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...
Aaaand now I'm off to The Ed Castle... GOODNIGHT EVERYONE!!
HA HA HA JUST KIDDING!! (although now I mention it, it IS only a short walking distance away...?). Yup for those of you yet to make its acquaintance? Squatters Arms (also known by its full name as "The Forresters & Squatters Arms Hotel") is a quaint little suburban shitdive situated on the corner of George Street and James Congdon Drive (formerly East Terrace) in Thebarton; or just opposite Bonython Park where Port Road takes a sharp turn out of the city... as much as I surely don't need to tell you any of that shit because everyone and I mean EVERYONE knows about Squatters Arms, thanks to its all too colourful "reputation" and history; most of which I obviously couldn't be arsed researching (pfft... who me!?) but I HAVE heard all the "rumours". Namely it used to be the pub of choice for prison guards and ex-inmates from the Old Adelaide Gaol; a few even got murdered upstairs; in fact it's even rumoured to be haunted by their ghosts (and if some of the CCTV Paul has seen is to be believed? featuring "eerie balls of white light" following him around in the wee hours of the night!? he's even got confirmation... EEEEK!!) and yes until very recently it also used to be a lunchtime titty bar... OH AND I BET YOU KNEW ALL ABOUT THAT ONE TOO!! But now that it's been re-fashioned as a live venue? (and we're not just talking a shitload of blue lightbulbs here!) all that has changed; as much as it's lost none of its "character"; as much as you likely don't give a shit about any of that in your mad rush to drink this place dry in riotous celebration each night, at least not once you've read that "fine print" as listed there on that chalkboard in front of you...
"$5 pints of Coopers Pale... every damn night!? WHERE THE FUCK HAVE I BEEEEN ALL MY LIFE!?".
Because first and foremost I'm here for the live music. It's why Paul Belial took over this shitcrazy dump in the first place, it's why I'm writing this blog you're reading right now (as much as it took me almost two years to get off my lazy arse to do it) and no shit have they unleashed an "eighth wonder" of riches in celebrating it here! Especially if your tastes in any way veer towards the nastier, filthier extremes of punk, metal and trash rock... FUCK YEAAAH!! duuude it's a veritable treasure trove on display almost every damn night of the week! as much as I wouldn't have the first fucking clue in recognising most of their names: Leather Messiah, Meat Tray, Patriachal Death Machine, Cock, Shit Magnet, Mammoth, Space Bong, Grong Grong, Poisonous Viper Gang!? the list goes on and on like a tourette spitting "thesaurus" ripe with possibilities! FUUUCK, HOW COULD IT HAVE TAKEN ME SO DAMN LONG TO TASTE SUCH SWEET SWEEEET INSANITY!? *cough* well to be honest I always figured I'd get my teeth kicked in and be beaten to within an inch of my life if ever I spent more than an hour in here; as I'm never too sure these kind of bands technically share my warped "sense of humour" (no really is that you "Anonymous"? spitting bile in my comments box!?) and yet heeere I am tonight! exciting huh? YOU BETCHA!! I'm practically peeing myself in anticipation!
BASTARD SONS OF RUINATION (****1/2) - Which brings us to our second act and another case of "shit I've taken faaar too long in getting around to because I'm a..." (yeaaah you know the rest!) as they've been playing live since October 2009, causing an absolute stink in the Adelaide scene... AN ABSOLUTE STINK!! duuude they're nothing short of a living breathing, ten foot tall LEGEND belching fire on the live venues of this fair city... AND WHERE THE FUCK WAS I!? good question! as this isn't the first time we've crossed paths. The first was on a Sunday night at The Grace Emily back in March 2010: when they were all set to follow Brillig after they launched their shiny new album "The Red Coats" (and be featured in all their glory in this blog in turn), only I was being such a pissy little princess about it, totally "burnt out" after covering a mere 23 bands the week before, I totally walked out on them before they even walked on stage. ARSEHOLE!! And then a few months later? I could've blogged them AGAIN when I caught them playing at The Exeter in August. Suuure it was completely by accident: as I was only dropping in for a beer after seeing "Scott Pilgrim Vs The World" at Norwood Cinemas on The Parade (maaan that place is a dump) whilst simultaneously escaping the grisly fate that would've been both my frisky female friends Jade and Simone drinking themselves stupid at The Crown & Anchor (although to be fair they did catch up with me later... GOOOD TIMES!!) but I should've dropped everything maaan! I should've celebrated the head exploding FUCK out of this band! as much as I did get me some mad video footage (which you can view here), duuude to put it mildly? it's been a long time coming! And the reasons WHY? will be made bleedingly apparent the minute you see them live... as much as that's winning half the battle as they're not exactly known for updating their myspace page (MYSPACE!? HA HA HA FUCK!!), yup this is the Bastard Sons Of Ruination. Remember that name because THIS is where it's really fucking at! I mean this whole "live music" racket? duuude they're launching flaming "tennis balls" with it the size of extinction level asteroids! Or in short think of them as a mad mixture of the following shit: Grinderman, Beasts Of Bourbon, Tom Waits; the bastard blues, gallows rock and tombstone country all rolled into one with the distortion turned up. As much as they're so much MORE than the "style" of music they're playing but in how they're projecting it with such grim blackening conviction: if you're not saluting them, gutteral screaming, with a pint glass, bottle, or bucket of something lethal in your hand moments shy of blacking out cold...? you surely don't possess a pulse! Yup, formed between former members of Babydoll and The Gels, it's all about their jugular throttling stage presence; especially from lead singer Matt Dry... sheeeiit! you can't possibly miss him flailing about on stage, especially when he's lurching OFF that stage and lunging right at you screaming inches from your face. Like the perverted love child between Nick Cave, a garbage truck and an oversized psychotic hamster; like the vocal equivalent of cleaning a toilet bowl with a sledgehammer; like gargling a bottle of whiskey, an ashtray, a box of nails and gasoline and spitting out an industrial incident crossed with a flaming train wreck... you can only but salute him partly out of fear, but mostly out of utmost admiration! And when you throw in Marty Gel on acoustic: spitting, glaring and sneering right at you whilst fellow bandmates Clay, Lachlan and Mr Short Temper on guitar, bass and drums (good luck finding their last names) rip the living shit out of their songs like abattoir workers cutting through a carcass? FUUUCK what more could you possibly want? a moist towelette!? Bastard Sons Of Ruination. If 2010 was the year I tried (and failed) to declare the "death" of indie disco, let this band be one of a growing army to put a bullet square in the eyes of those who STILL stare at their shoes in 2011 in lieu of a "live performance". Bastard Sons have it all in spades, drink your fill sometime... it'll change your life for the better!
DEAD POPES OF THE VATICAN (*****) - Now if just five words could sum up THIS long anticipated performance by our headlining act tonight? it'd be "$5 pints of Coopers Pale". Not just in me attempting (at best) to dimly recall what the hell they did on stage: in the hour and fourteen odd song duration they spent up there. Although you'll be dead right in assuming it IS a large part of it (as yes this IS Spoz's Rant afterall: presenting the very worst in rock & roll "journalism" with the blood alcohol cranked up to double digits AND DON'T YOU JUST LOVE IT... SQUEEEEEE!!). Nope I like to think it more perfectly encapsulates the "kamikaze spirit" emboldening everyone around me, on and OFF the stage, in celebrating the riotous pissdrunk FUCK out of this show tonight. For it has been a loooong time coming for the Dead Popes Of The Vatican, A LONG TIME COMING!! Just as they suuurely need no introduction to those of you "sober" enough to remember back to the heady days of 2007-2009 when they reigned supreme in the Adelaide scene (and in the dodgiest shitdives and hell holes that'd have them!), or why you SO should've been here at Squatters Arms for their triumphant "once-off" reunion tonight... but what the hell I'll still give you one anyways! Dead Popes Of The Vatican are oldskool 70's punk rendered dirty, dumb and downright visceral as fuck. Or rather like seeing the Sex Pistols, The Ramones and The Stooges as performed by a 50's refrigerator wearing a t-shirt (aka: lead singer Ben Gel) covered in sweat, attempting to pop out an oversized pineapple... out of the tiny tip of his pee pee (and believe me he sounds like that too!) while a mixed bag of "circus performers" turn tricks around him: namely Paul "Ramrodder" Vainikis on guitar, Lynda "Bam-Bam" Belial on bass and Nick "DeLa Rock" Hadley on drums (or "Captain Caveman", "Rubbergirl" and "Monkeyboy" respectively). Duuude it was one of the maddest ways to kill yourself blind drunk AND deaf short of passing out on a airport runway. But alas, theirs was a reign of terror tragically cut short (after releasing just one EP) when two of their members: Nick and Lynda moved to the UK in 2009. Thankfully they returned for a reunion show on April 1st 2010 at The Ed Castle, or shit maybe that was The Gels? (they both share two band members) but alas I wasn't there to know either way, as those shitweasels The Keepsakes chose to launch their album that night (FUUUCK YOOOU!!). But now...? one year later, with all four members back in action!? WHOAAA FUCK DID IT GO FUCKING INSANE!! "$5 pints of Coopers Pale!?" HA HA HA duuude that barely even began to describe this! I mean it was skull splittingly loud, lewd, hilariously stupid, Ben totally crapped out a watermelon the size of a Volkswagen... I swear! (and it might have even done donuts on the floor before speeding away!?) shit! it was everything we could ever have ask for from a Dead Popes Of The Vatican reunion show AND THEN SOME... as much as most (if not all) of us were waaay too stupidly drunk making complete dicks of ourselves celebrating on cheap piss to remember even half of what the hell they're actually doing up there; as much as it kinda didn't matter anyhow, because not only was that very much the desired result? but they were also giving away free copies of their album... yes ALBUM!! I'm as shocked as you are (or at least some of you are... wait does anyone even remember these guys? ANYONE!?) but word has it they recorded all eleven tracks of it back in 2009 just before they went their separate ways: so at least now we have something to thrash on our ipods as a "reminder" of WHY we get that shooting pain everytime we sneeze for the next three weeks up until they inevitably pull ANOTHER reunion show (or at least we hope) in 2012. *PHEW*. Some of the best shows you'll see, can't be described in words. Some not even in pictures. But it's even better when you can't even remember it and yet try as you might? you still can't stop laughing about it. Dead Popes Of The Vatican? carnage! ABSOLUTE CARNAGE!!
(and if you think that's nuts? you should see him crap out a double-decker bus!)
2:11AM - Now with the bands done and dusted tonight and this being a "suburban pub" and all (ie: populated by that "special kind" of toothless freak lurching about sniffing your privates with a wry smile, a wink and a nod and... ooooh crud!) my first thought would be to hightail it the fuck out of here as SOON as possible, or at least as soon as Nick Hadley drops sticks on stage for Dead Popes Of The Vatican... or more specifically stops flailing about in front of me just now, hoping to scam his photo into another episode of Spoz's Rant (aaaah just like old times aye!) especially considering I'm barely ten minutes walk away from The Ed Castle. But damnit, I just couldn't think to leave this place! And not JUST because of the $5 pints of Coopers Pale; although that certainly helps. I mean no shit, can you believe The Crown & Anchor is charging $6.80 for that shit now...?
Yes I know Nick! believe me I know! $6.80 IS A BLOODY OUTRAGE!!
2:17AM - Nope it's more for that genuine "country" hospitality that ONLY a suburban pub stuck waaay out in the boons (or Thebarton) well away from the hipsters, the scenesters and the tragic fashionistas (or just ten minutes walk away) could possibly ever provide! I mean just look at Paul "Ramrodder" and Dick Dale here: looking so cozy and cuddly with their matching mohawk fringes (mo-fringes? faux-minges? aaaah fuck I dunno!?) beckoning you in with a smile, perhaps offering you a chance to be the "third spoon" in their cutlery tray? awwww doesn't it just warm your heart!?
2:26AM - But alas, after much disagreement over who was going to be the tea spoon, the table spoon or that teeny tiny red sherbet spoon (where you can never quite lick that last white fleck out because it's much too small... GUH!!) or maybe even arguing over what the exact difference was between a table and a dessert spoon (pfft... really? what the fuck do I know!?) and in no way in ANY screaming hurry to leave all a sudden? I "suddently" had to be elsewhere tonight. As much as I did vow that one day I would return (and that hopefully it wouldn't take another 2 years till I did so). Yup Squatters Arms it's truly been a pleasure tonight, AND I TRULY MEAN THAT, and... wait, is that a Poetikool Justice sticker wrapped around that traffic pole!? oh yeah... fuck, I almost forgot!
2:45AM - You see originally I was planning on covering two live shows at two DIFFERENT live venues tonight. The first one being Squatters Arms, well pfft... obviously! (no really did I make you proud Paul? was it everything you ever asked for!? I'M SO SORRY IT'S TAKEN SO LOOONG!!) while the second was going to be at The Ed Castle; which I might've mentioned is a mere 10 minutes walk away, but not for the usual "indie scenester" bullshit you might expect. Nope, in keeping with my ongoing theme of: "shit I've taken faaar too long in getting around to because I'm a..." (blah di blah soon to be made available on youtube on itunes... blah!) I was gonna catch a gig by Poetikool Justice. Yes... Poetikool Justice (and yes they actually spell it like that, cause they're fully sick gangsta 'n shit!). They were headlining here tonight, it's been almost three years since I last saw them live... and yes I know they're Aussie hiphop (and seriously don't get me started on that crap and how much Triple J abuses the hell out of it 24/7, because they "like it heaps"!). But as much as I recall (and I definitely left their shit on a highnote when they played Queens Theatre waaay back in May 2008... GOOOD TIMES!!) hell, maybe they're the chance "exception"!? They've got a full live band rocking it, no pissy turntables, they're a little bit stoner, a little but funk, and if you haven't already figured it out by reading the ridiculously late hour in which I finally got here? yup I totally missed that shit... WHOOOPS!! But thankfully they're still getting stupidly drunk in the beergarden. So to make amends, or more accurately to take the living piss out of them on a public forum "read" by hundreds and thousands each week who'll never take them seriously EVER AGAIN; I figured I'd play a game of "scream at them like an oriental kung-fu master/hideous racial stereotype" and when they freak the "bug-eyed" fuck out at me? take an embarassing photo of it; or yeaaah trust me, you'll get the gist soon enough. As I present to you, one Jahmin MC...
Dedz MC: looking very much in need of a tongue scraper...
Ed Soang: their new bass player... yup, they really know how to pick 'em huh?
Seany D: their guitarist, or at least I THINK it is...?
And yes this second photo was entirely necessary too... *ahem*
And wait... what the fuck am I doing again? and who ARE these people? HELP!?
Oh no wait, here's Mitchay: their drummer... yup, still totally on topic here!
And here's someone NOT in Poetikool Justice, with ridiculous chest hair...
3:01AM - Clearly in need of a stiff drink (or twelve) after all that depravity, and rapidly losing any semblance of whatever narrative I was running with as a result (aaaah can you believe it's been almost three years!?) shots were promptly ordered at the bar. I mean yeaaah I could've just gone another beer, but someone was shouting them, and pfft... who the hell am I to argue with that!?
And by "someone" I mean both Shari and Alana here (awwww you guys!) and, wow do I look totally traumatised in this photo! I mean I know I just crawled out from under the "arse end" of Squatters Arms a little under an hour ago (and I mean that pun intentionally too... GUH MY EYES, THARRR BURNING!!) only to cop a camera lens full of "nipple carpet" when I got here and yeaaah on second thoughts? maybe make mine a double. No, no, leave the bottles with me... I'll just mix my own.
And thus I wholeheartedly apologise for pretty much every single photo that follows here, as much as I still choose to publish them, because pfft... why ELSE do you ever visit this blog each week!?
As much as I won't apologise for THIS one, because pfft... c'mon!? IT'S FREAKING HILARIOUS!!
4:56AM - Not surprisingly I remember very little to shit-fuck-all of what I did at Supermild in following. I mean here I was for almost two hours and WHAT THE FUCK DID I DO!? meh... who the fuck cares? Not to say it wouldn't have been totally worth mentioning here, in lurid detail, with a spastically drunk photo monage to boot: as it was positively teaming with life on the dancefloor (*sigh* random geek girl with the glasses, the fun times we had!), by the bar, in the beergarden talking shit to that dude, I forget who... seriously I had the time of my life in here tonight, I'm not even being sarcastic! I'm just being all cryptic and shit by choosing to photograph this paper towel dispenser in the toilets instead. WHY!? HA HA HA because it's got fucking Tintin on it... that's why! No seriously, what's the deal with that shit? who the hell is tagging all of them? I mean am I the only one who's noticed it plastered all over the west end lately, THEY'RE FUCKING EVERYWHERE!!
Yup, it's funny to think... that quite like a "butterfly flapping its wings in Tokyo causes a tornado in Texas" (because it originated in Fukushima and it's the size of a Boeing) if I never accepted that lift home two years ago? none of this mad batcrap insanity would ever have happened; or yeaaah maybe it would have happened a whole lot sooner... speaking of which, I hear there's another new live venue opening up soon... "Cavern Club" something? (pfft... what!? IT'S STILL NEW TO ME!!).