Review Cassandra Hale
Melbourne had dealt us a freezing night but it did nothing to dissuade the middle aged rockers lining up for their night out on the town. It was a long line and I was glad I was near the front and swiftly in the doors after opening.
Melbourne’s own, Palace Of The King got the nights proceedings underway, I am lucky enough to have seen these guys before and can say they have only gone from strength to strength since then. Now a four piece outfit they are absolute professionals of their trade, keeping the revelers entertained with a 45 minute set that certainly got us warmed up. Opening with Let The Blood Run Free, there progression through their set was quick, No Chance in Hell, Another Thing Coming and Beyond The Valley were all well received by the swelling crowd. Take Your Medicine and Free finished it out to huge cheers and applause.
Drummer Travis Dragani’s chops were faultless, and for a small kit he put out some big sound, technically perfect at every turn. Not even missing a beat when he broke a drumstick or two, the close vicinity of his stick bag definitely a bonus. Sean Johnston on keys and guitar gave us a great show and proved how well you can combine the two instruments and not sacrifice any fluidity to the show, his keyboard solo amazing as he totally lost himself to the music. Bass player Anthony Licciardi Garcia treated us to a sensational solo that brought him to his knees and showed that bass players can rock a solo with the best of them. Front man Tim Henwood was outstanding, the glue that holds all these terrific musicians together. Not just a great singer, a fantastic guitar player, even giving us some fast flurries from behind his head while making it look effortless.
If you have not seen Palace Of The King before, go and do it now, support our local musicians, you will be so glad you did.
With the heat turned up a notch or two The Screaming Jets took to the stage. By now most were quite well inebriated and ready to rock, and what better band to rock with than The Screaming Jets. Dave Gleeson commands your attention from the get go, he is funny, he is rude, he is energetic, he is the penultimate front man! The set list was every fans dream pick, hit after hit roll out, Shine on, Eve Of Destruction, Helping Hand, Sad Song, the list goes on. Having a blast and loving making music is so evident watching them play, but definitely does not effect the quality of their show. It is great to see them enjoying their music so much and still out on the road after almost thirty years in the business. Dave’s antics were hilarious and kept you entertained for the whole show, never wanting to look away in case you missed something. He did touch briefly on the crisis of our Australian’s sleeping rough every night, and how we are wasting time on such trivial things in the media and doing nothing to support them, and I cant say I disagree with him. Then it was back to business and pumping out the hits, C’Mon, Shivers and of course Better, the crowd were jumping, yelling, trying to sing, it was pub rock at its hot sweaty best!
Paul Woseen gave me a giggle with his ‘Fuck off Dave’ sticker stuck on his bass, he treated us to a funky solo and it was great to see the bass player get some recognition from the crowd. Guitarists Scott and Jimi were technically perfect, enjoying every minute. Drummer Mark Draco McLeod was slaying the hell out of his kit, precision drumming at its finest.
After seeing two awesome Australian bands it was hard to believe there was still one to come, queue the Baby Animals. The one pot screamers had made their way down the front trying for a front row spot, but were quickly reminded that that doesn’t wash with the people who had to line up for the privilege, me included! The perfect opener One Word blasted out and sexy Suze and the boys were off, Ain’t Gonna Get, Painless and a lovely tribute to Suze’s late father with Backbone just to name a few.
One Too Many, was some advice that many of the fans should have taken on board, if they had one big night out a year this was definitely it! Got It Bad, Email and of course the anthems of Australian rock, Rush You and Early Warning were belted out, fans lapping them up, their voices loud in approval. There were many screams of ‘I love you Suze’ throughout the set and some even finding courage via the bottom of their beer glass to push through the fans for a sneaky hand touch with the sultry songstress.
The girl crush of many, Suze DeMarchi never fails to deliver, happy to down Coronas while performing, she is a red hot rock chick that has not just stood the test of time but has worked bloody hard to keep the Baby Animals at the top of the rock scene selling out show after show. The band are kick arse, time on the road has wearied them none, still bringing their A game to every show.
There was just enough time for two more songs, bringing what was a fabulous night of Aussie rock to an end. Dodging puddles of god knows what on the floor, I took a quick detour to the merch stand, as you do, and picked up a lovely signed Baby Animals record, which now takes pride of place next to my turntable. How awesome to see people enjoying vinyl again, there is no doubt about it vinyl just sounds better.
While there will be plenty of hangovers tomorrow, I am sure should the opportunity arise to do it all again, they would be lining up again in a heartbeat.