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[Review] Nashville Pussy @ Northcote Social Club, Melbourne 8/12/2022

The following content may be inappropriate for minors and people with a stick up their arse. Warning: high level tongue in cheek sexual innuendo.

What the hell did you expect?

Nashville Pussy was in town and I was there to lap it all up. So screw the foreplay and let’s muff-dive on in.

The Black Tides are the dynamic duo of Adam OConnor aka Red & Annette Sa. They have a sound that can be best described as, if Motörhead fucked the White Stripes and gave birth to a four-armed baby. Despite them being a two-piece band consisting of Red on Bass and Vocals and Annette on Drums and backing vocals, they had an incredibly full sound. A large part of this can be credited to Red’s intelligent use of effects and writing riffs and licks that covered the full sonic spectrum usually only heard from a larger band. The brilliant chemistry between the two members also contributed towards their show stopping performance, combined with playful tongue in cheek banter within the band and with audiences. A quote from Red: “Annette’s applause was bigger, like her genitals.” In my opinion poetically sums up the attitude and fun of seeing them live.

Their set even included a Punk Rock cover of Royals by Lorde – a song that I had previously paid no attention to, but now enjoyed it in its new incarnation.

Love, love, love this band and look forward to seeing them again.

Mammoth Mammoth entered the stage with all the intensity and charisma of pro-wrestling. Frontman Mikey Tucker spewed water from his mouth across the stage like an angry geyser whilst drummer, Frank ‘Bones’ Trobbiani was like a force of nature, pummeling and dominating his drum kit. Mammoth Mammoth have a presence that don’t merely request that you pay heed, but instead put you in a headlock and demand your attention. As a frontman, Mikey Tucker certainly has an assertive and compelling aura that surrounds him, whether he’s striding amidst the crowd or laying on the stage as guitarist, Ben ‘Cuz’ Couzens rests a leg on him while shredding out a solo.

Despite their hawkish demeanor, Mammoth Mammoth are a bunch of guys who love what they do and have a hell of a time doing it.

Closing the set with a song about Paul Stanley’s Penis (Love Gun by KISS) was the perfect cherry on the top of this whiskey-drenched cake of a set.

Self described as “Bigger than Jesus, louder than hell.” I’m most certainly inclined to agree.

To be hailed as “America’s last great Rock and Roll band” by the legendary Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, is incredibly high praise to live up to – and Nashville Pussy did not disappoint.

If Nashville Pussy were a meal, they would be Nashville hot chicken. Riffs that had a southern fried crunch, bathed in a voice like the finest hot sauce. Yes, it burns but god damn it tastes so good you keep coming back for more.

Ruyter Suys (pronounced “Rider Sighs”) guitarist of the band absolutely blew me away. She had the wild abandon and tenacity of players like Rory Gallagher and Angus Young, tearing into the fretboard as they opened the set with Struttin’ Cock.

Frontman Blaine Cartwright, sang with the ferocity of a crazed preacher man. Maintaining the intensity throughout their monstrous 17-song set which included songs like, She Keeps Me Coming and I Keep Going Back, Pillbilly Blues, Till the Meat Falls Off the Bone and the very educational, Pussy’s Not a Dirty Word.

Backed by Bonnie Buitrago on Bass and Ben Thomas on Drums, they performed like Energizer bunnies on speed.

Often as bands get older they exhibit signs that age is catching up with them but this could not be further from the truth with Nashville Pussy. They have not only beaten the hands of time, but it appears that they have straight out broken them and have lost none of their mojo.

For an encore, Blaine Cartwright gave us invaluable advice: “Don’t listen to all the people telling you what you should believe, the only thing you need to know, is that everyone just has to Keep on Fucking.

As the band hit the last chords in their epic finale, Ruyter Suys baptized the front row in beer, then proceeded to play her guitar with the empty can and in a jaw-dropping display of pure Rock n’ Roll, she literally ripped the strings right off her guitar!

Nashville Pussy are a band that must be experienced live, and I for one, cannot wait to see them again.

Stadium shows are spectacular but the underground club gigs and bands with a cult following, hold an extra special place in my heart.

All the bands tonight clearly displayed the influence and inspiration that the mighty Motörhead has gifted to the world of Rock n’ Roll. If Lemmy could have seen this show I’m pretty sure he’d raise a glass of Jack and Coke in approval.

You can still catch them at the following shows

Sat 10th Dec – Wollongong – La La La’s

Mon 12th Dec – Sydney – Crowbar

Limited VIP Meet & greet packages available.

 GET YOUR TICKETS HERE >> https://hardlinemedia.net/nashville-pussy

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Sleeping With Sirens @ Max Watts, Melbourne 1/12/2022

It was a delightfully cool evening that heralded the start of summer as I arrived at Max Watts, 30 mins before the doors were to be opened. A long queue had already formed and snaked it’s way around the corner and down the alley like a magnificent, black veiled, rainbow serpent.

Emo, Metalcore, Post-Hardcore, none of these labels mattered tonight. All that mattered was that Sleeping With Sirens were in Melbourne and had sold out the venue.

 First up were Melbourne’s very own, Bad/Love. Having just completed a tour in October supporting Stepson, the boys were in fine form and delivered a killer, high energy set from start to finish. Their guitarist appeared to have had some technical issues early in the set but the band smoothly continued while it was sorted out and didn’t miss a beat. The crowd responded enthusiastically towards the band and even got a circle pit going mid set.

After some initial delays due to technical issues, The Beautiful Monument took to the stage and delivered a set that was like a soundtrack to an emotional roller coaster. Songs akin to a cocktail of heartbreak and angst resonated with the audience as vocalist Lizi Blanco managed to simultaneously capture both joy and sorrow in her performance.

While we waited for Sleeping With Sirens to take the stage several ABBA songs were played over the sound system much to the crowds delight. They gleefully sang along, loud and proud to know all the lyrics. I guess no matter what genre of music you are into, we can safely assume everybody loves ABBA.

At 9:40pm the lights dimmed and the crowd screamed as Matty Best took to the drums and gradually built upon the tension in the room with a series of well executed drum fills. As he reached a crescendo the whole band ran out on stage. Kellin Quinn acknowledged the crowd and was rewarded with a raucous reception as the band began playing, Break me down.

Sleeping with Sirens performed with a frenetic energy as Kellin swung his microphone from his neck and bassist Justin Hills ran around giving high fives to members of the audience. By their 3rd song, Leave it all behind, the crowd had transformed into a sea of undulating bodies creating a marriage of synchronicity and chaos.

Circle pits and mosh pits spontaneously erupted and we even got to see the infamous wall of death as they performed Complete Collapse and Crosses off their new album. Aggressive, groove driven verses gave bloom to anthemic choruses that the fans were all too eager to sing along to. From their reaction it seems the fans not only approve but absolutely adore the new material.

Despite all the moshing the crowd seemed respectful of each other at all times and there was a sense of camaraderie among the fans. This sentiment was further reinforced when Kellin made a heartfelt speech about self worth and being there for each other. We were even treated to a little acoustic set performed by Kellin Quinn and guitarist, Tony Pizzuti which included a tasteful cover of Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls.

Ending on a high note they played Bloody knuckles off the new record and the fan favourite If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn. Sleeping with Sirens definitely have some of the most passionate fans I’ve ever seen and it seems to me that to them these aren’t just songs, but Anthems for those who don’t belong. And for them Kellin Quinn isn’t just a vocalist, but the voice of their generation.

If tonight’s performance was anything to go by then I can confidently say that we’re in for one hell of a day at Good Things Festival.

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The Black Crowes @ Palais Theatre, Melbourne 20/11/2022

The evening began with a last minute decision to move the the gig from the Palace foreshore into the Palais theatre. Probably due to Melbourne’s laissez faire attitude towards adhering to weather forecasts. A decision that I enthusiastically applauded and was most pleased with.

I arrived at 6:15pm as the doors were about to open and a long line had already snaked its way around the front of the venue. This crowd had waited a long time for the much overdue reunion of The Black Crowes.

Taking the stage promptly at 6:45pm was Full Flower Moon Band, a five-piece outfit hailing from sunny Brisbane. Comprising of Babyshakes Dillon (Vocals & Guitar), Christian Driscoll (Guitar), Caleb Widener (Guitar), Marli Smales (Bass & Backing Vocals) and Luke Hanson (Drums)

Right out of the gate their drummer was like hearing a bomb go off. Every hit of the skins had intentionality and ferocity yet he had a good understanding of utilising dynamics when the song required a softer touch. The bass held a consistent groove that you felt in your stomach and the three guitars made up of an SG, a Telecaster and a Stratocaster formed an unholy trio of tone. Together they weaved a rugged and lipstick stained tapestry of rhythm and melody. Crushing riffs juxtaposed with haunting vocals. Babyshakes Dillon’s vocals reminded me of Shirley Manson of Garbage. She had a swagger and filth in her delivery that said not only can I throw down with the boys but I can beat you.

My favourite song that they performed was, Come and be my baby. Ironically it is the only song from their set that isn’t available online at the moment. All in all Full Flower Moon Band are a great example that the future of Aussie rock is not just alive but absolutely thriving. You just have to look and listen a little closer.

Filling the main support spot was Australian icons You Am I fronted by eccentric frontman Tim Rogers. Dressed lavishly in his trademark look of bellbottoms and a red shirt Tim oozed vintage chic as they took the stage to a hearty applause. Opening the set with Rumble they were off and running after a few small sound issues which didn’t seem to slow them down. The Waterboy, Who Put The Devil in You? and Cathy’s Clown all made an appearance keeping the fans happy. 

Tim was up and about with his cheeky banter keeping the punters entertained as Mr Milk and How Much is Enough rang out. While I don’t believe it was their strongest performance there was plenty of crowd support as they finished off with their huge hit Berlin Chair. Tim ever supportive of the local music industry inviting people to go out and sample some of the live music scene and support our musicians. So get to it people, there is so much live music to see in Melbourne you will be glad you did!

James Brown’s Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine played over the PA as we starred into the darkness as silhouettes moved across the stage and you could feel the anticipation in the atmosphere change. Then a single light illuminated Rich Robinson and his guitar as he began playing the intro to Twice as hard and the crowd simultaneously exploded with rock and roll as frontman. Chris Robinson’s entrance was greeted with deafening screams. Chris was dressed in a gold sparkle shirt and shiny silver shoes. But even an outfit this loud was barely able to contain the infectious energy he exuded.

The Black Crowes didn’t give a performance you’d expect of seasoned veterans, but they played with the vigour of a new band hungry to prove themselves. As I watched from the balcony I couldn’t see a single person that wasn’t on their feet, despite the Palais being a seated venue. The third song of the night was Sister Luck. You could feel the nostalgia in the air and for a brief moment all of us were transported back to 1990. Such is the magic of good music. Seeing Things showcased the band’s soul and gospel influences as Chris Robinson didn’t merely sing the lyrics but managed to engage the crowd in an unspoken dialogue. Following this was their cover of Otis Redding’s Hard to handle. The crowd exploded once more to an even higher level that literally made the floor and walls of the Palais theatre shake. As the chorus came around The Black Crowes didn’t have two back up singers in the band but a couple thousand new ones.

In the middle of performing Stare it Cold, an over enthusiastic fan climbed up on stage and charged towards the band. Two members of security rushed over to apprehend him but he grabbed one of them and threw him into the audience. The second security personnel managed to grab a hold of him while Chris Robinson pushed him away with his mic stand. As security struggled to subdue him Rich Robinson didn’t miss a beat and ran over to strike the misfit with the butt of his guitar. As the assailant was brought under control Rich grabbed the mic and yelled: “Get this mother fucker out of here.” Which was met with applause and approval from the fans. Chris then took the mic and decided to restart the song. Nonchalantly brushing off the incident and getting right back to the music.

The guitar nerd in me noticed that both Rich Robinson and lead guitarist Isaiah Mitchell were using three amplifiers each. An educated guess leads me to believe that this was to have their guitar signal panned in stereo and have one signal straight down the middle. Keyboard player Joel Robinow had a vintage Leslie speaker in his setup, something I’ve never seen a band do in a live setting. These little details show a lot about who The Black Crowes are as artists and how much care and attention they place on their sound. Something often overlooked in our modern digital age where such analog efforts are deemed too costly and unnecessary.

The set was closed with the fan favourite, Remedy. The crowd gave all they had and sang at the top of their lungs and the band graced them with a breath taking performance. At the end the lights went down but the crowd could not be quelled and for their passion they were rewarded with an encore of Rock & Roll by The Velvet Underground.

This was a a night of passion, joy and drama. Much like the things that make up life and to me the very essence of what Rock and Roll is all about. The Black Crowes embody this and show us that they are just as important and relevant today as they were when they debuted Shake Your Money Maker in 1990.

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Hanson @ Forum Theatre, Melbourne 16/11/2022

It was a cold and rainy Wednesday night and The Forum Theatre was already three quarters full thirty minutes before the opening act took to the stage. There had to be something special that drew the masses out of their warm homes in the middle of the week and Hanson was it.

The opening act was John Calvin Abney. A solo singer songwriter from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He played a combination of country and folk music with a bit of the blues in it.

The venue was surprisingly full at this point and most of the crowd were supportive and involved throughout his set. The first thing that stood out to me was John’s fantastic harmonica skills. I’ve never heard solos executed so well on a harmonica. As a solo performer he sounded very full as his acoustic guitar laid down the rhythms and his harmonica took the place of the lead melodies.

His slower songs had a nice story telling element to them and invoked images of floating down the Mississippi on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Hanson took to the stage shortly after 9pm. The Forum Theatre was packed at this point. You could feel the anticipation of the crowd and knew that these were hardcore fans of the band. They opened the show with Waiting for this from their 2010 album Shout it out. The crowd exploded with screams and dancing soon as they took to the stage and this level of enthusiasm continued throughout the set.

They followed this up with Dont Let Me Down from their new album, Red Green Blue. The new material has a slightly stronger rock edge to it and you can hear how the brothers have matured as musicians and songwriters.

I had wrongly expected most of the crowd to have come just to hear the hits like MMMBop and I Will Come To You.

Boy was I wrong. The crowd knew the words and sang along to almost every single song from Hansons huge 25 song set (even including a Bass solo and Drum solo), spanning their 27 year career.

Often times being even louder than the band. Despite that the sound on the night was fantastic. The sound engineer ensured the mix from the band was incredibly balanced and every musician was clearly heard.

From the beginning of their career Hanson were unfairly lumped in with the boy bands of that era and many people have a preconceived notion of who and what they are as artist. However, what I witnessed on the night was not a formulaic pop band but a band of highly skilled musicians who understand how to write and perform to serve a song.

This is a new Hanson that has left their boyish image behind and is honestly a bad ass rock band.

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