shitcrazy delinquents looking to piss all over everything that dares "stand in their way" tonight (including their audience) and I dare say they're all the better for it!
THE KEEPSAKES / OH MINOR (***1/2) myspace / facebook :: Our second act (as much as they may've likely been our opening act) was originally going to be Our Husband: a hauntingly atmospheric folk duo recently signed to "Gaga Publishing" consisting of Freya Adele (formerly Bing Goes To Monaco) and Nathaniel Morse (from Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire!). One which I was very much looking forward in seeing tonight as their recordings very much remind me of "chillwave" indie fashionista shit like Beach House but in such an a-grade exemplary way that they totally don't put me into a coma listening to it (or in other words I SO totally would've hamfisted a laughingly "sycophantic" live review in following fuck full of praise, if their set tonight was anywhere near as good as the stuff available on their Triple J Unearthed.. damnit!). Except as you might've suspected they had to pull out at the very last minute (and I never quite got the reasons why either) and so instead we're presented with our "third act" The Keepsakes. Or at least we eventually did, but only after waiting through a ridiculously elaborate forty minute soundcheck to fine tune their shit (I shit you not!). Just as it's not exactly The Keepsakes as we know it either, as their drummer Jeremy Lake is glaringly absent from tonight's proceedings: as word is he took a "mystery" trip to London and I'm totally supporting that theory too (despite any forensics evidence they might eventually uncover to the contrary). So instead we're presented with a collaborative effort between The Keepsakes and former members of The British Robots "covering" three songs by The Keepsakes: "Bells", "Paper Planes" and "Shoelaces" and quite brilliantly too I might add (with violin provided on the latter by Tom Capogreco from Todd Sibbins & The Opposite Ends). Only to follow that up by swapping out their first bass player Jon Wignall for Anthony Golding from We Grow Up and presenting us with a full set of their OWN songs under the name "Oh Minor". A newly formed band of apparent hype and hyperbole (they played their first show just last Saturday at The Grace Emily in fact) as much as they've jokingly referred to themselves as "The Fucksakes" instead: a never more apt description for the few shades short of an hilarious "dog's breakfast" that they presented tonight. And yes it surprises me to no end too that I managed to come up with ANY of these details just now, considering I spent most of their forty minute soundcheck tonight drinking myself delerious at the bar and so with that in mind? aaaah fuck it.. let's see if I can bluff my way through an equally "informative" review in following shall we!? Yup Oh Minor: featuring Anthony Wignall on guitar (from The Keepsakes), Mark Curtis and Paddy Montgomery on guitar and Gareth Briggs on drums (from The British Robots) and Anthony Golding on bass (from We Grow Up) plus an assortment of guest appearances in between, could be considered a "twee-pop Adelaide supergroup" of sorts (someone in the crowd even laughingly suggested the name "Monsters Of Sulk" to that effect), as much they're not nearly as squeaky clean "vanilla" sounding as their separate parts and instead adopt a more flamboyant 70's "radio rock" feel rich in gang harmonies. In the simplest of terms you could think of it as Mumford & Sons meets Weezer, only both of those could possibly be categorised as an insult now; so feel free to throw in everything from Ryan Adams, My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists, Fleetwood Mac to The Travelling Wilburys and you'd be much closer to the mark. Mark and Anthony Wignall both take turns on lead vocals, frequently in unison. Many of their songs have that well travelled troubadour feel, reminiscent of the American midwest (well obviously, since half of my fartarse references seem to suggest that) songs that are richly accented in feather dusted guitar hooks, sweetly swinging rhythm and the lightest of percussion (even a spirited sitar recital at the hands of Paddy Montgomery just for the ridiculous fuck of it) and as blissfully shambolic as it all comes together? like a ragtag bunch of home schooled dweebs attempting a campfire singalong!? (without quite knowing what they're actually singing about) there IS a lot of potential here. And that's The Fucksakes.. ooops I mean Oh Minor! They might not look like much NOW, but give them a few months tops and I swear knock kneed "uber goobers" and tragic shut-ins everywhere will be totally losing their shit to it!
THE HONEY PIES (****1/2) myspace :: Which then brings us to our headlining act: here to launch their wildly anticipated album "Think Of England" or at least "wildly anticipated" to me (and I don't even mean sarcastically, yeaaah ok perhaps just a little) pretty much ever since Jon Marco and Tony Marshall debuted it as an acoustic duo back in December 2007 out of the ashes of Poly & The Statics just a few months prior to that (and ask anyone in the know WHY that was a tragedy and a half when they broke up). Only to all but disappear without a trace for well over a year (whilst former Poly & The Statics "alumni" Josh Phillips and Tom McCarthy-Jones both formed Billy Bishop Goes To War only to break THAT up a little over six months later without a single studio recording to show for it.. guh damnit!). Only to return again with a full band: adding Tom McCarthy-Jones on bass and Marcus Warnecke on drums in January 2009, replete with all these ridiculously awesome and instantly "shitcrazy" infectious tunes that you just couldn't get out of your head (they even cooked up these mad youtube videos to go along with them). Only to tease us with nothing but a demo to show for it for another two years running!? "FUUUCK OFF!!". And the reason why this would rightfully drive anyone insane? is if you ever saw them live. Duuude it was like seeing this decade's equivalent of The Beatles before they totally blew up big. Equal measures britpop at its finest and oldskool punk at its shitcraziest, it was insane to think nobody else knew even about it yet, to the point you'd wonder out loud why they hadn't been signed to a label yet (let alone scammed any high rotation airplay on "you know who") or yeaaah maybe it was just me.. I mean what the fuck do I know!? Everyone loves all that disposable "dancefloor" crap now like Art Vs Science, Dizzee Rascal and Lady Gaga riiight? Rock's been dead since Kurt Cobain got all "cozy" with that shotgun in 1994, both Kayne West and Chris Cornell have been pissing on its ashes since 2009, nobody outside of Triple J airplay knows who the fuck Josh Homme or Jack White are in 2010, and who the FUCK are The Honey Pies in all this!? HA HA HA NOBODY YOU FOOLS!! And yet as much as this band HAS been Adelaide's "best kept secret" in the most annoying way possible for the past few years running!? maybe at long last, in some teeny tiny way, all THAT is about to change.. YEAAAS!! For tonight is their album launch, their shining moment of triumph, where they can finally make their "indelible mark" on the Adelaide scene and the world at large! I'm obviously here to document the living shit out of it, or the very least tell you all: I TOLD YOU SO.. "AAAAHAHaHAHahahA WHO'S LAUGHING NOW YA FUCKS!!". Or at least I so WOULD'VE if I hadn't gotten stupidly drunk "celebrating" it for the past few hours, and since forgotten most of what the fuck happened when they arrived on stage. Ooops! Still it must've been one hell of a launch party if I did just THAT (and I doubt I was the only one at it too) and as for the rest!? yeaaah let's see what I can salvage from my "blackbox recording". Yup arriving on stage to a whimsical excerpt from Monty Python's Flying Circus (the nose flute sketch to be exact) to a packed out Jive (they didn't open upstairs but they were licking the proverbial ceiling tiles all the same) The Honey Pies launched into a fourteen song setlist. Highlights of which including first song "Fool In Love", followed by "Sex Wax", "Diving Bell" and "Bossa Nova" (but perhaps only because I remember their names from previous sets), as well as a cover of The Beatles' "And Your Bird Can Sing", their paired-back ditty "Sold My Soul" and closing with the schizophrenic punk of "DqyDjb". I can't quite recall if they played an encore at all but at the very least the crowd totally lost their shit to it from beginning to end, they even had a feeding frenzy of female fans dancing up a storm out front (and how!) and not even ONCE did Jon Marco break a string on his guitar (and I should probably stop mentioning that as he's had a pretty good run of it ever since that hilarious meltdown back in July) and in the blurriest of broadstrokes THAT was The Honey Pies!? Yup as much as I wasn't all here for it? what WAS (and I'm assuming the hypothalamus) had a hell of a time laughing itself stupid to it, and I don't doubt many of you here were equally as amnesiac yet "mind numbingly" euphoric, but at least now we finally have an album to take home to show for it. So for all the shit we might have "forgotten" here tonight? we'll always have THAT to remind us!
1:16AM - Now as much as I've managed to totally bluff and near abouts bullshit my way through documenting the "business end" of proceedings here (and rather badly at that) any recollection of the rest of my night (and all the "whizzbang excitement" exploding around me in celebrating The Honey Pies' new album tonight) or anything I might have done in between that perhaps I should apologise profusely for (short of that jägerbomb I downed at the bar in between eight or nine pints of beers of course, because pfft.. that shit was nothing but legendary!) aaaah fuck it, your guess is as good as mine. Except I obviously can't get away THAT easily. As since I took all these photos, and many of them are arguably hilarious for all the WRONG REASONS (ie: I really shouldn't appear in my own blog if I know what's good for me) it'd be utterly remiss of me NOT to provide running commentary for them all. Not just as an ongoing "creative" exercise attempting to make sense of it all (yeaaah good luck with that!) but perhaps more as a "cautionary tale" to each and every one of YOU poor fools who may've unwittingly crossed paths with me tonight, to run screaming for the exit signs if ever you see me THIS drunk again. Take Simone here for example: she thought it'd be genius to join me on this drunken rollercoaster tonight, as much as she's decided to stay sober the entire time (guh.. you fiend!). Which possibly explains why she's "hiding" behind that ridiculous stuffed animal regretting her "genius" decision just now, in the hopes I won't see her so she can make a mad dash for freedom. And as for why she's holding up that teeny tiny toy donkey as well? beats the hell out of me, but at the very least I'm told his name is "Noodles".. awesome huh!?
1:20AM - Which brings me to Blake Lewis here. I forget why he's "relevant" to this nonsensical narrative (as much as I've forgotten what this "narrative" is in the first place), except to point out that his name is "Blake Lewis" NOT Spoz. I know it seems wildly implausible, but I'm told on good authority that a great many of you lunatics have actually confused this shaggy haired neanderthal for me in recent weeks (ok maybe I can see your point) so much so he's been scamming himself free entry into The Ed Castle under false pretenses (or maybe he accidently scored it ONCE only to realise it was free entry into THE ED CASTLE and HA HA HA seriously who'd ever want to go there!?) and he's even had entire conversations with people I know at The Exeter who really should've known better than to confuse us. Which is why I possibly took THIS photo in the hopes you'd be able to distinguish between us in the future. And before you dare ask me that follow up question? he's the one on the left *shit* I mean right.. I mean c'mon, he has a full beard and everything!
1:23AM - But of course being the "retarded moth" that I am right now (and believe me ALL my brain keeps thinking is "WOOOHEHEHeHAhAhA EVERYTHING'S SO BRIGHT AND SHINY!!") I couldn't help but KEEP taking photos here despite none of them having any relation to just about anything at all (let alone any kind of album launch I'd long since forgotten about.. ooops!) something which I don't doubt provided endless "amusement" for just about everyone around me tonight, as much as they likely secretly "fantasized" about beating me half to death with the blunt end of a fire extinguisher (oh I'm sure barstaff and security at Jive would totally turn a blind eye to that shit too.. HA HA HA OOOH THEY "LOVE" ME HERE!!). A thought I don't doubt was shared by both Dougie and Simone just now, openly discussing this shit in front of me (and how best to dispose of the "body" afterwards) safe in the knowledge that I wouldn't understand a single word they're saying.
2:44AM - Of course short of drinking myself into a medical text book or two (or possibly a bona-fide "medical cadaver" if I kept drinking at this rate) it wasn't all that wildly entertaining to be in Supermild either (as much as I wouldn't remember shit of it, even if it WAS) and as much as I could figure it? it was possibly due to next to everyone I'd usually know in here (aka: your stock standard "fashionista" A-Z of Adelaide's most artfully aloof and a sixpack of Lucys to keep things interesting) were otherwise cursed with about a billion and one uni exams to cram for.. and yes I DO realise it's a little odd for me to know that shit, especially considering I'm in my mid thirties here and I really should have more important things to do in life.. "yeaaah well what about mature age students then? EDUCATION IS FOR LIFE YO!!" (aaaah shut the fuck up!). But at the very least Supermild quickly made up for the "glaring shortfall" by providing me with THESE colourful idiots: W Shane and Ryan W who were very much partying on the same wavelength as me tonight, and by "wavelength" I clearly mean a total flatline and a sustained "eeeeee" on an EEG. GOOOD TIMES!!
(and no that SO isn't me there, it's Blake Lewis.. that rat bastard's ruining my reputation I swear!)
3:20AM - All of which.. the hooting, the shrieking, the faeces flinging and lighting of each other's farts (as much as I'd half imagine it) proving to be endlessly "entertaining" to both Johandré and Simone here: as you can clearly tell from their wildly enthused facial expressions. Ones which in no way imply that they're secretly wishing Simone DID brain me with that fire extinguisher back at Jive when she had half the chance.. HA HA HA hell no, they're having the "time of their lives" I swear!
3:50AM - Eventually however it was all too much for Simone to handle: as clearly she hadn't been drinking nearly enough to find the humour in all this insanity (ie: cue the sound of 21 toilets flushing in a row and you'd be dead on the money here) which is a little "odd" because I'm pretty sure she was drinking nearly as much as I was (possibly minus the funnel), and yet she was STILL sober after all this!? WHOAAA FUCK, MIND TOTALLY BLOWN!! Either way, moments after I took this photo? (possibly the last in a series of hundreds laughing my arse off like it was the funniest shit ever) she has a fullblown nervous breakdown, or perhaps she just sneezed (hard to read the signs sometimes) and she had to flee "screaming" in search of the nearest taxi the fuck out of there..
Only to leave me Noodles here as a "parting gift".. possibly to remind me that (a) yes she IS all kinds of randomly shitcrazy (and possibly the best sidekick you could ever ask for in tagging along on a retarding drunken fender bender like this AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT!!) and (b) I was maybe being a teeny bit of a "jackass" to her tonight? Ooops! I am truly the WORST friend in the world aren't I!? YOUUU BETCHA!! (for all the "hilarious reasons" that I've long since regrettably forgotten too.. ummm?) but at the very least I totally have a teeny tiny toy donkey now.. so YAY for me!
5:16AM - Of course I was totally oblivious to all that shit at the time. In fact it totally freaked me the fuck out when I discovered that donkey in my pockets the next day: along with two cigarette lighters (what the crap!? and I don't even smoke!), a metallic "letter S", one complimentary "admit two" pass to see Knight And Day (pfft.. it's got Tom Cruise in it!? NO WONDER I NEVER SAW IT!), a dozen odd gig flyers from the past few months (to shows I quite likely didn't attend), a plastic toy soldier that I apparently stole from the 20th Century Graduate's EP launch back in August, and a copy of The Honey Pies album "Think Of England" that I somehow scored for free (which I totally recommend you go buy a copy of too: I've been spinning it nonstop for the past few days and IT'S FREAKING GOLD!!). In fact all that I remember from the past two hours was that I drank two long necks of Coopers Pale (and the second was a bit of a struggle to finish believe me!) I did a very effective impersonation of an elephant seal (at least I sure as shit felt like one) only to eventually waddle out that door well after closing and head first into the nearest ambulance or waiting hearse to speed me "home". Seriously it's like they say in The Hitchhikers Guide The Galaxy, where they say the secret to flying is in "learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss"? sometimes I drink in the same way! And to think I didn't even wake up Saturday with a hangover!? FUUUCK!!
Yup sometimes you just have one of those nights where you're not all there, where your "finely chiselled likeness" has been replaced by a knuckle dragging troglodyte, a cardboard cutout, a spastic hologram, astral projection or some oddball doppelganger by the name of "Blake Lewis" that everyone swears IS you (that totally wasn't the end result of a "few lazy hours" dicking about with Photoshop) fuck it either way? you know it's not YOU because you're long gone maaan! In fact you may not have even left the house in the first place and it's totally someone else's fault that all this shit ever happened. HA HA HA of course it is.. I'M TOTALLY INNOCENT I SWEAR!! Or at least it WOULD'VE BEEN if it weren't for the fact that the photos on your camera's memory card ultimately betray you, and no amount of deleting the most incriminating evidence (who me!?) is ever gonna disguise the fact that even a seasoned (nay pickled) "professional" like you will occassionally have a night out on a piss that'll totally make a fool of you. And yes THIS was definitely one of those nights. Sure I doubt it was the worst, at least it can't be as bad as I imagined it (I mean just look at all those "shit hot" live photos I got!? I'M FREAKING BADASS!), as much as I feel the need to apologise to just about everyone for it (no really Simone.. it was bad wasn't it? OOOOH CRAP!!) but those are the odds you're dealt. Sometimes a night plays out like a Stradivarius, sometimes it ends up with a stencilled outline, an impact crater and a few frantic days of "damage control". And without those retarded risks to play with? ooooh trust me.. the rewards wouldn't ever be as rich!