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...
(oh wait ooops, wrong "establishing shot"... perhaps THIS one below is more familiar to you now?)
Unless of course... you were faced with the impossible in choosing THAT over Van Cleef launching their shit hot new music video here at the Jade Monkey: SO explodingly "shit hot" in fact, it was crafted by the same "CGI effects wizard" who did videos for You Am I, Shihad, Something For Kate, The Cruel Sea and *ahem* Powderfinger? (and even Tina "freaking" Arena!? NOOO WAAAY!!) and yes they're unleashing this unholy hellspawn here TONIGHT supported by the likes of ...So Yeah, Asteroid Belt AND Mondo Phase Band. And if you seriously don't get the mind shattering magnitude of all that? then duuude you sorely need "educating"! or you've spent waaay too much time at The Ed Castle (yeaaah it's pretty much one and the same shit innit?) suffice to say: all it took was me witnessing the closing 30 seconds of their opening act Mondo Phase Band blowing out our testicles to breasticles like socks to a hairdryer, walking in just now? to know I COULDN'T POSSIBLY LEAVE!!
Unless this was also the SAME NIGHT The Aves and Lenin McCarthy were ganging up to stink out Rhino Room with such a richly scented symphony in whimsical cockney "britpop brilliance" it'd damn near make your nostrils flare out and flap about well past your ears in appreciation; and yes that IS a fucking weird "mental image" I know, but believe me it's very much warranted (two tiny bands in an even tinier bandroom? HA HA HA shit like that's bound to happen!) which is why I didn't even DARE entertain that insanity (as to be honest... I probably needed to floss my teeth first for that, hmmm?) but instead skipped right on ahead to our fourth "booby prize" option: Producers Bar and their illustrious night of nights tonight, as they launch their shiny new (totally not advocating date rape I swear!) weekly event "Home By Midnight" with the likes of God God Damnit Damnit and Gay Paris. One which I'm choosing to cover FIRST (with aims to cover the other two later in a three-way venue tag) completely unrelated to the fact they may've bought five weeks advertising for this shit (cha-ching!) or that I might've wanted to swing by at some point to collect cash for a dozen other fartarse advertised events I may or may not (or simply "forget" to) attend so I can pay for camera repairs; nooo... am I really that transparent!? HA HA HA OF COURSE I AM!! But more to the point in covering all this batshit insanity at both The Crown & Anchor, Jade Monkey AND Producers Bar tonight? I'm bringing the blog back to its oldskool roots maaan! (with an oldskool camera to boot!) back to when the east end reigned supreme; and who knows!? perhaps back to where it all starts again, and... aaaah fuck it can we just cut this long winded introduction short already!? SHEEESH!!
GAY PARIS (****1/2) - But of course such grubby "money making" concerns are of little concern to me now (I'm a capitalist whore... AND HOW!!) nope more pressing? is the band I'm here to see (as much as I'm also hoping to catch God God Damnit Damnit later on tonight: because shit damn it'll be hilarious seeing all 12-27 members of that band cutting sick on stage... WOOOO!!), one which has come highly recommended for reasons that were never made clear (and I couldn't be arsed researching) before arriving here tonight; but are made MORE than abundantly clear the minute I saw them all thrashing, flailing and all but falling off stage before me. Yup this is Gay Paris: they're from Sydney, they label themselves a shitcrazy hybrid of swamp stomp, shack funk and bastard rock (ie: bring an umbrella and rock your d-pants... you might just need them both!) and if nothing else they rather neatly encapsulate just about EVERYTHING that "Home By Midnight" wants to become as a regular Friday night destination; or at least until it's forced to shut down by a "cease and desist" court order with accompanying riot gear clad police presence... no really! Think the messiest, sleaziest, shit grinning, pig fucking, piss drinking celebration of giddy excess outside of a wild west saloon (or just a few shades short of a venereal outbreak) where everyone waddles out those exit doors hours later with their pants around their ankles (or carried off in stretchers and ziplock bags) glassy bug-eyed bewildered, clueless as to what the fuck actually happened here: except rather like a rollercoaster from hell? THEY ONLY WANNA RIDE IT AGAIN AND AGAIN!! Or in the case of this gig tonight (very much exemplifying that "lifestyle choice") picture the following: Mr Bungle, fronted by Jesse Hughes from the Eagles Of Death Metal, only he's somehow possessed the body of one of the bearded goons from ZZ Top, except he's now got the voice of Tom Waits and he's doing everything short of a floor to ceiling firepole striptease routine in front of you; or rather like listening to an ashtray and a whiskey bottle have mad monkey sex in an abattoir... and yup THAT'S their lead singer Luke "Wailin' H" Monks, hand down his pants, living it up large! And as much as he ain't the craziest damn hillbilly freak I've seen grace the stage at Producers Bar? or even the most hilariously grotesque (lest we forget Ezekiel Ox from Mammal dancing about on the bartop in his underpants back in 2008; or Har Mar Superstar rolling about near nude, fat, bald and sweaty on stage in the same year? YEEEOUCH!!) it's hard to deny his hilariously magnetic presence all the same, or his band of howling ratbastard yokels who back him with a body popping sewer symphony of trash metal and gutter blues. SHIT YEAAAH!! Yup this isn't so much an "in your face" performance... as a fullblown porno involving a balding sasquatch, the cast of Deliverance and you waking up in a cold sweat wishing you didn't eat that expired jar of pickles you found in the back of the fridge last night... only funky (and oddly enjoyable!?) and I'm not even shitting you! "Wailin' H" not only tried, and frequently failed, to get it on with numerous audience members around me tonight (all recoiling in mock horror) he actually succeeded in deep throating Vibro the drummer from The Beards, not once... but TWICE, and you could only but applaud and egg them on more! Yup that's Gay Paris reopening the proverbial hellmouth here at Producers Bar, God help us all! (pity I'm an athiest). And yes, they were worth every hideous, nay hysterical eye-gouging minute (and ultimately every year of extensive crisis counselling) to see here tonight. Next time they tour? bring a prize pig, car battery, peanut butter, snorkel and some rubber gloves, YOU'LL LOVE 'EM!!
11:14PM - Suitably satisfied that I'd seen everything I wanted to see at Producers Bar tonight, just shy of having to book me a doctor's appointment the following week, perhaps so I could have various parts of my brain removed to "un-see" it all (and that wasn't even their headlining act!? AAAWESOME!!) it was now time to duck across the "proverbial pond" (and occassional fire hazard) that is east Grenfell for The Crown & Anchor and round two of my "east end smorgasbord". Alas I'd already missed out on both support acts: Valiant Jones and Günter & The Safeword (both featuring former members of Tony Font Show... yes, yes I know!). The latter even choosing this night of ALL NIGHTS to "unofficially" launch their debut EP: and yes I'm kicking myself retarded over the fact I missed out on that too (GUH DAMNIT!!). As much as I hadn't missed out on the main attraction everyone was here to see tonight: or at least the "everyone" they could fit into this band room, to ribcage cracking capacity, to the point they actually had to refuse entry to anyone else entering the venue from Union Street (not even into the main bar area itself that was all but deserted!? GET FUUUCKED!!) it was THAT stupidly jam packed in giddy hysterics for what we're about to witness.
SOFT WHITE MACHINE (*****) - And it's for none other than... oooh no wait, who the fuck are these arseclowns again!? Well for those of you not already familiar with their a-grade shit: as admittedly they might have been a "bit before your time" when they last played the scene back in 2008 (what, am I catering to zygotes now!?) or perhaps you'd been smoking way too many drugs since to even know they'd broken up (don't laugh... I actually know a few venue band bookers who fit that description!) yeaaah maybe this writeup isn't for you. Most of it will be based on assumed knowledge (and accompanying fanbase well versed in it all) built from years playing the Adelaide scene to many glowing accolades (and "overgrown toddler" jokes aimed at singer Karl Roberts) since forming late 2005, releasing an album "The Great Divide" in 2007 (have a dig around Clarity Records... they might still have a few copies left), breaking up well before their time in 2008 (seriously don't get me started!), reforming briefly in 2009 (missing guitarist Andreas Murphy and bassist Jett Young but including everything short of a "kitchen sink" in additional band members including a horn section!?) under the ridiculous guise of "Young River & The Vultures Of Virtue" only to all but disappear again in 2010 (DAMNIT!!). Actually... you know what? follow those links: you'll understand JUST what we're dealing with here, and yes you'll be kicking yourself retarded for not being here. For they were huge back in the day (or at least if you were INTO that "shit") and this reunion show tonight? believe me, it was A LOOONG TIME COMING!! Soft White Machine... OOOOH FUCK YEAAAH!! Now as such this live review WILL be hideously biased (ie: favourable) because yes it has been almost three years, and yes I'll admit I was a "bit of a fan" (well shit duuude, I turn up again and again and crack crass and insulting jokes for nothing less!) but I'll ALSO admit this wasn't their most polished, precise, perfect note for note performance tonight. It wasn't tighter than a puckered cat's twat, no they didn't exactly offer anything "new" here (I mean there might've been a rare song or two we hadn't heard a thousand times before on the album) but pfft... did anyone SERIOUSLY CARE!? Nope I've seen this all happen before with other comebacks: whether it be Morals Of Minor back in 2008 or Dead Popes Of The Vatican a month ago (and something tells me 2011 might be the year for more too... Lumonics anyone? *ahem*) and what really kills it with these shows? isn't just in hearing the same 'ol bullshit again but in just how much MORE shitcrazy psychotic, volatile AND explosive it is in delivery. For what they surely lack in pinpoint accuracy they more than make up for in fullblown ferocity, and Soft White Machine tonight? held NOTHING BACK!! Yup this wasn't just a band slumming it between big name supports, saving money to record, or worrying how that chord progression in that new song went because "we never played it before and we're a bit nervous about fucking it up". This was a band with nothing to lose and nothing to prove in well and truly OBLITERATING EVERYTHING TO FUCK... and loving every damn minute of it! And as such I probably don't need to mention every trivial detail of their setlist: it was everything you'd expect from their first album (from "Broken Arrow", "Hearts Still Bleeding" to "Tonight We Break") plus that one song they always closed their set with that they'd tentatively planned for that second album that never eventuated (yeaaah you know the one). All four members were ripping it in fine form... as much as that mostly goes without saying: from Nick Russell's incomprehensibly complex time signatures on drums, Karl Robert's hilariously dodgy turn of phrase in between song banter, to both Andreas and Jett dive bombing in the wings. Nope I guess you just had to be here yourself to appreciate just how awesome it was. It was like the last three years never happened, we were back in 2008 again, only with all the hair trigger intensity cranked up. It was everything you could ever ask for... as much as we weren't entirely sure what to call it afterwards: was it a once-off? a once-in-a-while? or a prodigal return? Shit as much as I've heard... the band aren't even too sure themselves!? but it was brilliant to see it all the same! Soft White Machine. It may be another month, year, decade or even next week till they return... but let's totally do this again sometime!
12:31AM - And yet as earth shatteringly epic and insane as that shit was, AND THEN SOME!! or at least according to all YOU dribbling nitwits out there who find anything I write about in the Adelaide scene even remotely interesting instead of just skimming the photos? (so that's like what... three of you!?) there was no time to stick around and soak up this illustrious occasion, maybe light up a commemorative stogie, only to be mad heckled by one of the bouncers to go "find a seat" already (pointing to one of those "gestapo" signs) even though you'd only been standing outside for all of thirty seconds, only to discover there isn't one, only to scull your drink and piss off down a side alley instead with options to go to The Exeter (WHAT!? *cough* oh nothing!). Nope there was still round three of my "east end smorgasboard" to attend to here at the Jade Monkey (as much as YES I totally would've hit up Rhino Room too, you know I SO would've, but damnit it's just too far to walk! no wait... isn't it still closer than the Jade Monkey!? ooops!). And it wasn't JUST for the gobsmacking spectacle that is witnessing "Todd within Todd" in two camera frames here (although admittedly that's easily worth price of admission alone!) or for the fact that the Jade Monkey has just installed all these extra red lights everywhere so now it's gone back to looking just like it did over FOUR years ago again (see? totally busting it oldskool!) OOOOH NO, it's for SO MUCH more!
...SO YEAH (***) - Or at least it so would've been... if Van Cleef: who I could've sworn were the headliners tonight (well shit duuude, it IS their whizzbang video launch afterall!) hadn't already played and piss farted off stage over an hour ago. "Huh... what!?". Yeaaah I know I'm almost as confused as you are! Just as I was TOTALLY looking forward to; or at the very least half arsedly looking forward to seeing "Bill Bailey's demented love spawn" Mike Gordon (wait, why you looking at ME instead!?) and his merry band of misfits play what their guitarist Christian Thompson once described as: "take the band Clutch out into the desert and fuck them up with a brick" with all their distortion pedals cranked to 11. I mean granted I'm not entirely too sure what all that means, BUT WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO SEE THAT SHIT, HUH!? and they're totally launching a music video too!? FUUUCK ME!! No seriously! (not literally) that and a few too many beers and bit of "blunt trauma" to the head is just the recipe for a perfect night out in my books... except as you can plainly see? we've instead been dished up sloppy seconds in the form of ...So Yeah their support act as defacto headliner. "AWWW CRAP!!". Yes I know! although I think I can understand the warped logic at play here, and by "logic" I obviously mean it's almost impossible, nay suicidal, to follow a band quite like ...So Yeah (even when it IS your own launch party at stake here) especially when they feature a frontman as nearly batshit bonkers as Paul "Nazz" Nassari. Now obviously much has been said of his ridiculously flamboyant stage presence (think equal parts Daffy Duck, Jar Jar Binks and Kermit The Frog thrown into a ceiling fan), to the point it almost invariably takes up 99% of any given live review with a teeny tiny token remainder left over to mention that yes... the one and only Matt Hills (Adelaide's most omnipresent live mixer and producer extraordinaire) is INDEED playing bass, to the point it practically overshadows anything else this band does. But what hasn't been said nearly enough? is just how exceptionally well this "ridiculously flamboyant stage presence" covers for the fact that Nazz simply can't sing for shit. I mean it's not something I'd usually "notice" or for that matter give half a hoot about, in fact I'd more than happy to brush over it mostly, because let's face it? duuude's fucking hilarious! he's more "frontman" belching fire like a behemoth than FIFTY sadsack singers from the "school of Thom Yorke" combined! Only he's not so "flamboyant" tonight in covering for it: like he might be having an "off" night (or maybe it's the mix) and suddenly it's come into glaring focus, like I can't believe I've never noticed before!? HE CAN'T SING FOR SHIT!? HA HA HA DUUUDE!! Funnier still, he'll happily admit to it like he's not even bothered by it... but when you're hearing what sounds like a teenage approximation of "Iggy Pop" filtered through a busted autotune, and there's little of his usual rubberband theatrics to distract you? it's not doing him any favours. Still as much as it IS the proverbial "elephant in the room" tonight, it's not a total deal breaker. Fellow bandmates Travis Williamson on drums, Matt on bass, and especially Rich Gohl on guitar (who I dare say is pulling even more mad shapes than Nazz here on stage tonight) are doing a bang up job in keeping this ship afloat; while their new fifth member Bridget McDowell provides not only a wealth of violin strings to "colour their canvas" but a truly beguiling presence to match; and the songs still shine in their own rough and tumble way (like a mischevious mixtape of Iggy Pop, The Sex Pistols, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and The Doors) but yeaaah maybe this wasn't their best performance. It happens to everyone... sheeiiit, maybe I just needed to be more drunk not to care (is this a good time to mention I'm sober watching this!? eeeeee!). Either way, after they've read this glowing review? I'm sure ...So Yeah will be nothing short of head explodingly AWESOME next time. Why? because Matt Hills is sure to kick Nazz's arse for this... THAT'S WHY!!
1:28AM - Of course in saying all that (and damn I really went for the jugular didn't I?) I may not be the most "impartial observer" here tonight... and not just because I'm hilariously biased even at the best of times (well hey at least I'm admitting to it now!) but more for the fact I might've personally contributed to this set in the final song. And by "personally contributed" I mean I totally jinxed it and you totally shouldn't believe a word I said... I mean there I was near the stage taking photos just "minding my own business", Adam Vanderwerf from Ride Into The Sun gives me a nudge, eyes the maracas in front of me and goes "so whaaadya reckon?". I figure aaaah what the hell! but only if we totally stage invade that shit front and centre (otherwise it totally doesn't count) and before you know it we're both up there clowning it up, making complete and utter dicks of ourselves. And no this wasn't premeditated, and I DON'T try to make a habit of it (as much as it's not the first time I've done it and it certainly won't be the laaast!) and yeaaah I might've added either half or deducted a whole point from their score to even things out (you may never know!) but after jumping between three venues in the east end tonight? yup it was very much called for!
1:41AM - And so here we are: at the end of another live show, with no other shows to go to, wondering just what the fuck we should do with the rest of our night; only since we're in the east end for a change? it wouldn't just involve the bleedingly obvious at The Ed Castle then drunken oblivion at Supermild (as much as that'll come later anyways). Yeaaah fuck it... The Exeter!? Nope this time we actually opted for Producers: in the hopes it'd still be pumping thanks to "Home By Midnight", or more specifically offering us free drinks over the bar because we "know some people" and a lot of us are dead broke... HELL YEAAAH!! And as much as that seemed like a done deal for all concerned? it was no less confusing or convoluted a plot in getting there. Firstly when we just so happened to stumble upon THIS Olivia Newton John poster lying about the street near Hindmarsh Square: which obviously called for a bit of improvised street theatre from Adam here... hiiilarious!
1:46AM - And secondly when Todd totally topped that effort by "planking" this planter pot further down the road. And yes I totally know what you're thinking: like pfft... we're totally just cashing in on some dumbarse craze after it's totally gone mainstream and lost all its hipster cred riiight? like when that mad bastard in Brisbane pulled one on a balcony, totally fucked it up, fell off and died and it ended up in the news, worldwide and everything and even the fucking Prime Minister is commenting on it now, "LIKE HOW FUCKING LAME CAN YOU GET SPOZ!? HUH? HUH!?". Except when you realise THAT incident in question happened on Saturday night, and yup here we are doing it on Friday night!? nooo shit! Is anyone else spooked by just how weirdly FUCK OFF coincidental this is? especially considering it's never been seen before on Spoz's Rant (maybe?), like Todd is weirdly "clairvoyant" and can see into the future!? HA HA HA BECAUSE I'M NOT THINKING THAT AT ALL!!
2:32AM - And thirdly when we finally arrived at Producers Bar: only to discover it'd already closed up (despite thinking it'd be raging on until 3AM) and that clearly all that free vodka was to blame when it ultimately ran out houuurs ago and it was NOTHING TO DO with my "shit hot advertising campaign" because pfft that shit's fucking awesome THAT'S WHY!! and shut up IT'S A TOTALLY RATIONAL ARGUMENT!! And so everyone (and rather begrudgingly at that) winds up at The Crown & Anchor instead: because OBVIOUSLY it's much too late for The Exeter, as much as I snuck myself upstairs into The Old Exchange anyways to collect my cash; might even have snuck myself into the afterparty at Producers Bar... and yeaaah screw it, here I am back at The Crown & Anchor. YAY!?
3:59AM - Yup clearly I've had more than enough "fun" in the east end for one night, as much as I could've totally hit Shotz next and REALLY made a night of it. Except as we all know that shit closes up around 3:30AM on a Friday anyways (or at least it did waaay back in 2006-2007 when I was last shitcrazy insane and deranged enough to attempt that!?) and so quite like every other night before it? yup I end up here in the west end again at Supermild, bottle in hand, drinking the last dregs of my night away. WAHOOO!! And speaking of such... would you believe if you pulled a google image search on "Coopers Longneck" just now my picture totally comes up as #2? no really try that shit maaan, it's totally fucking freaky! (and perhaps a little depressing?). In fact if I keep mentioning that shit maybe they'll put me in plum #1 position, then I could totally score a sweet sponsorship deal, then I could drink all my beers for free, then in three weeks time I could totally die of liver poisoning moments before my kidneys explode out of my ears, and then? yeaaah perhaps not. But I bet you're still thirsty for one now huh? damn... that is all kinds of fucked up.
4:01AM - Now obviously I wasn't just drinking on my own here, like some sadsack arseclown in a corner, as much as I DO pull that shit occassionally... you know for "laughs" (or when I mistakenly believe THIS shit I blog every week is a "life long career aspiration" and me filing through upteen photos I've taken in a night, instead of talking to people makes me look badass "professional"). Nope, not when I've got Adam Leigh from Günter & The Safeword to annoy with a camera instead.
Or at least until he realises that yes I actually AM taking photos laughing at him...
At which point Louise here suddenly picks up on it, totally wants a photo too and awww how could I possibly refuse? I mean she's all smiley and shit! and yes... please ignore Adam flapping about in the background there. I know I am, it's why I've been drinking that "longneck" in the first place (NO REALLY! WHAT THE FUCK AM I STILL DOING HERE? NONE OF THIS SHIT EVER MAKES SENSE!?).
4:53AM - Which possibly explains why: a little under an hour later, I'm wearing this dishcloth on my head in a way that totally doesn't provide ANY "closure" whatsoever to my Friday night, but pfft, it's a freaking dishcloth on my head duuude! I'm more awesome than you... AND YOU KNOW IT!!