Ho 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.
Pange, Chris and Yolanda of Beat Taboo.
The Beat Taboo,
The Metro, Adelaide, Friday, August 18, 2017
The Grace Emily, Adelaide, Saturday, August 19, 2017
Pics by Mandy Tzaras
For a while there I didn’t think I’d be able to see any bands this weekend, as your poor scribe being pulled in several directions at once seems to be a bit of a hobby for some.
So we were only able to squeeze in Melbourne visitors The Beat Taboo on both nights of their Adelaide stand. I must apologise to the other bands, they know who they are, and, be reassured, I will see them again, properly.
In the meantime, I would like you to cast your mind back to the dimly recalled halls of the (yes, I know, here we go again) 1970s and 1980s.
Ben Corbett makes a point to the crowd as SixFtHick play on.
In May 2012, I had the good fortune to travel to Brittany in France to see HITS plays three club shows in the cities of Brest, Lorient and Lannion. The brilliant Ben Salter happened to be touring France at the same time, so he arrived, guitar in hand, to see his friends in HITS - and was promptly added to the bill for those gigs.
HITS and Salter were welcomed with open arms and rapturous applause, but I started to hear French people say the same thing to them after every show - "You have to play at Binic!"
Photo by Robert Dunstan of Bside magazine
When you shut your eyes and listen, support act Workhorse sound very good, kind of soothing but slightly disturbing.
Several of us did just that. Watching them was interesting - their violinist was exceptional (most violinists seem to think that furiously sawing away will earn them some sort of Scout or Brownie badge), the vocals haunting and rather beautiful, and a rather lovely Vox bass throbbed effectively.
It may be early days for this outfit (I'm told that a couple, including the lead vocalist/ guitarist, were/ are in the Wireheads) and there's a certain amount of shyness - common to a large number of young bands these days - which I don't think suits the material. I'll make a point of seeing them again as I enjoy noticing how bands develop.
X in full flight in Sydney. Murray Bennett photo
Forty years of X and there’s a national tour to celebrate. Who would have thought? Certainly none of the original members, of which Steve Lucas is the only one remaining alive.
Lucas and bassist Ian Rilen were, of course, the only constant members of X. Almost. Even Ian was went briefly MIA from one line-up. The pair’s tumultuous relationship has been documented in many places and they were the heart and soul of the band.
Sometimes you get all philosophical. The penny dropped on Saturday night, after a succession of $14 jugs of beer with a mate, that the New Christs are probably the band that I’ve experienced live for the longest number of years.
Of course there have been so many line-ups that a statement like that becomes very elastic. But the wrist stamps don’t lie...
And they go right back to 1984 when a loose and limber Rob Younger bounded onto the stage of Sydney’s Capital Theatre, fronting the band’s first live incarnation, in support of Iggy Pop.
That line-up of Chris Masuak, Tony Robertson, Mark Kingsmill and Kent Steedman (the Rifle later to be subbed by a Spider, Richard Jakimyszyn) might have been equalled by the “Distemper” one (Charlie Owen, Jim Dickson and Louis Burdett/Nick Fisher) but never bettered. The former had a brutal edge, the latter a bluesier, expansive feel with jazzy inflections.
The current configuration of Dickson, Paul Larsen, Dave Kettley and Brent Williams measures up nicely in the history of the New Christs, probably sitting at level-pegging with the late-‘90s line-ups. They’ve all served up differing sounds and brought something different to the stage, with the one constant being Younger’s undeniable presence and bitter-sour song-writing.
“Emotional Jihad” and “Word Salad” are terms that others have used down the years to describe Younger’s lyrical vision. You can’t do much better than that.