I owe a lot to Unwritten Law. Unwritten Law (and The Vandals) inclusion on the ‘Idle Hands’ soundtrack (anyone remember that film?) are the reason I fell madly in love with punk music. However, over the years, my enthusiasm for Unwritten Law has waned; maybe it has been the previous five or so years of average performances by the band, or the stories of their off stage antics, or my chance meeting with the band in 2015, but whatever it is, I was oscillating between excited and apprehensive about tonight’s gig. Continue reading →
The opening of doors into The Croxton’s band room is a little bit later than anticipated (probably due to VIP’s meeting with the headliners taking double time for selfies) but we fill it at a steady pace. The thirstier punters begin the soon-to-be never-ending queue for grog in an excited frenzy, others choose their spot within the room.
Our first act of the evening are Melbourne’s four-piece band, Bukowski. Their choice of name doesn’t necessarily suit their style of music – presumably an ode to Charles, wasn’t Bukowski more of a classical man?– but it seems to be irrelevant as we applaud their set, indulging in the local talent. These guys are one of the upcoming acts that we should watch, so it was a shame their set had to be shortened due to the late starting time. They leave us in a state of awe and appreciation for being there, and we progress into patiently waiting for what’s to come. Continue reading →
Before Shame even landed in Australia, they had a hell of a reputation but with enough secrecy to still have some surprises up their sleeves. They have been heavily lauded in the British and American music press, they tore Glastonbury apart last year and punched Laneway Festival so hard it was coughing up blood, so when they landed at The Tote the energy of the band and the crowd was salacious, you could feel the condensation just dripping from the ceiling.
Lead singer Charlie Steen hulked about the stage staring down the crowd, you felt like he was going to attack at any point, but this is all stage persona.
When they burst into the single ‘The Lick’ and the opening lyric is “So in the past week I’ve made several trips to the gynaecologists”, you know the boys tongues are firmly planted in their cheek, they wear their influences heavily on their sleeves, The Fall, Eddy Current. Steen has the Mark E Smith’s venomous lyric spit combined with Brenden Huntley’s manic dance moves. The song ‘Friction’ with it’s heavy chiming guitars flogs the crowd around the head and induces aural comas. The entire pub is transfixed, a bomb could have gone off and the crowd wouldn’t have noticed in the slightest, that’s how enigmatic they were. Continue reading →
There is a quote by the infamous and supposed anonymous UK-based graffiti artist Banksy that states: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable” – this in retrospect, operates as a very suiting theme for what transpired at this event. The South Australian summer had certainly exposed its true colours providing sauna-like conditions, which was quite the opposite from both touring bands’ current home weather statuses (UK and Canada respectively). Landing on a Tuesday evening was also more of a predicament in terms of attendance, with spectator numbers being best described as dozens initially. However, art, more specifically punk music was never about “comfort”; truthfully it is more likened to rebellion, the underground and discomposure. So essentially these “conditions” as it were, surmised to an accommodating scenario. Continue reading →
For the 4th Punks Against Poverty show I wanted to do something special and made it a Christmas show. I actually hate Christmas but I figure homeless people probably hate it more than me so why not try to put a happy spin on a shitty situation that’s still happening in the world.
I enlisted some of Perth’s coolest kids to pretend not to be Grinchier than me and sing Christmas songs, there was some resistance but they did it and nobody died. Grant Larseny took this one step further by actually writing a song for it! It’s a great song about Christmas in Australia and I think we can all identify with it on some level. It’s available for download on Bandcamp so definitely check it out!
New band Triggered covered Tim Minchin’s ‘White Wine In The Sun’, Incomplete covered Kevin Bloody Wilson, Joanie Get Angry sang ‘Do You Want To Build A Snowman’ and I’m gutted I missed it I really wanted to see what they did with a Disney song, Blindspot sang about 8 White Boomers and lastly Benny Mayhem sang The Pogues ‘Fairytale Of New York’. I had a playlist of random Christmas songs to play inbetween and despite not hearing half of the songs (it didn’t get paused while the bands played) The Wiggles ‘Felice Navidad’ played and I was feeling pretty proud of myself. Yes I played The Wiggles at a punk show. Continue reading →
Every time I head off to a show or a photoshoot I have this mini panic attack where I’m 100% convinced I’ve forgotten something important, only I haven’t. Tonight I spent an hour travelling to a show just to discover I left my camera battery on the kitchen counter. Of all the nights I choose tonight to screw up and I have all the regrets. ALL. THE. REGRETS. So I decided I’ve give reviewing another shot so I could feel less guilty for having a door spot. I know right, what’s wrong with me?
First up for tonight was The Shakeys. This is the third time I’ve seen them this week and in total contrast to the other nights this room didn’t have too many people there to see the opening act. This didn’t stop the band putting on one hell of a performance though. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen The Shakeys do a half-assed performance! Claire is a badass front woman and full of attitude. They started their set off with ‘Don’t Make Me Crawl’, and during their next song ‘Pink Demon’ people started getting off their seats and moving closer to the stage. They mentioned opening for Marky Ramone on Tuesday night and how he insisted they do a couple of covers. They decided they loved the songs and kept them in their set. Quite literally, it’s the same set as Tuesday night. This just made my job tonight so much easier. I can’t say that for the other bands though. During their final song ‘Drinkin Till Dawn’, they were joined on stage by members of The Beehives GoGo Dancers who danced up a storm. I’ve now decided The Shakeys need gogo dancers at every show! My opinion matters and everyone should listen to me. Continue reading →
Cosmic Kahuna have been slogging away on the Melbourne punk scene for a couple of years, released a few EP’s, played a stack of shows, supporting people like CJ Ramone, and will be supporting Foo Fighters on their upcoming tour.
Tonight was the launch of their debut album Paintstripper. The title is all in the telling, it’s an album of brutal as fuck hard core punk. As well as Cosmic Kahuna, the band also brought a heap of their mates along to celebrate the launch.
Uncle Geezer kicked off the shenanigans with a brutal set of hardcore thrash; nothing says punk rock like a lead singer jumping around the front bar in his purple jocks, while singing through a water bottle. Continue reading →
French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr once wrote in his epigrams: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”; which for those of unfamiliar with French translates to “the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”. Groovin The Moo in 2017 made its first appearance in South Australia at the infamous Adelaide Showgrounds, vastly different from its original location in Oakbank. However, the sell-out crowd were once again greeted with a gloomy winter-esque atmosphere (referred to as “Groovin The Mud” in past years), but misery was far from consideration by the attendees, if there were premises to assign to the festival – “victory” and “mystery” would be certainly suiting.
Adelaide-based progressive folk luminary Tom West had the privilege of the opening slot for the festival and brought out his entire arsenal for the presentation. A six-piece band including keys and a banjo serenaded the early observers, although not quite in a spirited fashion, more-so a soothing manner. Single ‘Easy, Love’ was the standout which channelled Pennsylvania’s criminally unknown Koji; honestly though, it wasn’t an enthusiastic engagement but a warm welcome nonetheless. Continue reading →
Yeah, Friday had finally hit. I’d spent the week learning new systems and processes in a brand new job, and whilst not physically tiring, it’s certainly mentally draining, but the Nashville Pussy gig (and a beer or two… dozen) was never far from my mind.
I grabbed a beer and hit the room to check out Melbourne’s Tequila Mockingbyrd. This all-girl three-piece do a great trade in ‘70s hard rock, big riffs, hair, and a fuckload of energy and enthusiasm. It was clear they were having a blast onstage. Singer / guitarist Estelle Artois plays some mean guitar, and has a great set of pipes too. Backed by a solid rhythm section, which is comprised of bass player Jess Reily (who was wielding a pretty funky silverburst T-bird too!) and drummer Josie O’Toole, they’ve got all their bases covered. Check ‘em out when you can. Continue reading →
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 Serpent, Don 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. Continue reading →