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...
And why do you ask? WHY!? well shit duuudes, just look at this gong. YES.. IT'S A FUCKING GONG, PEOPLE!! Or maybe it's just an upright cymbal suspended on a string made to look like a gong (except it really isn't) as much as it's a rather laaarge cymbal not to be considered a gong. I mean what IS the "scientific definition" for these things? is it a "size" thing or does it really not matter as long as you get the sound? like do they have mini gongs that are just like cymbals only they're totally gongs instead? like pocket gongs for the spatially conscious? or nano gongs you could buy in a wide range of colours? or Bose or Bang & Olufsen gongs the size of teeny tiny chrome spheres except they totally make your house explode like a Buddhist temple if ever you give them a light tapping? HA HA HA no shit GONGS!? does Jive just host the maddest fucking crap here or what!?
TWO SUNS (****1/2) facebook :: Oh yes! tonight we're witness to nothing but an embarassment of riches: gongs, other shit totally unrelated to gongs, bongos? you freaking name it maaan! and it all starts with our opening act!? YOU BET YOUR TIGHTLY CLUTCHED TOILET SEAT IT DOES!! (yeaaah and maybe that's why barstaff and security keep giving me daggers here, but I'll promise to return it when I'm done!). Yup this is Two Suns: they're here to launch their whizzbang debut EP, or maybe it's just a single: as it's only got three actual songs on it (and the third's simply a live jam of the first two combined? weird!) but considering their ridiculously convoluted psychedelic reputation? I'm sure it'll go for 45 minutes plus anyways (as I haven't loaded it into itunes yet) either way? it's totally available at the front desk for free and you'd be a mad fool not to pick it up. And as for why they're launching it as our opening act? shit I dunno duuude.. you tell me!? even the band themselves don't understand how this happened! But it's too late to argue now, OOOOH FUCK IS IT EVER!! Jive's clock is already ticking down for DJ Craig's weekly installment of "Gosh" (and yet they do such a nice job cleaning out the bloodstains afterwards if ever the bands DO go overtime) and this one sure as shit is gonna make it count where it matters the most: through sheer pants loading intensity! As second maybe to Diplomat? (and maybe Jimmy & The Mirror's misguided fashion sense?) Two Suns are THE loudest band in Adelaide! Part of this is thanks to Mathias Northway on lead, his marshall guitar amp, and the upteen odd pedals he magnifies it through till it literally feels like every one of your internals being simultaneously sublimed from solid to gas and then shat out your ears and eyesockets like an industrial strength microwave (if it weren't for management politely reminding mixer Matt Hills to turn it down a few shades short of doomsday device so they DON'T have to pick out all the chunks from the ceiling tiles afterwards). Then there's the way that Mathias not so much as "sings" his vocals (if primal screams could be called as such) but channels it as a flock of geese achieving warp nine in a windtunnel and we're getting hit by the shockwave in return (no pregnant women or people with pacemakers please..). As clearly it's got nothing to do with the "soft pitter patter" of both bassist Davison Jones and drummer Ben Smith articulating the arrangements in the wake and fore of his apocalyptic warpath.. their presence is practically subliminal by comparison! Nope what really ramps up the intensity here is the fact that they almost ALWAYS play in absolute darkness (cue: every live photographer's worst nightmare), or in a somber shade of midnight blue tonight: wherein in depriving you of one sense they only but magnify all the others (I mean maybe it's just me and I totally have an undiagnosed brain tumour? but I swear smelt roast almonds with just the faintest hint of hickory in their "sound"). But once you get past all that, and that mistaken impression that they only play maybe two or three songs and they all go for 20 minutes each (it's totally not true of course, their first song is only three minutes, ditto the next, it's just that they all bleed into each other) you begin to appreciate the true genius of Two Suns, and that "genius" is in the increasing range and depth of their fuck off "intensity" and in their endless reinterpretation and articulation therein. Every set is just that little more vibrant and colourfully expressive with it, as much as they continue to be both ridiculously lysergic and verbally incoherent. Think equal parts Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd's "Meddle" to Massive Attack's "Mezzanine", picture the new wave in both Sleepy Sun and Black Mountain put through a blast furnace, like five kinds of animalistic, limbic system fuck off instinctual and endlessly primal but no less sophisticated. So as much as I may be swearing myself blind trying to do justice to it on my camera here tonight? my mind's still blissfully lost amongst the epic soundscapes they weave. From the softest rolling fills in Ben's drumming as the crowd cheers them on, to Dave's prostrate twizzle tweakings of his pedals on bass, they'll build momentum and mood in Mathias' guitar drone and an impenetrable wall of sound; from near silence to exploding firestorm they'll ebb and flow every shade in between; making for a band that takes mere minutes to appreciate the fuck out of but a whole lifetime to enunciate WHY? Yup that's Two Suns. They may only have been the opening act to their own EP launch but they still set one HELL of a standard for everyone to beat.. so it looks like we might need that toilet seat yet!
THE RULES (****1/2) Yup, especially as far as our second act are concerned: but thankfully not because I'm cracking the proverbial "shits" over trying to photograph them and getting nothing but black and blue blurs in return (would you believe those six shots above were all I got out of almost three hundred!? GUH! FUCKING SHIT SHIT!!) in fact quite the contrary duuude! I've been having the absolute time of my life laughing it up retarded with the "solid gold" I'm getting (and then some!) and it's not just because Jive's just flicked the stage lighting back on.. "THANK FUUUCK!!" but more for the hilarious subject matter at hand (ie: apologies in advance to their singer Carla Lippis, but if it helps at least I'll have nothing but "glowing praise" in exchange for all these shitcrazy shots I'm posting here? squeeeeee!). Yup this is The Rules. Likely you've never heard of them before (count me likewise) as yes they ARE totally brand new and this is their first show tonight. But you MAY recognise Carla from her other band New White Sneakers.. and I bet you're totally blowing your own mind over that tidbit too. Except short of some name recognition I don't know squat on THEM either: save for the fact I always assumed they're the sorta hybrid hiphop/funk/soul outfit who'd play Crown & Sceptre, Rocket Bar or Rhino Room and feature as local support acts for crap like Parklife, Future Music, Shores On A New Years Day, pillmunching club banger whatever-the-fuck; and for some reason I always keep mistaking them for Sneaky Sound System too (yiiikes!) which possibly explains why I've never reviewed THEM before and.. errrr.. ooops.. maybe I should stop now before I offend them any further!? because The Rules are SO NOT that kind of band.. OOOOH SHIT NO!! duuude they're like being punched in the face with fifty kinds of fuck off awesome and loving it! and that's just the first song!? Or in words that actually make sense: think of them as the blues, only it's the "blues" beaten black and blue with baseball bats and shocked over and over with 50,000 volts of electricity till it's nothing but a skeletonal wireframe of the "blues" baying for your blood with your still beating heart in its hands; in fact they might just be my new favourite band.. and it's only their first show? Awesome huh!? HA HA HA duuude it only gets better! Yup when it comes to The Rules, I like to think The Dead Weather (it's probably what everyone else thinks too) only much more skull fuckingly brutal. Or what looks like Zach De La Rocha screaming to be let loose from Liza Minnelli's body with Death From Above 1979 as "her" backing band (and is that Serj Tankian's brother on guitar too? freaaaky!) as much as you could also throw in everything else from early Yeah Yeah Yeahs (ie: their more vitriolic releases prior to "Fever To Tell), a little bit of Santogold and Zach De La Rocha's "One Day As A Lion" (as it shares a similar buzzing lockstep ferocity) and you'd be closer to the mark. But more than anything else? it's all about the adrenaline, that in your face kill or be killed verbal assault Carla lets loose like a fucking exorcism.. THAT is why you'll want to keep coming back for more! It may only be their first show tonight (and she occassionally apologises for that fact too) but she owns this stage right from the get go. She grabs it by the jugular and doesn't let go in wailing on it song after song, like she could totally go toe to toe with Mohammed Ali and WIN and then take on Mike Tyson in the second round: half rapping, shouting, spitting, singing, bouncing off the walls like a mad bull in a china shop. While her band, featuring one "sibling Serj Tankian" on guitar (for want of a facebook/myspace to research his actual name?) and Danny Leo as a last minute ring-in on drums (from Forest Of Gnomes) provide the brutal backing in ripping the blues at its most bare bones, crisp and combative!? yup and it's the maddest buzz standing point blank to it too! And to make it just that little bit crazier tonight? they've also brought in their very own "rent-a-crowd": vaguely recogniseable as those 1950's styled art & design fashionistas who used to work for Merge Magazine (aaaah fuck I miss those freaks too!) and they're totally losing their shit shrieking in hysterics dancing up a storm.. and for once? I'm very much inclined to agree! Yup that's The Rules. Take that toilet seat, two panadols, a car battery plus jumper leads and a crash helmet and dive right into it? and oh trust me duuude, you'll totally thank me later!
LADY STRANGELOVE (*****) facebook :: Which then brings us to our headlining act: the same "headlining act" who are headlining over our opening act. The same "opening act" who were launching their debut EP earlier tonight and again you might ask WHY'S this shit all mixed up? (besides the fact they're both psychedelic acts and short of quoting Timothy Leary, Carl Sagan or SpongeBob SquarePants I probably don't need to explain further). Well just for the flying fuck of it? and also to fill a considerable part of this "live review" with needless backstory (and/or gibberish) so I don't have to tell you at great length just how their live set went tonight, I'M GONNA TELL YOU!! oh and yes it WAS skull fuckingly dope and I'm totally smoking its ashes right now.. "eeeeee!" thanks for asking! (as to be honest I spent a great deal of it attempting to photograph them thrashing and flailing in the dark where it was next to impossible to get them into focus so I wasn't really concentrating at the time.. GUH!!). You see for the past month or so now Lady Strangelove had been recording their third EP with Sylvia Massy in Weed, California. YES.. WEED, CALIFORNIA!! (and I swear I SO ain't making that shit up either!). The same "Sylvia Massy" who's produced albums for Cog, Johnny Cash, Prince, Skunk Anansie, System Of A Down and most famously Tool's first album "Undertow". The same "Sylvia Massy" who apparently was so enamoured with Lady Strangelove's unique brand of psychedelic shit insanity, that after recording six songs for that third EP, she's now inviting them back to record another six songs for a full album; a recording session tentatively booked for somewhere around April/May 2011? NO SHIT!? Yup craaazy I know! And as much as that's reason enough in anyone's books to celebrate in a means befitting a "Hunter S. Thompson" (and hey I count myself as one of them as I've been covering their a-grade "bat guano" for well over four years now and I dare say it's about fucking time!) not only am I surprised to see that Jive were suitably impressed enough to give them a headlining spot here tonight (no really.. Jive!?) but also that any of their fanbase would've actually possessed the keen "spacial awareness" to show up. And on time. Without triggering the smoke alarms. And in such great numbers that they've even packed out the balcony above!? WHAT THE FUCK KINDA MAGICAL WONDERLAND HAVE I JUST STEPPED INTO!? (and why can't I see more than a metre in front of my face? HELP!!). Yup this is Lady Strangelove. Clearly they need no introduction from me, but after tonight's "victory lap" of a live set? it truly won't be long now until we ALL start hearing about them.. and what makes them worth "hearing" about? is their unique take on psychedelia that totally makes you want to spontaneously combust whenever you hear it live. That drive, that energy, that flight or fight adrenal kick that makes you want to rip shit up rather than sit in your sofa and fondle the upholstery all day. That winning formula already well established in equal parts Led Zeppelin, The Music (first album, only EVER the first album!) and The Chemical Brothers. But where they've truly progressed in leaps and bounds? (especially in the last year or so) is in exploring and expanding upon its richness of "character". From the seamless pea soupiness of their first EP, they truly found that "footing" in their second EP, and tonight in showcasing songs off their upcoming album.. it's even more articulated. Songs such as "Staircase" and "Sweet Exchange" feature a more languid, even downright slinky "blues feel" to it over a slow bouncing rhythm; the latter proving most memorable for Brendan Shaw's lyrical loop: "I ain't been looking for trouble baby.. trouble keeps looking for me!", only for the harmonica in following to kick it up a whole other notch (and yes those links DO point to videos if you want to check it out for yourself). They also perform a cover of Wolf & Cub's "Kingdom" only it's rendered that much more shriekingly volatile. During "Evolution" both guitarist Josh Van Looy and bassist Azz Shaw jump on the speaker stacks either side of stage and go stupid with maracas (and yes it only makes it more stupidly awesome!). New drummer Fox Faehrmann, as much as he's bugeyed and shitting himself, does a masterful job in whipping the rhythm section into a frenzy, only to swandive into the crowd at the end; the same crowd totally losing their minds to it from beginning to end (and it's not like you could blame them either!). I mean what more can I say maaan? if you weren't here to witness it yourself you missed out on one hell of a mad fucking buzz; but I'm sure there'll be plenty more opportunities to come. They're Lady Strangelove, I've been getting high off their shit for years, but it's nice to know after shows like THIS? maybe more of you mad freaks will finally catch onto it!
2:01AM - And speaking of me cooking up my very last episode tonight (which clearly we all know it isn't, because how else am I gonna milk all this awesome Z-grade "celebrity status" without it? PUBLISH A FREAKING COFFEE TABLE ON IT!? BWAAAHAHAhaHahAHaHaHAhA *ahem*) it appears rumour had gotten out about it, or at least it did at The Ed Castle just now. And I don't know quite how this happened either (oh waaait.. people actually read my facebook?) but as much as I was hoping to see hoards of black clad mourners clutching my leg shrieking and wailing in response? perhaps a tickertape parade? or a public holiday named in my honour? or shit.. I'd even take a few party balloons and a cupcake? instead I got one "slightly" drunk Paddy Montgomery from Oh Minor on the right there freaking the fuck out and gagging for one last photo opportunity. And don't the rest of these ring-ins look utterly enthused to be part of this "auspicious occassion" too!? yeaaah I didn't think so either. Fuck this! I'm hitting the bar again, anyone got a bathtub and a snorkel?
Except Paddy wouldn't just stop at one photo. OOOOH FUCK NO!! ever more incredulous, or just blitheringly incoherent (as much as he likely had no clue what was going on and he simply pulls this shit everytime I see him) he kept requesting MORE photos. And just short of me smashing my camera repetitively into a wall screaming obscentities until the "little green light" stopped blinking? I was more than happy to oblige.. yup for let it never be said that I'm NOT a man of the people!
2:32AM - But that wasn't the end of it either.. nope, for no sooner did I approach the main bar? "Plus One" promoter Ross Osmon (courtesy of The Ed Castle) then saw fit to provide me with his own parting gift as thanks for my many years "serving" the Adelaide scene in the form of these two "interpretative dancers". Or at least that's the only logical explanation I could think for it at the time, until one of the barstaff ever so subtly told them to "PUT THAT FUCKING SHIT DOWN!!" and I totally pretended like I didn't know them (no really, who the FUCK are these lunatics? anyone!?).
Still you gotta admire their total conviction to the performance, huh?
2:55AM - And speaking of nonsensical tales we could all learn from (and wow we're SO gonna miss this shit when it's gone huh?) I'm told moments later that Paddy Montgomery had just left the toilets heading for the main bar with a massive trail of toilet paper stuck to his shoe. And since I always have much better things to do? I totally took it to task to track him down, take a photo of it, laugh myself stupid over it, not tell him WHY I was laughing at him, and then return to the beer garden to celebrate with yet more drinking.. "HA HA HA duuudes, check it out! TOILET PAPER!!".
And yes admittedly there was a whole lot more of it just a few short moments ago.
3:21AM - Figuring that this was as good a time as any to hit Supermild, as much as it wasn't and I only thought of it a good twenty minutes later.. I did just that. Hmmm. And I bet you were dying to hear about that too! But just think maaan.. this right here? may very well be the LAST time I'm ever compelled to write one of these batshit nonsensical captions above a stock exterior shot of Supermild (occassionally changed to reflect the seasons) and I think we can all agree that we'll be SO much better for it. As much as you likely won't believe me when I say this either.. "but c'mon, it's the LAST EPISODE people!" AND STOP LAUGHING AT ME, I'M BEING DEAD SERIOUS DAMNIT!!
3:38AM - Awww Supermild! it's YOU who I'll truly miss the most! as much as I'll surely be here again next week (and every other week after that haunting it like a ghost) but still! how could you ever tire of Supermild!? It's where the beautiful, the fashionable and the sophisticated all hangout I truly believe that! Like Lucy, or that other girl called "Lucy" or that OTHER girl who's also called "Lucy" only I call her "Original Lucy" so as not to get them all confused (no not her, the other one) or that "girl" who sometimes gets confused FOR a Lucy but is totally some mad cat called "Henri"!? HA HA HA fuck damn my life is hilarious! let's all drop acid sometime! I mean obviously none of these people are HERE tonight, pfft.. WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? (or maybe they are but they all ran screaming for the exit signs the minute they saw me) so yeaaah I'm totally stuck with the sloppy seconds huh? *ahem* I mean such wondrously exalted examples to the human condition as THESE two freaks: who I could've sworn I remembered the names of ages ago, but since adding themselves to facebook I now only know them as "Steeny Pants" and "Tabby Pants" respectively, only the latter now calls herself "Tabby Tabaluga", and wait why am I telling you ANY of this shit? pfft.. beats the fuck outta me! but since when did this crap ever make sense!? OH YEAAAH!! you're totally getting misty eyed over missing this blog already now, aye? NO!? well it was worth a shot..
3:53AM - And oh look, here's "Steeny Pants" totally not deep throating a long neck bottle of Coopers Pale? (yeaaah I know.. your lives so won't be worth living without reading this shit too!).
4:14AM - And speaking of shit we could all do without but I continue to post anyways under the guise of a "live music blog"? (and the quotations totally mean journalistic legitimacy!) it's then that I bump into Hamish here; only I never seem to remember him as "Hamish", I usually refer to him as that bug-eyed gimp who stood next to that twit wearing a bear suit, in that photo I took back in February for Sincerely, Grizzly's epic EP launch (yeaaah you know.. THAT one!). Obviously it was something that made him RIDICULOUSLY FAMOUS THE WORLD OVER or at the very least with the mouth breathing psychos who read this blog (hi mum!) and as such? oh he's totally milking his wild and wacky "celebrity status" for all it's worth! And hey could you blame him? Just LOOK at all the raging charisma exploding out of this photo! Isn't that the maddest shit or WHAT!? Imagine if we both starred in our own cop show. Oh I'm totally blowing your mind now aren't I!? DUUUDE!!
4:17AM - And just to prove he truly HAS "supernatural psychokinetic powers" or possibly he's a high level "wizard" of some kind, he then conjures up THIS girl with the radioactive grinning teeth totally out of thin air; or maybe my back was simply turned at the time? (well I do get distracted easily!). Either way you can't deny he has a gift that just keeps on giving to this blog for coming up with batcrap insanity like this.. NOOOO SHIT!! In fact fuck all this "music scene" gibberish I've been running with for the past five to six years? maybe in 2011 we'll just follow him around and SHIT WILL GO FUCKING NUTS!! (yup totally a high level wizard). And as for the girl? duuude I don't have the foggiest clue but isn't she awesome!? I don't know what planet, what dimension, or even what decade she's from (seriously check out those dress gloves) but I'm totally gonna call her "Princess Squeeeeee!". I know right!? and yes we took turns taking photos with her and everything (because yes we really are the dumbest people alive.. and we're so not ashamed to admit it!).
4:31AM - Yup it's moments like these, ducking off to the toilet to take a whizz (which I assure you wasn't into the sink.. peeps only do that at The Ed Castle) that I probably should have had a moment of clarity. A moment where I second guess just what the hell it is I've been doing with the past five or six years of my life, that maybe I could be doing something more meaningful with it, and maybe the moment to start doing that "something" would be right now: standing here in the Supermild toilets, 4:31 into a Sunday morning after a fucked up Saturday night out, totally not pissing into a sink, yup aaaany minute now! "and wow how good is this lighting? no really I should totally take a photo of that!".. and now that moment's passed. Same time next year? Awesome!