Enmore Theatre, Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Restraint is not often a by-word around these parts but let’s at least try to keep some perspective. A visit to Australia by Television seemed unlikely, if not an absurd proposition, just a few years ago. The band was scarcely active, Richard Lloyd having had long flown the coop, and Tom Verlaine had let a label issue two mothballed solo records that were barely promoted. It seemed if the TV hadn’t been turned off it was in storage and in danger of being forgotten.
The Metropolitan Hotel, Adelaide - September 27, 2013
Tonight was a passionate night of balance, power, and space. Each group told us stories, ran films in our heads.
The streets are empty. Empty as in, it's Tuesday night. Except it's Friday night. Where is everyone?
Just the previous night, the suburbs decanted some 10,000 to land like a torrent of ants in Adelaide's great dome of the popular people's front to see Rihanna, who is, I am told, a superstar. From overseas.
Annandale Hotel - August 1, 2006
If you don't like slobbering, breathless gushes, leave now. OK? I've already copped a broadside from someone about one review of a gig this week - and the fucker wasn't even at the show - but here goes...
What an in-fucking-credibly amazing show. Just about the best thing I've seen this year. The Stooges beats it (although that was surreal an experience I'm still not sure it happened). Soulful, rocking, energetic and dynamic. Perfectly paced and a testimony to a band at the peak of its considerable powers. Cruisey and light at the get go, it shaped as a righteously loud and grooving way to ease us all through a Tuesday night.
Wheatsheaf Hotel, Thebarton, Australia - June 22 and 23, 2013
My dad used to say that nothing was free. There's always a catch. There's a reason that nice man on the street is giving away Bibles, Robert.
He was right, of course. Those free music magazines you pick up for the what's on this weekend guide, the reviews of pub food, new beers and pricey wine, they make their living from the adverts. Stop putting in the stuff that the people with money to spend want to see and they'll stop bending at the creaky knees to pick it up. And the advertisers start to wonder why they're paying four or five hundred bucks a week. Self-evident, yeah? You don't change a money-making formula unless you can make more.
The cover does not lie. It was a wild ride for Jerry Nolan, drummer from the New York Dolls and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers. And it’s all outlined in detail in Kurt Weiss’s gripping, 310-page biography.
Much of the wild nature of the journey was self-induced: in a New York underground rock scene where junkies were prominent, Jerry was one of the most notorious. A bigger fiend than his running mate Johnny Thunders, some say.
His death at the unripe age of 45 - on life support, fighting bacterial meningitis and pneumonia - was more than likely related to his two decades of intravenous heroin use. He was HIV-positive at the end - and possibly in the grip of AIDS, the author suggests.
Curt Weiss (aka Lewis King) drummed in Beat Rodeo and succeeded Nolan in the lesser-known Rockats. He met Nolan only in passing. His style is incisive and direct, and his critical faculties are those of a rock and roll player, which is no bad thing when talking about Nolan's technique.
The Rise, The Fall and The Rise - Brix Smith Start (Faber)
The Big Midweek: Life Inside The Fall - Steve Hanley and Olivia Piekarski (Route)
You Can Drum But You Can't Hide - Simon Wolstencroft (Route)
Yep, You read the headline correctly. I'm serious. Cobain was such a fan of The Fall he tried to get on their tour bus and travel with them.
The Fall refused.
There's an absence in our culture. You may not have noticed. It's like some necessary abscess has been entirely excised from our cultural body. We needed that pain, that savagery, to tell us what we are, what we shouldn't be, and to remind us that we can be more than what we are.
This article is all about Mark E. Smith. Because his personality, his drive and charisma shoved a certain rock'n'roll band forward through barrier after barrier...