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...
LYLA + THE SWEET DECLINE "SITTING IN THE SUN" EP LAUNCH @ JIVE / Saturday November 27th 2010
Question.. how many of you have experienced deja vu: that weirdly "familiar" yet foreign feeling you've done something before?like countless numerous times before? like every fucking week before? to the point you've created an increasingly shitcrazy and nonsensical blog on it? one that's gotten waaay too stupidly "popular" for its own good? as much as you suspect all people ever do with it is skip past all the "good bits" (wait.. there are GOOD BITS!?), pilfer increasingly fucked up photos of themselves for their facebook profiles whilst posting increasingly psychotic "anonymous" complaints detailing at length just why you're the worst thing that's ever happened to the Adelaide scene, because let's face it the entire internet is fueled by nothing but screaming narcissism and rage 24/7!? HA HA HA I know I haven't! EVERY WEEK'S A SHINY NEW ADVENTURE FOR ME!! YAAAY!! or maybe I'm just rambling for my own sake here (fuck am I ever!). I have trouble sleeping, did you know that? pfft.. OF COURSE YOU DO!! it's all I ever fucking write about, as much as I seem to exhibit less and less visible "side effects" thriving without it (pfft.. who am I kidding?). No I truly am the most remarkable borderline dysfunction and deviation to the human condition, and I really should take more "credit" for it! Who needs sleep when you're a weapon? (thanks Matt Banham, may your liver rest in peace!). Who needs hangovers when you have the cure (just keep drinking!). Who needs a normal life when you can surround yourself with the "living dead" day and night and live out your fantasies until they become "nightmares" and fill every moment of your eye gouging, head exploding existence!? Oh I am truly blessed to be a part of this human zoo as much as I'm stupidly cursed by it! I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here huddled in this corner, foetal position and howling! YES!! And tonight I've come to bury myself up to my neck in it waiting for the buzzards to arrive, here at Jive for yet another launch party.. "launch party? LAUNCH PARTY!? DO THEY EVER DO ANYTHING ELSE!?" HELL NO!! or at least not if their owner Tam gives your "anything less than a sellout show" the sad face, then beats you upside the head with a shovel and buries you out in the carpark for your troubles (it's why the asphalt's so lumpy!). No come one, come all, join me in celebrating nothing but the very best that the Adelaide scene has to offer! For tonight? we're SO gonna rock your world you're gonna need passports to find your way back home again!
THE SWEET DECLINE (***1/2) myspace :: Yup would you believe it was like THAT for at least five to six songs into our opening act's set? Awesome huh!? HA HA HA TOTALLY!! (no shit I live for moments like these!). I mean granted Pat WAS behind the desk at the time doing a masterful job in mixing them, just as I was cursing and swearing doing my utmost in photographing them in anything better than a retarded motion blur (meh.. can't complain really, even when Jive's stage lighting sucks balls like that? it still blows considerably less "goat" than Rocket Bar or Rhino Room) and the rest is simply comedic license on my part. But according to both the audience and the venue hosting them tonight? pfft.. it was like they didn't even exist, duuude it was freaking hilarious! In fact venue owner Tam might even have popped out from backstage at one point (in the middle of one of their songs mind you) to test out the DVD player functionality on the projector screen with her remote (cue a flickering Panasonic logo and a menu screen) all but oblivious that anything was even amiss here. Better yet? most of the audience were simply way too busy getting blind drunk at the bar to care (and considering the vast majority were Lyla fans it's not like you could blame them) and as for an explanation? well I have two possible theories. Firstly it might have been a sly act of revenge, or Jive's mischevious way of showing them that they're THIS CLOSE to being beaten "upside the head with a shovel.." (if only the handle reached that far) for past misdemeanors. As on two separate (and we assume wildly unrelated) occassions both their lead singer and drummer: brothers Tom and Lee Kennedy respectively, both have incurred entry bans from "Gosh" on a Saturday night. And it's anyone's guess HOW this happened (as obviously I'm too lazy to ask) but let's just assume for their benefit that this wasn't for all the usual "drunk or disorderly" including or not limiting to: peeing on the foosball table, peeing on the bar, attempting to set fire to the jäger machine at the bar WHILST peeing on it (or simply giving it a bad name behind its "back") or otherwise failing to cower in respectful obeisance to Craig Flanigan (aka: Count Dracula, Darth Vader, Lord Sauron) whenever he entered the room at the start of his DJ set.. but more for the fact they were just WAAAY TOO FREAKING AWESOME FOR JIVE (or yeaaah pretty much everything ELSE I just invented to laughingly "incriminate" them with). While my second theory is that all four members of this band are either chronic porphyriacs (sensitive to sunlight), vampires, mogwais or gremlins (which likely leads more credence to why Jive should NEVER have "fed them after midnight") and yeaaah I'll let you make your own mind up which theory is more plausible. For as much as we may all want to posit a THIRD theory that this was all Lyla's fault? and their totally underhanded way of ensuring that their one and only support would never have a chance in upstaging them!? they were actually the ones that finally came to their "rescue" when their drummer Dave Mazzarelli finally looked up from the bar, saw what was wrong and jumped behind the lighting rig to address it (duuude.. legend!). Yup this is The Sweet Decline. Clearly they're nothing but troublemakers, as much as this entire review has very little to do with their music (and I'm merely writing it up for my own amusement) but if you haven't been introduced to them yet.. simply picture Liam Gallagher giving birth to a sperm whale out of his engorged sinus cavities whilst Black Rebel Motorcycle Club frantically beat him black and blue with the blunt end of their instruments and that'd be your monkey; as much as they also share some sonic similarities to both early Kasabian and Kings Of Leon (but in a way that I swear totally ISN'T an insult). And tonight's set (short of that wacky "blackout" that obscured all but four of their songs) was marked by just how viscerally dirty, greasy and downright gasoline "gutteral" it all felt, only to give way to more widescreen textures in the middle. All of it infectious in a low slung rhythmic "swagger" provided by Shane Brown on bass that gave it an awesome oldskool rock & roll flavour, made even more memorable by teeny tiny colourful additions: Gus Johnston's virtuouso guitar noodlings in their fourth song "Release", Lee's maraca shakes in new song "Waiting On A Shadow", that cover they did of The Animals "Inside Looking Out"? duuude.. nothing but genius! Yup that was The Sweet Decline. Admittedly they may have been all but buried under the asphalt tonight.. but with a sound as "down and dirty" as this? at least we'll know where to start digging!
And this was the "rapturous reception" they received right up until at the end? Aaaah I know! you truly couldn't ask for a warmer welcome than this, to the point it almost puts the "cold shoulder" The Ed Castle bandroom gives you on a Saturday night to shame (aka: the janitor's closet) only with ten times the extra ouchyness and raging hipster aloofness; so much so you'd half wonder if everyone else here simply thought THIS was the soundcheck!? and better yet they pulled this shit as late as 10PM tonight? at Jive!? DUUUDE WHAT THE FUCK WERE THEY WAITING FOR!? (oh wait don't tell me). Yup I couldn't help but laugh at this either (trust me.. it's the only way I maintain my sanity) as much as I did feel a little weird being the only person out here taking photos (a sure sign that I'd lost the last of my "sanity" years ago) as much as I was beginning to suspect it was somehow MY fault all this happened. I mean suuure I might have cooked up a mean steak dinner tonight, and I might have gone a little too heavy on all the mushrooms, peas, bacon and sweet chilli sauce and the air circulation in here might have left a little to be desired *cough* wait.. what the FUCK am I talking about!? IT CAN'T BE MEEEE!? no clearly all YOU crapweasels are to blame!
For no sooner did The Sweet Decline leave the stage, that all my paranoia was promptly dismissed (I mean c'mon I just got my black jacket dry cleaned and everything!) and my suspicions all but confirmed just how "single minded" this crowd were in ignoring all but the object of their adoration tonight: when a veritable clusterfuck of handbags exploded about me front of stage in various shades of designer and knock off (or fuck I dunno.. does it look like I have two X chromosomes to rub together in being more specific here?) all in wild anticipation for our headlining act.. hmmm?
Yup to some they might affectionately be known as "The Lylabirds", to others "EGADS WE'RE GONNA FUCKING DIE!!" either way? their war cries in deafening decibels (and shrill ear splitting cadence) alone was downright undeniable. Oh yes! they'd truly come home to roost tonight and there was simply no escaping them (not that I'm complaining of course, except they sure as shit weren't here for me *sigh*). For they'd been waiting feverishly for a whole seven months for THIS moment to come, or pretty much since their last launch party back in April (as surely they wouldn't manifest in such mad multitudes for anything less) and tonight they were looking to celebrate the screaming fuck out of it, even if they have to massacre everyone else in this room to achieve it.
11:19PM - Still what was most surprising about this set, is how after eight or nine songs? they simply walked right off stage. And it's not because they were running late or anything. They weren't receiving any daggers from "Howard Wolowitz" at the DJ booth. Shit duuude.. they finished ten minutes early here, he hadn't even arrived yet! Nope as much as I could gather Lyla simply left the crowd "begging for more". Weirder still they didn't even pull a "fake out", turn tale and rush back for an encore, they made a clean getaway. "Wait.. THEY TOTALLY JUST UP AND LEFT!?". Yup and as much as I did my utmost to whip everyone into a frenzy regardless? (yeaaah I know, but I don't care how many launch parties I've been to I'll still I make an effort!) I had to give them mad props for not caving into pressure: there WAS no encore, there was no need for one, they owned this crowd and they simply left on their own terms (possibly in a mad hurry to DJ at The Ed Castle). Hmmm. And as such? I was very much thinking of doing the same (except totally not a DJ set and very much in the opposite direction) just as soon as I conducted some necessary "housekeeping" on my camera (ie: by deleting every single photo I got of Matt Minucci where he didn't look like a spastic wingnut.. tee hee!) only to be ambushed by THESE three "spastic wingnuts" in turn all gagging for a photo, all to commemorate what might've been the WILDEST NIGHT OF THEIR LIVES! "like five kinds of head explodingly yipeeee and shit!" and just a few shades short of me loudly cursing and swearing under my breath in return? I was more than happy to oblige. WHY!? aaaah fuck it.. as much as I do this crap every week? it's nice to know people still get excited about it.
12:02AM - And then a little over half an hour later I walked out of Jive. And yeaaah I know I could've been a little more "wildly descriptive" in that departure: "walked!? couldn't you have said run? skipped? jumped? spontaneously combusted into an exploding hive mind of cannibalistic fire ants!? PUT SOME ENERGY INTO IT MAAAN!!". But I was still dead sober, as in bone dry "church on a Sunday" sober, everything I'd done upto this point tonight had pretty much been on autopilot and pfft.. do we really give a flying fuck either way? HA HA HA FUCK OFF!! But still what was surprising was the "sorry sight" of Hindley Street outside very much echoing in my half arsed sentiment. Expecting to see a colossal lineup for "Gosh"? I'm instead greeted by a lazyarse gathering stifling yawns, wondering just what the fuck to do with the rest of their night (maybe even head home already) which sounds kinda lame for a Saturday night, except when you factor in LAST night: when just about everyone I know killed themselves stupid in an apocalyptic shitstorm of drunkeness celebrating "end of uni exams" (fuck it.. even if they weren't AT university it was on!) and short of enrolling in kindergarten next year? they weren't looking for a repeat performance here tonight.
12:25AM - So as much as I could've done what I'd usually done at this point and hit up The Ed Castle next, drinking myself so deleriously blind I'd forget I was even AT The Ed Castle and hell I could've totally caught The Jezabels while I was at it too: high rotated on Triple J and supported by Two Hour Traffic and Galleon!? (WOWEEEE!! I almost spoofed out of me ears I'm THAT spastically excited by the prospects!) but yeaaah I had different plans: namely hiding out here at The Exeter until the screaming in my head stopped. And by "hiding out" I mean quite literally. You see, the main reason I'd picked that launch party at Jive in the first place was not JUST so I could help "celebrate" Lyla's whizzbang new EP release the only way I knew how (laughing ambivalence and biting sarcasm anyone? HELL YEAAAS!!) but also in finding a legitimate excuse to simultaneously avoid everything ELSE apocalyptically insane that had my name on it. Namely an album launch party for "Furry Red Records" at The Metro (featuring upto sixteen live bands and my swift burial if ever I was insane enough to write about it), a Buck's Party for Joe Blogs' wedding next week whilst simultaneously celebrating Simone's Hen's Night (yes.. I totally got invited to both, I really am that stupidly awesome!). And yes any other time of year I would've totally been up for it too, ALL OF IT.. and I don't doubt the obituary the following week would've been both heartfelt AND hilariously succinct in explaining just why it would've been a bad idea too. But tonight I'd much rather switch my phone off, cower in a corner and simply wait for it all to blow the fuck away. And did I mention they had beer here!? seriously how BRILLIANT is my plan.. you're totally jealous now aren't you!?
2:12AM - Yup short of anything happening at Shotz (dare I mention The Crown & Anchor!?) it was blissfully, almost eerily quiet in the east end tonight. The Exeter for one was all but "resting its eyes" in peaceful slumber; or at the very least I was far too sober (and in no mood to drink myself delerious) to appreciate its "finer qualities". So when Simone suggested she was thinking of hitting up a falafel before clocking off for the night? I figured I'd tag along, in the very least for the much needed change in scenery. Which brought us here to Falafel House on Rundle: or at least I think it's still called that, as admittedly it's been years since I'd even acknowledged it in passing. In fact seven or eight years ago when I used to frequent it? I even accidently got a dish named after me. No shit! I was totally obliterated one night (as you do) and accidently asked for both hummus and barbecue sauce on my "cheese, onion and bacon hotdog". And I was so utterly impressed with my hideous frankenstein creation I kept asking for it every week after that, and before too long it even got christened as the "Spoz Dog". It was quite the raging phenomenon too! for all of three or four months in which it existed (ie: before they changed staff and nobody could got the joke why I was ordering it). And would you believe I even had a few photos up on these walls too? yeaaah you really don't give a crap about any of this do you!? aaaah fuck it.. time to hit the west end again?
4:40AM - So inspired I was by that shit in fact, that short of everything else "hilariously batcrap insane" that might have been happening at Supermild tonight (and don't worry it's not like you would've missed much) I couldn't help but document this mysterious Tintin graffiti I found in their toilets too. And as for why it's ever so "mysterious"? well that'd be because it's not the ONLY Tintin I've found either. In fact if you look closely throughout the west end of late (or at least for the past few months) it's been damn near sprouting up everywhere! Or at the very least I've seen it at The Ed Castle and here it is again.. so yeah, totally "everywhere". Kinda makes you think now doesn't it!? "What? that Spoz's Rant is so utterly bankrupt and bereft in fresh and insightful commentary on the Adelaide scene that it's resorting to retarded toilet humour instead!?". Well shit duuude it's always done THAT.. but more for the fact that no matter how long or how much or how often you've explored the length and breadth of this scene? no matter how much it beats you black and blue you in mind numbing familiarity there's always something NEW to inspire you! "Huh? what the hell kinda crap is that!? you're just repeating yourself! YOU SAID THAT LAST WEEK YA FUCKHEAD!!". Yeah? well why don't you just go read Underdale Facepalm INSTEAD if you feel so hard done by it!? SHEEESH!! wait.. why am I having an argument with myself all a sudden? and why the fuck am I still stuck HERE talking about Tintin in a fucking toilet!? aaaah screw this shit.. I'm going home!