[LIVE REVIEW] Tumbleweed – Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne 28/07/2018

When Triple J went national in 1989 it provided a conduit for dozens of up-and-coming bands to reach a wider audience and by the early ’90s the live music scene was awash with great bands that had huge followings and put them on the radar of US record execs. Tumbleweed was one of them.

At the Croxton Bandroom in Melbourne on Saturday night lead singer Richie Lewis told us we were stepping back in time as the Weed hit the stage to play in full their debut self-titled album that ripped up the charts in 1992 and ’93.

So why have a 26th anniversary instead of a 25th-anniversary celebration? Well, that’s just Tumbleweed’s way of doing things, or, according to Richie not getting their shit together in time.

Their stoner rock that’s full of heavy guitars and psychedelia sat well with Australia’s grunge fans in the early 90s when the Wollongong fellas caused everyone here and in the US to sit up and take note. Unashamedly laced with a stoners’ culture there were still plenty of old hands at the Croxton who looked like they enjoyed the Devil’s lettuce back in the day. Some hadn’t ever moved on.

It was certainly a trip back in time with an entrée of ’60s pop from Even and ’70s rock the main course. The Electric Guitars kicked the night off with a healthy dose of psychedelia and wah-wahs before Melbourne favourites Even put on a performance that put the headliners on notice that they needed to be on their A game.

Taking a trip through the 20-plus years of pop rock, frontman Ash Naylor and pub rock stalwart Wallie Kempton put on a great show with a new album on its way. Check it out when it lobs.

Tumbleweed hit the stage looking and sounding very much as they did 26 years ago – loads of hair and guitars turned to 11.

Sundial opened the set as the Weed stepped through the album to the delight of punters. Acidrain was another favourite, but when the Weed let Richie take a break to play Dandylion Part 1, the audience eased and back enjoyed the trip too.

Not content with just playing the Tumbleweed in full, we were treated to some classics. Carousel is as great now as it was when the boys from the Gong dropped it on the alternative charts in 1992.

Daddy Long Legs is a singalong classic to this day. While they stepped into some recent tunes the night was stamped with Hang Around from 1995’s Galactophonic to leave revelers with ringing ears and a smile as big as a sundial.

Now to wait until 2021 for the 26th anniversary of that brilliant follow up to Tumbleweed.

Going on Saturday night’s gig, it will be worth the wait.

Review Contributed by Daron Jacks

Photos by Elizabeth Sharpe (Brisbane)