Words Derek J. Huckel.
Photos Rod Hunt Photography.
Tonight was a night to melt your face, a warmth in this cold night, where thou shalt rock out with a blend of genre bending and aggressive rawk!! From the punkrock, ska and hallucinogenic rock, The Dwarves at the Imperial tonight commandeered them all!
Legal Aliens kicked the night off in fine fashion to a decent crowd filling slowly as they played. Their singer Mal wasn’t afraid of the crowd, in amongst it from the start. Think X-Ray Spex if they were more street punk. They sang life relevant lyrics to rock to. Like a well-oiled machine, this band hustled and entertained from the outset. Their songs included ‘Meta Cognition’, ‘Mummy Rescue Me’, ‘Playin’ With Monsters’, and a Beastie Boys cover ‘Deal With It’.
Cap A Capo play a ska tinged heavy rock with a faster pace. It’s hard to shoebox these guys really, blending them to fit themselves, really well. They blow you away with their intense rhythms. Some of their songs tonight were ‘Camperdown Ho-down’, ‘Leeches’, ‘Suicide Seeds’, and a few newer ones ‘Do it Again’, and ‘Wizard in a Cave’. Their last number was a great jam called ‘Tear It Down’, which borrows some of Marley’s ‘Stir It Up’ in there.
The Neptune Power Federation kicked off well hard immediately! Their operatic queen, Screaming Loz Sutch, commanded her minions immediately, looking resplendent in red. Initially in black, her ball gown with a sequin chest piece, was lit halfway through their first tune to show her true blood red colour. Having to be seen and heard to be believed, this mix of hard rock, psychedelia, and the power of Loz’s voice, is mind blowing! Spells to tunes tonight were ‘Wizard Lovin’’, ‘Skies Of Sound’, ‘Mind Voyager’, and they closed with ‘Begone Sorcerer’. Their sound is like a Satan’s mix of L7, Motorhead, Zodiac Mindwarp with Black Sabbath. All members in The Neptune Power Federation are veterans of many bands past and present who bring their might and experience to the fore in this one powerful hard-rocking band with a difference!
The Dwarves came on to a crooner of the ilk of Frank Sinatra tonight and launched straight into their punching brand of punkrock with ‘Back Seat Of My Car’. The near full venue was jumping straight away, as well as a decent circle pit of punters. The singer Blag Dahlia is an animated character and a great frontman. He has high levels of kinetic energy, bristling like a ferret high on caffeine, the band members (Rex Everything, Fresh Prince of Darkness, and Dutch Ovens) too, following their ringmaster whilst on their own simultaneous rhythm trajectories.
‘I Will Deny’, ‘Unrepentant’ followed. Then came ‘You Gotta Burn’, their slow tune you might say. Blag hams it up, dramatising this tale of advising all to live in this moment or lose. It’s in the style of a dirty blues dirge and the crowd lapped it up. The band were straight back into the “hardcore good time music”, his words, with ‘Get High’.
A pit kept up all set and seemed to get more manic when Blag instructed with his finger circling. ‘I Wanna Be Your Pimp’, ‘Drugstore’, ‘Fuck You Up’ were in there too. With all the naked women on their covers, and The Dwarves, they possibly use images and lyrics some bands don’t have the gall to use. I’m not saying this is wrong or right, just they’re using the danger of rock n roll, using sex sells, naughty pics and lyrics to be confronting and challenging. But they more than back this up live with showmanship and tunes that bloody kill. One without the other wouldn’t work but they do and are loved for it.
They closed with ripping through old faves ‘Astro Boy’, ‘Way Out’, and ‘Dominator’. Blag was professing “We are the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band ever!”… well if they’re not, they were pretty darn great anyway!!
Remaining shows on the Dwarves Australia Tour:
1st Miami Tavern, Gold Coast
3rd Crown & Anchor, Adelaide
4th The Boston, Perth
5th John Curtin Hotel, Melbourne