Saturday, August 9, 2014
Legs Electric opened proceedings with a set of perfectly mixed straight-up heavy rock. Its not quite metal, but heading in that direction with some serious crunch to the guitars and some tasteful solos.
Neuro-punks Helta Skelta are tight and consistently brilliant with intelligent and well written songs and a raw sound. Smile started things off, followed by Reds, ‘Done (as in methadone), Modern Lover and several songs from their forthcoming album, which should be a stunner judging from this night’s previews.
The Homicides hit the stage with their usual brutish exuberance and kicked off with Nervous. Enigmatic and obnoxious, six months without playing didn’t seem to do them any harm as they banged out Bruiser and I Fuck Girls Too Young For Me before indulging in a couple of Rats songs (Useless and D’ya Wanna Root) for old times’ sake. Thank You Beer and Lipstick also got a guernsey before they retired back into hibernation for another six months or so, most likely.
The Television Addicts are essentially The Victims with Ray Ahn from The Hard-Ons standing in on bass, playing old Victims songs, many never recorded in a studio. For their first reformation in 34 years they took the stage very casually and after some brief chit-chat launched into a blinding version of I’m A Victim.
The tone was set. Out Of My Head followed, and then Horror Smash. The mood was light, but the music wasn’t. Fast and frantic, raw but clear and focussed. I Understand mellowed things out before Monster picked up the pace again.
The large and crowded venue housed a very vocal and appreciative audience, roused next by New Society and Uranium. Telethon Song was just one of several joyfully politically incorrect relics.
A few choice words of scorn for Wet Wet Wet preceded a very nice and lovely version of The Troggs’ Love Is All Around. I’m Looking For You kept that mood going before New Wave kicked things up a gear and a very sharp Girls Don’t Go For Punks saw a return to the previous hectic pace.
Elvis Is Dead kept it upbeat before Teenage Dreamer came out of left field. Charlie, High School Girls, TV Freak, I Wanna Be With You and (I’m) Flipped Out Over You were all thrashed out before their underground sleeper hit, Television Addict, closed out the set.
The crowd demanded the band’s return and got it with an encore of Perth Is A Culture Shock and the perfect musical tension of the metronomic Disco Junkies.
Expectations exceeded. Minds blown.
James Baker really proved his worth tonight. There surely can’t be that there’s many 60 year-olds who could play like that for an hour. Dave Faulkner’s vocals at times were a bit more Gurus than Victims but, one supposes, you can’t unlearn how to sing, and faking youthful anger wouldn’t do either. He totally proved he still has it and the musical combination of he and Baker has been greatly missed.
The guitar sound was perfect and the playing was crisp. Ray Ahn was the perfect foil, never once trying to do too much or seeming out of place. Just right. There were a few false starts here and there, but that was all part of the fun, and to be expected.
Hopefully this show doesn’t remain the one-off it was intended to be.