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...
LEMURIAN (***) - But before I COULD think to "pull the proverbial ostrich" here (and believe me I was tempted) I was promptly interrupted by one Dave Blumberg of Tea... "WHO!?" yeaaah just follow the link here and you'll soon get the idea (in short he's a fucking idiot, only he's weirdly talented at it). Anyhoo he soon makes it glaringly apparent I've made a tactical blunder in arriving this "late" tonight, as I haven't arrived NEARLY LATE ENOUGH to avoid his fartarse "side project" playing second to last tonight and now he's totally giving me the "sales pitch" in the hopes I'll blog about them!? (AWWW CRAP!!). Only I couldn't quite get what the fuck they were called from what he was telling me just prior to their show... "no really is it Lumeria? Librarian? Lisztomania? Lemon Meringue? aaaah fuck it I'll just jot down Lesbian Ménage Á Trois and be done with it!" but he DID describe it as "wanky space rock" and damnit I couldn't help but be weirdly intrigued by that; or at the very least in just how silly I could make it sound in my subsequent half arsed live review... SO HERE GOES NOTHING!! Yup this is Lemurian (ok, so I looked it up? blow me!) and they're "wanky space rock". THE END! or no wait... perhaps I could give more detail than that? *ahem* This is Lemurian: formed between Jake Morrison on guitar, Dave Blumberg on bass and Ben Kuerschner on drums from Tea, and I'm assuming some guy called Thom J (but only because he commented on that youtube I posted below) from who the fuck knows where? and they're an instrumental jam band. Or in closest (ie: laziest) approximations I'm reminded of Sonic Youth's "Goo" and "Dirty" albums (and most especially that spastic two minute shredfest "Mildred Pierce" off the former) mixed in with a liberal dose of say Dinosaur Jr, maybe even a little bit of Mudhoney (but that may be a stretch) only stripped of all the vocal eccentricities/shitcrazy personalities of either Sonic Youth or Dinosaur Jr to give it that satisfying "kick to the head". And as much as that sounds kinda bad? they're actually rather accomplished in filling in all those gaps regardless. Thom and Jake's guitars are fuck full of stupidly abrasive riffs: like being machine gunned to death by giant concrete cinderblocks. The rhythm section in Dave in Ben has this hypnotic oscillating, chainsaw undulating groove to it. It's easy to get lost in. It's got this whole trashy surf lo-fi 90's grunge buzz going for them. And there's the occassional moment where either Thom or Jake will man the synth and throw in an expansive (yet subtle) brown note into the mix; so they have that teeny tiny eclectic edge. But it's also rather loose, disconnected (perhaps utterly unrehearsed?). And after more than ten minutes of this shit...? yup Dave pretty much nailed it in the sales pitch: "wanky"; so much so in fact (and considering what I've heard of Dave and his many side projects, and/or bands performing under shitcrazy aliases) I'm half wondering if they're taking the piss. So in the end it all depends on where your preferences lie when it comes to Lemurian. If you're massively into this whole 90's retro revival, getting messy in a moshpit and throwing yourself head first into a wall (or someone else's for that matter) then you'll fucking love this. Otherwise I doubt they'll win many new fans; but who knows? after a few too many brews... they might be JUST what you've been looking for!
THE AVES (****) - Which, all momentary distractions aside (DAAAMN YOU BLUMBERG!), brings me to the real reason why I'm here tonight: and that's for our headlining act. Yup, here for their "triumphant homecoming show" after spending three months living abroad in Europe doing errr...? just what exactly I'm not entirely too sure!? but they did write the most whimsically extensive and insightful blog about it. Which I'd highly recommend ANYONE read, especially if ever they wanted an indepth "anthropological study" on English society (aaaah I know, haven't we all!?) and I'm not even shitting you; it's eye opening stuff (duuude it comes in PARTS I-IV!!). In fact their lead singer Lucy Campbell was SO insanely comprehensive in her intellectual asides on this subject, ON A BAND BLOG OF ALL PLACES!? she practically put MY word count to shame (and easily pisses all over my ability to sound either "educated" and/or "eloquent" by a country mile) to the point that I'm half wondering if she's vying for an actual Ph.D with it? and that's before I even get to the music!? Yup The Aves are THAT kind of insanely talented, they're a rare find indeed: that chance shitstorm in head exploding creativity and mad vitality you only discover maybe three or four times a year that totally reaffirms your faith in a pissy little live scene like Adelaide's... or yeaaah maybe I just got stupidly drunk that ONE cold night in August when they blew my mind away at The Exeter; so what the fuck would I know? As much as I DID pick up that ridiculously awesome demo of theirs on the night: one that continues to blow my mind away even NOW... WHILST SOBER!! (and if ever you've heard their paired back acoustic cover of Dire Strait's "Romeo and Juliet" with drummer Florentina Pergoleto on vocals you'll know exactly what I'm on about too!) and I reckon they'll seriously go far; it's just that there was... oh I dunno? a little something "missing" from their set tonight? And maybe it's because it's been almost four months (or more) since they'd jammed last, so they're a little bit "rough around the edges". As much as I thought that would totally work in their favour, because hey they're a rambunctious bunch: they've got that Libertines meets Arctic Monkeys meets "likely lout" britpop schtick going for them; so more madness the merrier right? (duuude they frequent alleyway shows, THEY HAVE NO FEAR!!). But then you've got that pinkish red stage lighting glaring straight into their eyes while their drummer plays on in the dark: which not only makes it awkward to photograph but just as awkward for them to squint under. And then there's this other "weird vibe" I'm getting here too: and it's not just because it's a Sunday, or that I'm dead sober watching bands on a Sunday. I actually see a LOT of bands sober... you just fail to notice it from all the other times I DON'T. Nope it's more the inclement weather at play. I mean here we are in the height of summer: it should be mid to high thirties DC pushing forty, blue skies and not having a care in the world. Except after all the catastrophic floodings, the cyclones, and all that torrential downpour cancelling the Fringe Festival Opening Parade? here we are on Sunday night and we're plunged back into the depth of winter again!? WHAT THE FUCK!? I mean admittedly most of that's neither here or there, or at all related to The Aves tonight: until Lucy arrives on stage wearing a thick fur coat and starts busting out this comically cockney accent like it's Charles Dickens all a sudden and any minute now it's gonna start snowing? WHOAAAA FUCK!! or yeaaah maybe it IS just me (did I mention it's been one of those weeks?). Because despite all this The Aves still play one hell of a show, they thrash out a bunch of new songs they wrote while overseas (all stupidly rife with riotously infectious gang shouting and swinging 60's rhythms that make you wanna start a bar fight) and as much as both Lucy and Thomas Williams on guitar look at least five kinds of painfully shiy to be here tonight? both Florentina in a smash happy frenzy on drums and Tasman Strachan pulling faces on bass are totally letting loose out there: the latter especially damn near stealing the show when he totally loses his shit "breakdancing" all over the floor at the end. Or in other words? yup you totally should have been here and you SO missed out big time!
And the reason WHY I can say that in closing: despite the band not quite "feeling" it tonight, or for that matter me being all that "enthusiastic" to be here either; and totally not their fault mind you (because hey it still beats me being stuck at home working on Your Motive For's CD coverart, am I right? am I riiiight!? aaaah relax I'll have it finished NEXT WEEK *ahem* I'm sure of it!) is thanks to the crowd. Yup this ain't just your stock standard "scenester crowd" we're dealing with here: your artfully aloof douchebag hipsters: arms folded, stifling yawns, sipping their gin & tonics and politely applauding; those who'd be much more interested in comparing designer handbags, drawing finger moustaches and laughing themselves retarded in the beergarden than watching bands they paid $10 to see play in front of them (oh you totally imagined The Ed Castle just now didn't you!?). Nope this crowd seriously couldn't give a fuck about all that, they just wanted to rip shit up! I mean they went NUTS out there: mad moshing, colliding with the stage in flying tackles, busting loose with the occassional improvised barn dancing (well what else does that photo look like!?) duuude they were a freaking inspiration! Or what about that one wingnut who kept throwing his shoes at bass player Tasman (not once but at least twice) only for Tasman to retaliate by ditching his water back all over him? and that was hardly the craziest shit happening out there!? and all this on a pissy little Sunday!? yup if nothing else THAT is what made The Aves totally worth seeing tonight!
But of course that wasn't the only reason they were totally worth seeing tonight. They were also launching their brand new whizzbang split release demo: "The Green Man" that they recorded with The Midnight Barbers in London. One which they were totally giving away for free tonight... but with a catch: you had to kiss one of the band members on the lips. Hmmm yup. And we're not talking their lead singer Lucy Campbell HA HA HA duuude that so ain't gonna happen! she'd just as likely belt you one for even thinking it! (just like I could half imagine Florentina fleeing flailing and screaming from the mass stampede). Nope we're talking Tasman, their bass player. No really just try and contain the excitement! Funnier still peeps totally went for it: male, female it really didn't matter! Just like I figured: hey I'm a "member of the press", THE RULES DON'T APPLY TO ME!! I totally write a "professional" blog now, I got advertising and shit, I was interviewed in Rip It Up and everything! "pfft yeaaah, RIU ONLINE... loser!". But nope, according to him a deal was a deal. So I called his bluff, he freaked the fuck out and I scammed me a demo scott-free... awesome huh!?
11:02PM - And that in the most half-arsed sense is Shimmering West. It's open throughout the Fringe Festival: February 19th to March 13th, Tuesdays to Sundays, showcasing all manner of head explodingly awesome and eclectic "arty farty" and live music entertainment which you'll be sure to enjoy to its fullest when you're not otherwise occupied with upteen billion other happenings at "pop up" bars, clubs, venues, theatres, tents and makeshift performance spaces throughout this city or wandering around hopelessly lost in The Garden Of Unearthly Delights for the next three weeks yammering like a mental patient... FUCK YEAAAH!! Just like you'll surely find me here back again at Shimmering West on every other night (like Wednesday night for Like Leaves!?) when I'm not otherwise hiding out at The Ed Castle or Supermild, huddled in a foetal ball near the bar howling and screaming. Hmmm? And on that note... yeaaah I think I'm just gonna catch that bus home!
But not before I play in that sand some more... anyone got a bucket and spade?