The Rolling Stones in Adelaide

stones-adelaideVoula Williamson photo

For the last two weeks, Stones fever, ably abetted by the broadsheet newspaper, has hit Adelaide.

Not for everyone, of course, mostly fogeys. Of which I am one.

In the days running up to the gig, Stoneswatchers staked out their hotel, their rehearsal ‘room’ (disused Glenside Mental Hospital, not that there’s any shortage of clientele, just that funds are a bit short apparently). 

Blood Bank Benefit show with the Lime Spiders and guests

Ripley Hood fronting the Lime SpidersRipley Hood stands in for Mick Blood in the Lime Spiders.       Steve Whelan photo

Ten bands. One bill. Despite being run (a.) in what is, these days, a notoriously taciturn live music town as Sydney and (b.) in direct competition with some obscure code of football’s grand final, it made sense.

Blood Bank was one of four benefit shows in as many cities to assist Lime Spiders vocalist Mick Blood, rendered unable to work after an altercation a few months ago in a pub in his newly adopted home town of Newcastle. Mick suffered a brain injury and is on the mend but it’s going to be slow progress on a long road.

Bob Dylan in Sydney

dylanI often put forward the argument about his Bobness that if any new artist produced a run of albums with the depth and quality of "Time Out Of Mind" in 1997 until "The Tempest" in 2013, we would hail them as a lyrical genius, the likes of which we'd not heard since Leonard Cohen.

We would be in wonder of this songwriter who draws Americano from his depth of styles, whether it be through darkened Southern blues, Western swing, folk ballads, rockabilly or Irish balladering.

We'd note the remarkable gravel in the vocals akin to Tom Waits and Shane Mc Gowan, and the way they descend to a whisper, the aural equivalent of the oldest oak tree, all weathered and timbered.

But it's Dylan. No singer/songwriter compares, and there is no other career like his.

The Wayback Machine aka Hoodoo Gurus live in Sydney

gurus-wide
Steven Danno photo


The thing with nostalgia is that it never gets old. Like sand through an hourglass, reunions of storied bands are an inevitability. Some are great, some barely tolerable.

The verdict is in on the return to duty by three versions of the Hoodoo Gurus, as a warm-up for an appearance at the Splendour In The Grass festival a few days later. This was a championship-style triumph rather than a chore.

Psychotic Turnbuckles make a stand at the Lansdowne

 

turnbuckles-gallery

Pismo Beach rock and roll legends the Psychotic Turnbuckles returned to Sydney's Lansdowne Hotel on June 28 with BRUCE and Bunt in support. It was the first Turnbuckles show at the venue in 25 years. At the last one, Slash from Guns and Roses was in the crowd.

Click READ MORE for a gallery of stills from video footage shot by Luke Nukem on the night. 

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.