the gov - The I-94 Bar

A bunch of old Wild Things who made my heart sing

troggs the gov

Chris Allen and Chris Britton up front of The Troggs, 2016-style. Mandy Tzaras photo 

The original Troggs were Ronnie Bond (drums), (guitar), Reg Presley (vocals) and Pete Staples (bass), and their first hits began over 50 years ago. Along the way, they profoundly influenced ‘60s garage rock (not to mention glam) and seem likely to have been the inspiration for “Spinal Tap" when a spirited recording session was recorded, edited and bootlegged ("The Troggs Tapes").

Those reasons alone would be good enough to shell out your $70+change and hurry along to the fine establishment on Port Road in Adelaide, The Gov.

From the Cradle to the grave

cradle of filthCradle of Filth
+ Hybrid Nightmares
The Gov, Adelaide
September 4, 2019

It's fair to say that most people who rock up to these shows won't be bumpkins like me, who completely missed all the advances and shifts in the metal throughout the 1990s and onward.

Almost certainly there were few folk attending who didn't know the latest LP backward. The friend I'm going with, Azhurn, knows the bloody lyrics. Now, we ain't talking Ramones here. We're talking pieces which don't repeat phrases, no choruses except musical ones, and a narrative series closer to a somewhat demented storyteller. Dani's voice is simply astonishing, shifting several times within a single phrase, and occasionally it appears he's singing two notes at once.

Here's some of the press release (slightly amended):

"When you talk about classic albums shaping genres 'Cruelty and the Beast' by Cradle of Filth sits proudly and menacingly at the top of the tree for extreme music. In 1998 'Cruelty and the Beast' showcased the band's hybrid of brutality and macabre romanticism, crafting a concept album based on the life of Hungarian mass murderer Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who tortured and murdered hundreds of young women in the 16th and 17th centuries.

“'Cruelty and the Beast' was both bombastic and grandiose, inflected with gothic touches, yet unquestionably rooted in black metal. In addition to the feral bludgeoning and the slower, more melodic keyboard passages, 'Cruelty and the Beast', featured three haunting, elegiac instrumentals filled with chiming organs, horrified screams and synthesised orchestra parts that enhanced the drama and split the presentation into three acts. No other band would have been capable of creating such an opus. As a concept album, it is executed with perfection … creative, intelligent, shocking, written brilliantly and played expertly."

Hippy Days in a room filled with quiet joy

arlo1Arlo Guthrie
The Gov, Adelaide
April 24, 2019
Jeremy Tomamak photos

One of the things that really got to me the very first time I saw the film "Alice's Restaurant" (on late night telly, back in the days when Adelaide only had four stations) was the mutation of black humour, intelligence, and improbability running through the film like a twisted thread of opal.

Not least is the fact that Arlo was (in 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War and the draft) declared by the US Army as “not moral enough to join the army.”

As Arlo told Rolling Stone: "I never thought of “Alice’s Restaurant” as being an anti-war song, but you can’t run a war being that stupid. You won’t succeed in the war and you won’t succeed in other things either. And I think that’s some of the lessons we still have yet to learn, you know?"

And tonight, I wonder what we're in for. His father, underground folk guitar hero Woody Guthrie, died of Huntington's disease (HD), also known as Huntington's chorea in 1967, at the age of 55, and when Arlo was just 20.

Hugh's stranglehold on the hits

hugh the gov

Hugh Cornwell & band
The Gov, Adelaide
Sunday May 5, 2019
Richard De Pizzol photos

It's a chilly sort of night and I really don't feel like going out at all.

However, I have made arrangements and shall honour them.

Bad Bob arrives, leans on his horn and I am dragged from my chamber to encounter my chum, all chirpy and smoky, in a dinky little white car and we zoom off, leaving dazed possums and alarmed cats behind us.

Never mind the nostalgia because it's never too loud

tatts adl

Rose Tattoo
Hard-Ons
The Meatbeaters 
The Gov, Adelaide. Friday, April 12 2019
Photos by Somnambulist Dillinger

The morning after the night before I'm trying to make sense of it. My ears are still hissing like a grumpy king brown, so I guess it's time I used earplugs at gigs. 

Here's a question for you. What does Angry Anderson, rough'n'tough rock'n'roller, taste like?

I'll come back to this.

This is the Modern World

young modern the govHo to The Gov in Adelaide once more, for Vic of Mr V Music and the organiser of tonight’s barney headlined by Young Modern (pictured right), has kindly placed my name on the door.

As you may know, The Gov is opposite a vile concrete pissoir with the flashing lights known as the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, which also reminds me of a huge birthday cake concealing a rather unpleasant surprise for the party-goers. 

Which is one more reason why going to the Gov is so enjoyable, because it is a haven of hospitality, pubby goodness, good cheer and competent and friendly staff.

There have been times when I’ve been at the Gov and seriously considered not crossing the road to see whatever humungous stars await inside the concrete barn, but simply to stay in the cosiness and get cosily and happily fuddled instead.