BRANT BJORK, Holy Serpent, Don Fernando, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene. The Corner Hotel, Melbourne. 13-05-2017.

Words Mark Ireland.
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia.

Stoner legend Brant Bjork has been a frequent visitor to our shores, so when his tour was announced, all the desert rats come out in droves. Before the show at The Corner, Bjork had already played Negative Waves in Geelong and Cherry Rock at Cherry Bar. Along for the ride he bought Holy SerpentDon Fernando and Fuck the Fitzroy Doom Scene.

It’d been a long time between beers since I’ve seen FTFDS so I made sure I was front and centre. As soon the riff for ‘Better Off Dead’ kicked in I was pinned to the wall. The unique thing about this band is the three part harmonies, it gives the performance incredible strength. They finish off with the sludgiest version of ‘Facing The Ruin’, by the end of the set my heart was in my throat and my ears were blasted, did I care? Not in the slightest.

Don Fernando are veterans of the scene and master class performers in everything that they do, they power through a short sharp set with massive riffs that smash you in the face like a tsunami. Holy Serpent were up next and they managed to bury the crowd in mountain of sludge and feedback, it was over way too quickly.

A Brant Bjork gig is never about the songs, it’s about the journey. It’s like hitch hiking through the desert and dropping acid and flying off into the sunset. The vast majority of the set was from last years Tao of The Devil. It’s hard to describe how the energy shifts, but there is definitely something surreal going on when the Bjork steps onto stage.

About half way through the set he introduces Sean Wheeler to the stage. Wheeler seems a bit of a mysterious character, there isn’t much information about him, all Brant said was he was a desert stoner legend. He hypnotised the crowd with a number of songs, then disappeared off into the night.

What was coming up next no-one was expecting, he finished the set off with a killer version the Rolling Stones classic ‘Jumping Jack Flash’.

I walked out The Corner Hotel in a state of daze and confusion; the sign of a killer gig is when you levitate for hours afterwards and completely forget how you got home.

Let’s hope Brant Bjork finds his way out of the desert sooner rather than later and brings the journey back to town.

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