You Am I and Delta Riggs 5 Dec 2015

Tim et al I love you I really do. But tonight just didn’t do it for me [friend]. There were stellar moments and there were duds. Songs where the band was truly tight and others that sounded unrehearsed. It felt like a best of hits package more than a band with a spanking new album. At one point they had two roguish and fantastically good lookin’ singers come and join them for a few songs. While the girls did an amazing job harmonising on one intended song, they hung around for Mr Milk and it just felt like TV pantomime. Then there was a keyboard player that was on stage the whole time, towards the end of the set he basically spent errantly shaking a tambourine. It was clearly unnecessary. Davey Lane from Bosnia (well Boronia – somehow I got that little private joke) was channeling Pete Townshend and doing a bloody good job of it. He and Andy really kept the band grounded and sounding great. But Davey in particular has become the bedrock of the band. Rusty (looking more like Johnny Cash every time I see him) almost sounds not so loud these days. I’ve never seen a man shake a drum riser like Rusty does but these days he does his little Keith Moon smirks but the drums only get a light bollocking. It’s a shame, there’s no greater drummer than Rusty at full pelt. The support act, well that’s an entirely different story… Sadly I think the band just tried to cover too much material with this gig. They played something off of virtually every album except...
Kiss concert Melbourne Oct 9

Kiss concert Melbourne Oct 9

It’s Friday afternoon beer-o’clock.  We’re in the ground floor bar of the Corner Hotel in Richmond having some warm up drinks. Richmond’s hipster elite are on the rooftop bar quaffing Peronis in the sun but we couldn’t care less. Downstairs we sit on black vinyl stools with Carlton Draught pints and Wild Turkey and Coke chasers, hogging what little sunlight has the audacity to make it through the windows of this seedy bar. It’s hot and my denim clad arse is sticking to the vinyl. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Condensation from the glasses leaves a toxic, ammonia blue puddle on the table. A toxicity perfectly matched to the shit we’re talking. In the restaurant next door hipsters are eating Vietnamese street food and pretending to be relevant – worse still important in this gentrified, yet grungy suburb. Unlike them we’re here for a reason. Kiss is playing at the Rod Laver Arena. Call me cynical and you’d be right. I’ve read 3 out of 4 of the band members’ autobiographies (all the concubines couldn’t get me to read Gene Simmons’ book). I loved the band as a teenager but as a middle aged guy, I’m wondering how many of these drinks it will take to make me love the upcoming gig. A friend got a good deal on the tickets, otherwise I wouldn’t have been interested. The bar is filling up with headbanger types clearly out for the concert. Even more clearly ‘not from here’. One bloke has hot rod flames tattooed on the back of his head, while another middle aged ruckus looking auntie laments not having anywhere...

Lemmy Movie Review MIFF festival

Words can’t describe how long I’ve been waiting to see this movie. I swear the lemmymovie.com preview has been up for at least a year. Then the promoter decides he wants to flog it on the festival circuit before a mainstream release. Thankfully it is included in the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and I saw the July 23rd screening. The movie really delivers with legendary stories, cliches, rockers and hangers on in the scene. It’s more a bar room yarn than a doco of say Nick Broomfield standard (who produced Kurt and Courtney and Biggie and Tupac). Nor does it geniunely consolidate Lemmy as a hero in the way the Ramones doco or Julian Temple’s movies have (Filth and the Fury and the Joe Strummer one).  All this could be forgiven though. It’s a celebration of Lemmy as a top bloke and a great musician. Nothing more, nothing less. On that premise, it’s OK and I’d see it again any time. What cannot be forgiven though is the quality of the print that they screened in Melbourne. The aspect ratio was all wrong, so all the titles on screen got cut off! The quality of the video was like Youtube on the big screen. For $17.50 cinema prices, you expect a full quality print. Not something that looks like a dodgy download. It was a packed out screening and I don’t think we were the only ones disappointed at the quality. It felt like a really, really bad way of paying back fans for their patience when this movie could’ve gone straight to DVD a year ago.  Thanks...

Australian Kingswood Factory Pretty As Sin Launch

Today I blog to you sore, hung over and all Rockabillied out. It seems someone forgot to tell the Australian Kingswood Factory that loud, local Rock and Roll is dead. I tell you this much, not on their watch. Last night Melbourne’s Arthouse Hotel was nicely packed out with quiff hair styles and hot rod heels on stunning looking rocker girls resembling the ultimate 1950’s librarian fantasy. If this gig is anything to go by, the Rockabilly scene in Melbourne is burgeoning and god bless it. The mosh was full of familiar friendly faces. And for what may look like an all out fist fight in the most is just good fun fist banter. Despite the mohawks and barrel chested tall boys that would scare you shitless in a dark alley, toes are stepped on people shoved and even beer spilt. But everyone is friendly and nothing turns ugly. A good night is had by all because thankfully this is a cool scene made up of very cool people. There’s something really funny about a six foot something greaser standing at the edge of a mosh, barely moving as he’s pushed and shoved. All the time balancing his stubby, with his back to the band as if nothing’s happening. Sure enough as lactic acid seeps its way into every sore muscle of my post mosh body, the Kingswoods did rock. Lyndsey had some wireless guitar cord conception that was awfully modern for the 1950s. But nonetheless it allowed him to romp through the crowd and even jump on my mate Ben’s shoulders for an impromptu off stage piggy back...

Acrassicauda finally get a gig

Well right now here in Melbourne, we’re having major bush fires. Some of the worst ever in fact. Frankly the response and generosity from the public is heart warming and overwhelming. The human suffering is unimaginable, but it’s even more saddening to think refugees suffer permanently. Usually from acts of war rather than god. Acrassicauda are a band of four Iraqis in their twenties who have suffered such a plight. They were Iraq’s main if not only heavy metal band to have endured right through the war. A war which sent them from Baghdad, to Damascus in Syria, to Istanbul in Turkey and finally safe refuge in the good old USA. That’s a rough six years. Their lives were documented in the movie Heavy Metal in Baghdad. Far from being just about metal music, this movie covered far more home truths about the madness and suffering of the Iraqi war than most docos of a political discourse. Moving from one place to another, they struggled to find a place where they could earn an honest living, let alone a venue for a gig. At one point they had to sell their instruments to pay the rent. Given that only a few thousand Iraqis have benefited from refugee status in the US since the war began, it’s pretty miraculous. You’d like to think it was perhaps the magic of Obama, but the arrangements must’ve started while Bush was still in office! Frankly it’s reassuring to see that people aren’t forgotten right now. Now the boys are in New Jersey. They can grow their hair as long as they want, listen...

Best rock rant in history

Ed Roman is a ‘guitar shop to the stars’ kind of guy. He is based in Vegas and appears to have been dealing with rock star types since god started designing dirt. And his rant here proves it. I stumbled upon his celebrity guitars web site the other day and have been reading through his ‘celebrity guitar’ pages for almost a week. It’s stupid crazy addictive for a muso. Ed’s created a site that despite not being updated in a while and a few old school design elements (I’m always up for a redesign project Mr Roman!), the content is just so bloody good. Anyway, after I’d gone through all the heroes, there was the celebrity page for Def Leppard guitarist Viv Campbell. This article sums up Def Leppard beautfully as one of the most talented yet clearly irrelevant groups in rock history. Ed’s article goes from talking about Viv into a two page manifesto of what’s wrong with rock today. There’s literally about 3 lines about Viv and Def Leppard in the whole thing. It’s all about how people could really play in the eighties and everyone’s a three chord poseur now. In the 80’s, you had to know how to play your guitar or you couldn’t join a rubber band. I mean today a lot of these so called garage bands can barely tune their instruments. So instead of learning how to play their instrument or how to use their gear, they just babble on about 80’s hair head bands and call them spandex sissies. Then he draws on personal experience to point out the poseurs: Just...