Words Will Oakeshott.
Photos Alex Kwong Photography.
If this event could be surmised in one phrase, the legend of Black Flag, part-time actor, writer, spoken word genius and prodigy of anything else which interests him, Henry Rollins captured this show’s essence with his quote: “Life is weird, great and dangerous”.
Adelaide quartet Dirty Pagans had the honour of opening the event and were hellbent on crafting a weird and wonderful statement about their art. In terms of the historical undulated road modern rock’n’roll has undergone for decades since its inception, this four-piece are on a mission to explore the majority of this genre’s pathway. Elements of southern rock, classical rock, thrash metal, hair metal, stoner rock and sludge rock were all combined to create a rather original sound. Featuring songs from their Dirty Pagans EP and recently released full-length VOLUME 1, Dirty Pagans left an imposing impression on the modest but very intrigued audience. It was slightly abnormal but on that same note, awe-inspiring also.
When Melbourne’s Drunk Mums took to the stage, suddenly classifications, normality and to an extent, civility all exited the building. Exceptionally these aspects were replaced with recklessness, zaniness and an infinite amount of “party attitude” to exponentially lift the collective spirits of anybody in their reach. These four Victorian gentlemen not only find rules and break them, they don’tt even acknowledge their existence. At times they can exhibit a Queens Of The Stone Age influence, then add a Sex Pistols effect; now and then they threw in a hint of The Easybeats, but were just as capable of flaunting factors of surf rock and even pub-punk-rock for good measure. In its own way ‘Ode To Death’ was explosive, but the entire performance was bizarrely brilliant, especially when bass player / vocalist Adam Ritchie launched himself off stage and over the barrier to join the audience. I guess it’s not just girls who want to have fun but maybe guys or even drunk mums too?
With the competition of Brazilian groove thrash metal icons Sepultura performing just minutes away on this same night, the crowd size was impacted on a small-scale, but not in eagerness or adoration. A sizeable turnout brought their beer-thirsty and head-banging bodies to Fowler’s Live to enjoy the slightly odd yet fantastically fun stoner metal stylings of Portland’s Red Fang. The quartet were not here to disappoint, nevertheless, the four-piece never are. ‘Behind The Light‘, ‘Wires’, ‘Cut It Short’, ‘Dirt Wizard’, ‘Prehistoric Dog’ and ‘Flies’ were all highlights; however, the entire performance was memorable to say the least.
Escalating the band to this stature is understandably the four-piece’s unbelievable chemistry between each member; they are astonishingly connected musically and feed off each other on a level that impossibly grows each year. Furthermore, special mention must go to drummer John Sherman who has above human rhythmic capability and a hard-hitting force that creates its own shockwave.
With three down under visits to their belt, let’s just hope Australia encounters a fourth much sooner than later so our lives can once again be a little bit weird, great and dangerous.