The old wives tale about making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear and a poor workman blaming her tools is flipped on its head tonite with a smorgasbord of top end amps and guitars on offer, an oasis for a touring band carrying the minimum back line in the trunk, and a great way to end up the tour, with a feast not a famine.
The fact we travelled 8 hours from Melbourne and had some serious fruit declaration difficulties getting across the border into south Australia to get here and have a 16 hr stint to get to Sydney after the gig to make the flight home on xmas day only makes the evening more of a special event, and the special circumstances and baking 34 degree heat here only accentuates the exotic nature of the venture and Sam Miers exquisite taste in selecting great and appropriate venues in a hostile and roo-weathered land which is in many ways foreign to these lads, yet in some ways so familiar, but on a larger scale while not raising too many heckles in the process.
First up are No Action playing a tight set through some nice gear, complaining of the infernal Adelaide heat, holding the house with a slick and well-rehearsed set.
Next up are Men’s Health, also playing thru nice gear, a good level playing field for all concerned and a nice ego test for the guitarist having a quiet frontman and a slight saxophone to contend with. With a lack of original material to fill a set these dudes played some well chosen covers after their originals including ‘Pablo Picasso’ and ‘some velvet morning’, fairly obvious but worth considering many of the attending youngsters may not have yet been exposed to some of these nuggets we fogeys take for granted … Not to mention a downbeat version of ‘love will tear us apart’ LOL… The 1-2-3-4’s in the song endings betray the newness of the outfit but a somewhat spirited effort.
Schoolgirl Report perform a particularly intimate and personally affective set , managing the temptation of the amazing rack of gear admirably, mature beyond their years and developing day by day, gig by gig, step by step.
We played a typically terse, tense and spine tingling set, tinged with melancholy but with extra edge and bite being the final installment in this trans-tasman exchange of ideas and cultures, an opportunity for ideological and traditional intercourse rarely encountered in this day and age.
As a nod to the season and as a special treat for our South Aussie neighbours, we performed a poignant and heartwarming rendition of the classic Lennon/Ono anti-war anthem ‘Merry Christmas (War is Over)’ which had some audience members faces criss-crossed with rivulets of tears, others scrambling for their lighters in the singalong choruses.
I also debuted my lyric poem ‘Wandella‘ , a sombering ode to the events of a few days ago which have already made the name of this obscure east coast settlement as synonymous with alcohol, drug and testosterone fueled violence as Brighton or Altamont.