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...
LIVE REVIEW / BALL PARK MUSIC (*****) "HOW I MET BALL PARK MUSIC" TOUR @ JIVE / Friday July 29th 2011
Hi everyone, it's me again! errr...or at least I think it is!? yeaaah, perhaps I should apologise for me being a pale shade of a "gonzo journalist" of late? or at least the piss retarded mockery of one you've been tuning into each week under the guise of "Spoz's Rant"; only lately you've likely been wondering what the FUCK happened to the "Rant" part or why the "Spoz" seemingly went "missing in action" too? Oh believe me I know! I've just not been myself lately! At least not for the past few weeks (and perhaps a few weeks preceding that?) and...yeaaah let's just say not since maybe mid June and we'll call it even? me not writing blogs? NOT WRITING BLOGS? HA HA HA WHAT THE FUCK CRAP INSANITY DID I SAY THAT FOR!? well shit, I'll tell you WHY! because I was being a whinyarse bitch...A WHINYARSE BITCH!! and I dare say I haven't been the only one bitching either; this winter has made a bitch of us all maaan! Oh it's been brutal! It's been a brain bludgeoning, depressingly dull desolate expanse of despair extending ad infinitum to the point you wanna pull a fucking gun to your head rather than wax emo existentialist about it (as much as I've admittedly caught some aaawesome live bands and live shows in between and oh...you so should've been there too!) and me "not writing blogs anymore"!? HA HA HA WHAT!? I just meant not nearly as OFTEN, SHEEEESH!! (dude's gotta have a "life" you know!). So why the fuck am I writing THIS now: here in the dead of winter, when doing anything OTHER than crawling inside a freshly killed mammoth carcass, setting fire to all your furniture or dry humping a radiator heater rugged up like a homeless person seems like nothing short of a suicide mission!? (or at least it sure as shit has felt like that until recently!). If not for the money, or the infamy? or the ripe comedy of a blood alcohol kicking into the double digits; except you had no money for that either, so hey you're doing it for the people! who've since scattered like autumn leaves? (some as far as the eastern states to escape this icey apocalypse?) then perhaps for the music!? BWAAAHAHaHAhAHaHA *ahem* no really since when is the Adelaide scene EVER about the music!? like maaaybe tonight? here at Jive, for Ball Park Music, supported by City Riots and 20th Century Graduates? yeah probably not...but let's investigate further shall we!?
CITY RIOTS (***1/2) - Which then brings us; all speculation aside over what exactly I meant by those "rumours" (pfft...don't ask me duuude, ask 20th Century Graduates!) to our second act here tonight. The same I don't doubt a great many of you have come "flooding" in droves to read about just now; in the hopes I'll be giving them HELL on this blog (and how!), in fact I was very much counting on this happening (yay...ratings bonanza!). Just as I also suspect a great many of those SAME people have just seen that weirdly affirmational to downright praiseworthy "three and a half star" rating I've awarded them tonight and have just as quickly now either: (a) fled in disgust never to return, or (b) are currently punching out ALL CAPS screaming tirades in protest telling me just how much of an *EXPLETIVE!! EXPLETIVE!! (wait...you said what about my mum!?) EXPLETIVE!!* I am for even giving this cheese-whizz fashion band the time of day. Because for those of you late to this party? City Riots are a band that "divides opinion"...and that's putting it MILDLY! I mean on the one hand? like say...for all those of you OUTSIDE of the Adelaide scene, they're all kinds of awesomely "popular": lauded nationwide thanks to constant high rotation Nova and Triple J airplay, winning scores of screaming female fans (like say predominantly tweens aged 9-14? those who suddenly find themselves too old for Justin Bieber? mums attempting to be hip? ad executives!?) and they've become a "shining beacon" all of us could be ever so infinitely proud of; no really duuude I'm dead serious! they're on the verge of being HUUUGE!! On the other hand? ie: for those of us IN the Adelaide scene, yeaaah how do I put this delicately...they're a laughing stock. At best they're the "pink elephant in the room" nobody really brings up in polite conversation. At worse? they're the Adelaide scene equivalent of the "Kings Of Leon" and many of us with more "discerning tastes" wish we could be the "pigeon" that "rains on their parade" (perhaps even literally if we had half the chance!). And yet as much as me not featuring them on this blog in well over three years may be no "accident"? (because yes I readily admit they're not to my personal tastes) completely coincidental to a three year "family feud" ongoing with them AND the Adelaide scene? yeaaah fuck it I'm gonna do my impartial best in reviewing them! Because to be fair City Riots aren't nearly as eye gougingly abhorrent LIVE as their "hit single" might suggest (yeaaah you know the one...and yes they mercifully leave that till the very end of their set). In fact if you go slightly cross-eyed and let your left arm and the left side of your face go a little droopy (no it's not a stroke, you're simply "appreciating their finer qualities") they're actually rather catchy. NO REALLY!! A lot of their songs have this slick gunning groove in both Ricky Kradolfer and Matt Stadler's guitar delivery. A growling omnipresent bottom end in both Matt Edge's and Dan Kradolfer's bass and drum rhythm. They kinda remind me of a latter day Eskimo Joe, they could easily pack stadiums with this shit, they've got that easy-going stage presence and witty "between song banter" killing it like seasoned MTV veterans (or don't I mean Channel [V]? MTV stopped catering to the "M" years ago). I mean I can totally appreciate the "commercial" appeal here, it's almost an "anaesthetising" quality they wield. I could happily shut down both frontal lobes and just glide to this, shop to this, smash beercans on my forehead playing team sports to this, shit Ricky's vocals ain't even annoying most of the time! Watch as their feathered mullets fluff about majestically in the stagelight, they even smile and say hi when they see me? awww how can you hate on these guys!? And you can't deny they put on one hell of a show! they're entertainers! they're solid gold performers through and through! I mean it's not "art" or even "music" by our definition; and yet I suspect them and a great many of their fans couldn't care less! Nope they're City Riots. And suuure I could give them a hard time! And if you're the sort of person who devotes your life to music blogs, ipod playlists, arguing and obsessing over the finer A-Z of music history 24/7? you probably think they're the antichrist! But to me they're just four regular blokes playing regular rock I can be blissfully oblivious to; and that's just fine by me!
And if that live review just then read rather like I was writing it whilst someone was performing an ACTUAL fullblown lobotomy on me with a rusty scalpel/no anaesthetic...or in other words perhaps you're still scratching your head over the "five star" seal of approval I've given them considering they're the band responsible for the head exploding travesty that is "Rich People Are Stupid"!? (EGADS!! MY EAR THARRR BLEEEEDING!!) well allow me to elaborate. Because it's not just the music here appealing in every way that it SHOULDN'T, but more the mad ensemble who are performing it tonight and a little thing called "stage presence"; especially in regards to the pissballs hilarity that is their lead singer Sam Cromack in projecting it a few shades short of poking your eyes out. Which come to think of it? I don't even need to tell you...because there's more than enough evidence of his clownshit insanity in all those live photos ABOVE: like he's a spastic rubberband cross between Rivers Cuomo, Woody Allen and Peter Allen possessed by the lounge lizard spirit of Jarvis Cocker (duuude no shit he's a rock photography "gift" that keeps on giving!). Made all the more endlessly entertaining when he proceeds to "flying tackle" Brock Smith their guitarist; on more than one occassion, so much so you begin to wonder if there's a little something "more" going on here; and then THIS happens in the encore!? HA HA HA yeaaah perhaps it's best I don't elaborate further...
11:51PM - Which speaking of the "bar" (and my inescapable need now to headbutt it over and over until I'm nothing but a blank screen and a blinking "command prompt") brings up a rather salient point here, and YES I said "salient"...namely that I've somehow survived all the above, and possibly even enjoyed it, despite the fact I also did it sober...SOBER. Which admittedly isn't all that out of the ordinary whenever I deal with a venue quite like Jive: a very business-like, above board, no-nonsense establishment that makes me paranoid as fuck to even dare "enjoy" myself here (because lets face it...I have a "reputation"). For reasons that possibly start with me writing them up as Adelaide's answer to the "Soup Nazi" and laughing myself retarded (what, is everyone too young to remember Seinfeld now!?) and ending with my swift disappearance and the concrete in their carpark out back mysteriously gaining an additional "speed bump". Just as it's not entirely out of the ordinary for me to cover most my live shows sober now and simply not tell you about it, because sometimes I just wanna get this shit over with and get drunk elsewhere, sometimes I'm simply too dead broke, and sometimes...yeaaah you know what? that's the problem right there innit!? Every-fucking-time I don't drink I start questioning everything! Shit no wonder winter's been such a pain in the arse of late...too damn broke leads to too much damn sobriety! "OH I GOTTA HAVE A REASON NOW!! AN INCENTIVE!! A MOTIVATION!! I'VE GOT A BLEEDING JOB TO DO!! WAAAH WAAAH!! EMO WHINY WAAAAAAH!!" But no really...I did all this shit SOBER!? "HA HA HA ferfucksake Spoz drink some beer already and shut up! This isn't a job you idiot! this is every awesome excuse you have for AVOIDING a job!". And I tell you what maaan, this shit? (and a few dozen like it) was JUST what this moment called for! YEAAAS!! Here's to thinking less...and celebrating life MORE!
12:04AM - Which is possibly just as well...because a lot of this "junk" that happens in any given Friday or Saturday night out (or any other night of the week for that matter) probably doesn't bear me overthinking it too much, or in some cases even photographing or mentioning on the blog at all (and occassionally for damn good reasons too!) and yet more often than not? they also provide me with some of the funniest anecdotal observations from my night out too. Take for instance City Riots and their dedicated road crew. YES, they had an actual "road crew". An Adelaide band, WITH roadies. WHAT THE FUCK!! I mean no shit duuude, most interstate touring artists I've ever seen at Jive, even the more "successful ones" don't even have those. ROADIES!! Funnier still? they even sported "City Riots" emblazoned uniforms, complete with a littany of commercial sponsors. And countless times during the show tonight friends would nudge me, point in their direction and go "psst...Spoz, you SO should photograph the shit out of them, it'd be hilarious!". Except they also looked like the sort of "roadies" with shaved heads, burly looking, like they could bench press a refrigerator, perhaps a midsized family sedan, and I SO didn't wanna get murdered if they "looked at me wrong" taking a photo...or more accurately I was too chicken-shit sober to call their bluff. And so instead after a few too many dark ales? I got this photo instead of Jeremy skeezing it up in front of their official City Riots emblazoned road gear...and yeaaah time to hit the bar again!?
12:22AM - But of course I couldn't just keep hitting the bar here for the rest of the night...and not necessarily because I'm at all shit scared of Tam their pint sized proprietor; or that I've always wondered what would happen if I ever gave her a flying tackle bearhug whilst screaming "TAMMY WAMMY WOOOO, I WUV YOOOO!!" *cough* wait, did I just say that shit out loud!? No it was more because they were closing up soon and security kicked us out. Hmmm. And HA HA HA wait, is that City Riots' tourvan there by the exit? no, no it isn't! we're moving on people, WE'RE MOVING ON!!
12:37AM - Now obviously there was the question of where we should go next to drink ourselves into shit grinning oblivion...again best not to over think that (too broke my arse!). Preferably with as many band members of Ball Park Music unwittingly involved; because pfft...why ELSE do we start music blogs maaan? for the mad respect of our peers!? I'M NOT EVEN A JOURNALIST YA FOOLS!! WOOO!! except for their bass player "Kilogram Jam" who was already down for the count, because apparently even after two "nanna naps" today she was totally party pooped (awwww I know!). And to cut a long story short here? someone suggested Supermild and here we are...or more accurately here we are waiting in line outside. At Supermild. A little past midnight. And is that Dan Krodolfer the drummer from City Riots waving at me in the background there!? "HI DAN!!" *cough* no really wow, is it just waaay to early for this shit or what!? And I'm still waiting in line here WHY exactly!?
12:48AM - And so after waiting in line for another five minutes (I mean pfft...what do I care?) only to walk into Supermild, take one good look around and all but confirm that YES I was there way too early...I opted for The Grace Emily instead. Why? well shit duuude let me count the ways!
1:47AM - Or better yet let's just ignore all those...and instead focus on THIS "eight wonder" I discovered in the beergarden an hour later (after a few too many of their garden's namesake?). Because yes, that is indeed a basin filled with crushed ice...and HA HA HA no shit is THAT not the freakiest damn thing you've ever seen!? "DUUUDE!! FUUUCK!!". In fact someone might've even passed me by in this exact moment, paused perplexed, and asked me just WHY I was taking a photo of this shit; only to catch himself asking that question, quickly realising how ridiculous that sounded "saying it" and then joined me in dumbstruck awe of it...YEAAAS!! CRUSHED ICE!! IN A FUCKING BASIN!! DO I NOT SHOW YOU THE BEST SIGHTS AND SOUNDS IN ADELAIDE, OR WHAT!?
3:20AM - And now with very little narrative segue provided to explain this? here I am almost two hours later BACK at Supermild. Or more accurately I did that well over an hour ago...and I'm at a complete loss to explain what the hell I've been doing in all that time; save for these two beer bottles I've propped up in front of the camera lens thinking they're important somehow. Hmmm. On the right there is my longneck of Sparkling (and yes I've been very much enjoying the shit out of it thank you very much!), on the left there is a half full stubbie of Pale Ale handed to me by Ball Park Music's keyboardist Paul Furness moments before he stumbled out the exit telling me there was no way in hell he could finish it. Aaaah touring artists: they're a gift that just keeps on giving!
5:02AM - And now it's a few minutes after closing, they've already thrown everyone else, and I'm still here; yeaaah that's a little weird...although not totally unprecedented. Once back in 2009 I walked outside of Supermild after a heavy night's drinking and the sun was up? true story! And as for what any of this has got to do with tonight? yeaaah I forget. LET'S DO THIS AGAIN SOMETIME!!