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L7 @ Capitol

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Nerve Quakes
Capitol
Thursday October 6, 2016

The band that were referenced by many a group from the riot grrrl movement, but who had their roots firmly planed in the Blag Flag school of punk, have recently reunited after a thirteen year hiatus. The seminal line-up of L7 have dusted off their denim to bring their balls to the wall rock action on the road.

Local new wave quintet Nerve Quakes warmed up the room with their analogue synths and chorused guitar to draw on the sounds of The Cure and Siouxsie & The Banshees. Nerve Quakes eased the punters into the evening with their tales of serial killers and environmental concern, in somewhat of a calm before the storm.

Curious onlookers and old school fans alike greeted the Californian four-piece with gusto as Donita Sparks lead L7 to the stage. Her heavy handed application of eyeliner framed a stare that showed Sparks to be as fit and fierce as ever, whilst she took to her flying V for a brash take on Deathwish. With a warning that L7 were here to ‘rock your hemisphere’, the imposing figure of Suzi Gardner with her unforgiving growl lead the band through a robust Andres.

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Jennifer Finch had been shaking her purple hair like a woman possessed until it was her turn to front the mic. As well as being the barometer for the level of energy that is to come from the stage, Finch is also the most melodic of the songwriters, and Everglade was equal parts hooks and crunch.

There were less tattoos than would have been expected from such luminaries of the rock scene, but there was still plenty of evidence of a group of people that had been hardened by the road. The voices weren’t as supple as last time that they were in Perth, but they still had more than enough chops to deliver a high energy wall of sound.

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There was plenty of venom as the words were spat out to Fuel My Fire and the bands raw power was never in question with moments such as Drama and Shove. Punters sung along, danced (or their nearest equivalent to it) and threw the obligatory cup of beer or two for the whole set, whilst still finding another gear when tunes such as Shitlist were brought out.

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The encore was always going to come as the big hit hadn’t been unleashed as yet, but before getting to the MTV staple of Pretend We’re Dead, there was a high octane take of Eddie & The Subtitles, American Society. There wasn’t any brashness that saw feminine hygiene products being thrown from the stage, or the auctioning off of a one night stand with drummer Demetra Plakas like in their headline grabbing heyday, but they made up for it with a ear splitting barrage of dirty filthy rock and roll as it should be played.

CHRIS HAVERCROFT

Photos by Paul Dowd

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