New Christs with The Overtones and 69BC in Sydney


nc-landsdowne-thumbThis Saturday night show in an old and recently re-opened Sydney venue was the last stop before Europe for the New Christs who were due to fly out two days later. It’s an odd atmosphere.

Tonight’s the first opportunity for friends and acquaintances of the late Christian Houllemare, longtime bass-player with the band, to gather and share their sorrow.

It’s less than a week since his passing and the mood is understandably muted.

Steve Wynn and The Miracle 3 with Deniz Tek and The Bad Men live

tek-electric-thumbI had this one marked on my calendar for months. On paper it doesn’t get much better – two of my all-time favorites on one bill at an excellent venue. And, Steve was planning an all Lou Reed set.

I realized when Lou died that I loved him more than anyone I had never met. When he went, it wasn’t like when I lost my parents or other loved ones, but I had never met Lou, not even at a book signing or anything. And when he died I really felt the loss.

Deniz Tek and The Bad Men live in Norway

Lady luck must have been looking out for me; I get sent on a last minute work trip to Oslo, and discover Deniz Tek will be in town for the opening night of his 2014 European Tour. The venue turns out to be a leisurely five-minute walk from my hotel. Easy Street.

The Meat Puppets at Fowlers Live in Adelaide

Cris


The Meat Puppets are an outfit I’ve been looking forward to seeing ever since I heard they were coming. 

 

There are a few similarities with the last outfit I saw recently, The English Beat. Old band touring, only two original members, no set list. No encore because of curfew (Fowlers is right next to a huge block of student accommodation; you only rarely see the occasional student at Fowlers, and their sense of dislocation and disgust is visible).

 

But the gigs are very, very different, and not just because of the style of music.

The English Beat, Fistful of Trojans at the Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide

It was an unusual night. First, I was comp’ed quite unexpectedly and had no time to do any research on the current state of play on The Beat (as I still think of them).

Slightly giddy after a long day concentrating old and fragile papers (don’t ask), I found myself examining many things in considerable detail. 

People, f’rinstance. We all kind of make our own fantasy of what we’re really like, and try to live it. Sometimes someone comes along and, unbidden, flings open the French windows and lets a bit of air and light in.

HITS with Bitter Sweet Kicks, Bruce and Modesty in Sydney

Do you miss the thrill of the unexpected? Do you long for the anticipation and uncertainty that goes with risk taking and the sudden inhale of breath in response to seeing someone break the rules? You need to visit The Imperial Hotel in Sydney’s Erskineville on a Friday night.

Stinky Lines, Avant Gardeners, Harry Howard and the NDE

 

harry-howard-yellow

If the '90s and early '00s were the era of young folk aping the look of punk junkies (see Buffy the Vampire Slayer), the Twenteens will be remembered as the era of OI! BEARDFACE! YOU! FACE THE FUCKING AUDIENCE! You are PERFORMING! YOUR BACK DOES NOT PERFORM! YOU FUCKING TWAT!

Deniz Tek and Friends at The Midnight Special

It depends where you live but electrified Deniz Tek shows are more or less annual affairs these days, with the good Doctor spending half his time tending to A&E patients in Sydney, Australia, or Billings, Montana, with rock tours squeezed in during down-time.  Unplugged gigs, on the other hand, are fewer and further between.