My esteemed colleague Jake DrGreen England nominated me to do this some time ago and I was certain - certain - that I had a list deep within the archives but do you think I can find it? Well here we are, straight outta the punter years….
1) THE HIVES, Le Bikini, Toulouse, 2013. Moving to London can be a hard slog so sometimes you just gotta splash about €40 on a ticket, jump on a budget airliner, and get the fuck out of Blighty for 24 hours. Checked in, walked for about two hours through a country where I cannae speak a feckin’ word of the language, and watched one of the best live bands in the world play to about 800 midget Frenchpeeps deep in the Midi-Pyrénées. For about three hours. In 38°C heat. All their white shirts became see-through, drenched in Swedish sweat. By the end I thought Chris Dangerous [drums] was gonna collapse. The whole trip was a religious experience.
2) THREE ORANGE WHIPS, Amplifier Bar, Perth, 2003. Their final show and one of the nights of all time. For evidence, please see the above photo of myself and distinguished WA journalist Liam Ducey totally grommetting the fuck out. We were not “too self-conscious to do the monkey” on this particular evening, that is absolutely certain.
3) THE WOLFE TONES, Burswood Theatre, Perth, 2010. Notorious K-town Hard-man D.Niven [zxspecky] and I partying with several thousand Glasgow Celtics fans. For there is only one thing more badass than a kick-arse punk band, and that’s an elderly rebel folk ensemble singing about stuff that inspires deep concern from one’s peers about what exactly one is getting into as one kicks open the doors to 800 years of Irish history that nobody likes talking about at the best of times, thank you very much. Who cares, this show was fantastic.
4) COCK SPARRER & THE ADICTS, Rebellion Festival, Blackpool, 2013. Making it harder for myself later on by billing these two equally, they were the headline / key acts on consecutive nights at Rebellion last year. The Adicts put on the most theatrical, fun Anglo-punk show you’re ever gonna see; Cock Sparrer was like, who knows, 8000 dudes in Ben Shermans singing every single word of some of the catchiest punk songs ever written. Incredible.
5) FRENZAL RHOMB, Rosemount Hotel, Perth, 2011. It had been so long between drinks that this was kinda one of those evenings when everybody suddenly remembers just how much they fucking love the band and reflects upon just how influential they have been on Australian music, and celebrates accordingly. But more important for my friends and I was getting front row centre. Took at least two hours of coordinating extremely serious drink-run operations while staunchly fending off the muscular incursions of dude-bros. Our success in this regard was as satisfying as the show itself.
6) SIXFTHICK, Hyde Park Hotel, Perth, 2001. I’d seen these cane-toad licking lunatics from Queensland disturb Frenzal Rhomb fans on that band’s ‘War’ tour in 2000, and their return to Perth was a thing I considered unmissable. They did not disappoint and surely this was the Sunday Hydey show of all time. Both Corbetts [duel frontmen Geoff & Ben] wearing nothing but black boxer shorts - one laying on the bar smothering himself in tomato sauce while the other was carried around on the shoulders of diminutive rock’n’roll luminary Sam Scherr [Capital City], singing things like “come back to my place I’ll demonstrate how to make a double bed out of 24 milk crates!” with this total cow-punk attack. Glorious.
7) BARBARIÖN, Pony, Melbourne, 2010. Legendary warrior Yuri Pavlinov [bass] invited me along to check out his band and I said of course mate; I wasn’t quite prepared for what I would witness, which is was a 7-piece power metal act with three guitarists, two singers dressed as… well, fucking barbarians, complete with codpieces and helmets and war paint and pyrotechnics that were literally shooting flames toward the ceiling of the match-box sized stage at Melbourne’s piss-stench-drenched late night tweakin’ rock’n’roll hellhole Pony (RIP). This was, for all intents and purposes, my introduction to Melbourne music and its big ol’ theatrical tradition (think TISM). Awesome.
8) THE DOSE & THE MAGOOS, Hyde Park Hotel, Perth, 2002. It doesn’t matter which show specifically. Pick a Friday in 2002. Enter the Hydey and witness lunacy at its absolute zenith. FEAR, GG Allin, a pub full of huge dudes delirious from drink, slam dancing, mohawks, broken glass, ripped up bits of phone books that had been supporting the rudimentary PA. Blood. Women who were twice as crazy as the dudes and just as tough. Nobody went as hard as The Dose, who never released any records, but later streamlined into The Homicides, linked above. And then there’s The Magoos: Indonesian hardcore punks singing unashamedly about killing the white man, and about a whole heap of other controversial things that I ain’t gonna reference on the Internet. Download their record here. Completely mental.
9) THE RATS, Hyde Park Hotel, Perth, 2001. Specifically, their appearance at [Hydey booker] Steve Spenceley’s annual birthday bash. Perth’s best street punk starring a very drunken [singer/guitarist] Donny Rat at his falling-around-the-room finest. The set began with 5 strings remaining on his home-made fibreglass guitar, pumped through a 15-watt practice amp, which he failed spectacularly to mic-up using a spare microphone stand… with which he then became completely entangled. Rolling around on the floor chucking KFC chips at members of [all grrrl punk band] Trash Ivory while drummer Mel pumped out the famous 1-2-1-2 Rats beat, and stand-in bass player Johnny Ajax played entirely the wrong notes. When the set ended, 5 songs later, only one string remained on Don’s guitar, and he wasn’t wearing any pants. A hugely entertaining shambles, it’s little wonder in retrospect that Don and Johnny formed The Dose (above) less than 6 months later - this was the prototype.
10) JED WHITEY, Amplifier Bar, Perth, 2002. Like The Dose, it doesn’t matter specifically where or when I saw Jed Whitey as they were consistently phenomenal. Their band was better than your band and they will always be better than your band: louder, faster, catchier and more hilarious. Smart guys / dumb stuff, and always - always - aware of the absurdity of what they were doing, JW remain Perth’s best rock’n’roll band bar none, and seeing them at Amps, especially, I had some of the best nights of my life. Are you ready to hate them? Click here.