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Wreckless Eric . Hardys Bay Club. November 17, 2018.
In what’s been a year of retro English artist gigs, Wreckless Eric fits the mould perfectly.
As a big fan from the late 70s early 80s, it was a no brainer when it was announced he was playing the Coast. I even gave up a night in the city with Irish pop-punksters Ash, deciding to keep it local on this occasion.
Hardy’s Bay Club itself is tucked away in the bush, just back from the waterfront. A cool piece of yesteryear locked in a time warp of sorts. And that’s its charm.
Watching Eric carrying his guitars in from the carpark, it’s almost out of context.
As for tonight, I’ve ignored the mixed reviews and don’t have any real expectations whatsoever.
Eric does a short sound check and heads back stage for a feed as the turntables pump out bluesy retro pop to the diverse (if not elderly) local crowd.
Out he comes and a bit of banter before picking up the acoustic ...” I spent a fortune in pubs... wore a polyester suit...I gazed into a sink full of water the other day when I was stoned...all alooooone”...and it gets a little ragged and I don’t yet know how to take him.
“The fact that it doesnt make any sense doesn’t mean it doesn’t make any sense...and I realised the world was round by listening to a bee gees song.” Yes he’s a bit of a nutter, but it’s that same eccentricity that makes him so endearing.
And then Reconnez Cherie gets it all in synch… awesome delivery and it’s ye Eric of olde...
Mouth organ ..working at the bank counting out the money for no thanks...Hit and Miss Judy...a kind of Dylanesque feel to it tonight ... very cool.
“Been a long time since I’ve been here but we’ve made a lot of records, we just made a conscious effort to keep them secret from you guys in Australia.”
More guitar tuning...Tales of Bowie...and nonsensical thoughts of bludgeoning his Aunty to death.
Gateway To Europe is one of the more recent tracks and still has that Eric pop essence with ravaged guitar and those trademark snotty raggedy vox.
Guitar issues sorted, and then it all lights up again. Unnatural Act, another newbie, plods along and then descends into its own psychedelic frenzy.
Wow and Flutter goes off on its own guitar fetish... a pure piece of indulgence... “and all your records are shit except for maybe one...”
And so it unravels, an unadulterated mix of indulgence and nostalgia as he calls the Keno numbers from the screen at the back of the room...more inane banter and 40 years of wishing time away sees our man doing a crazy horse type scenario on the acoustic that hasn’t gone him any favours tonight... run right out of tears...40 years...
Change of guitar...let’s go electric... “I’m gonna play this tune but I’ll probably fuck it up ...” And off we go on the trippy sound thang again...as the neighbour heads out onto the deck to smoke himself to death...
I just wanna hear the hits I hear someone say.
And so we do, as Whole Wide World comes into play...and tonight’s delivery is a fkn corker. Kills it! That’s what we came for.
“Libtards... republicans...” and some nonsensical political banter.
More psychedelic guitar noise fest with FX overload...And that’s probably what pissed off some people.
As for this tainted hack... hey I can appreciate the inherent experimental talent and respect the past... that says it all really.
The moving throes of Have Great Day with its lyrical nod to Chuck Berry and Velvet Underground brings it full circle and I think it’s in the last minute that I get it. Bravo you old English sod. A live concept album of sorts? Maybe.
In summary... 90 minutes of beautifully, eccentric (sometimes over-indulgent) irreverence, peppered with a few classic pop gems from the past.
Dead Kennedys, Minds R Controlled, Rust. Metro Theatre Sydney November 2, 2018
Narrabeen’s Rust aint no Sunday Morning, they’re more like your 11 pm Friday night. ..drunk, disorderly and dishing it out at a rate of gnarly knots, as they open tonight’s gig to a pretty much packed house.
Melodic mayhem is their foray from the very outset and if its honest Aussie punk rock you’re looking for, then you’ve come to the right place.
Firestorm is fricken nuts . Sex on the beach gives a nod to the Narrabeen lifestyle of old …ahead of the infectious barrage of the frantic guitar-driven, oz punk rockarama that is Oi Oi Aussie.
Decade of Corrosion celebrates ten years of sweaty board treading, whilst Skins and punks and Rock n roll Gun Slingers pretty much sum themselves up.
Signing out with a dedication to Lemmy K, this has been one killer opening set….and the perfect inroad to Minds R Controlled.
Looking all mild and mannered during setup, Sydney’s Minds R Controlled kick the shit out of it from the word go.
One fkn powerhouse of a band…Lifetime…Run n Hide…pummel pummel…all sharp as fuck and as engaging as all hell.
Knew nothing about these guys before tonight…and now I’m hooked.
The crowd swells and the scene is set with some Pistols over the PA and some idiot yelling out “Where’s Jello?”
Enter Dead Kennedys…
DK’s Ron Greer loves a chat and it aint long before he’s cracking jokes about needles in strawberries and the lameness of Oz TV sport…apparently only showing sailing and cricket… more banter about diseases and Sco Mo… and it’s into the goofy poses and even goofier faces that he does so well.
This is as much about fun as it is about punk…” The doctor told me I’m too old for punk rock…well YOU’re all too old for punk rock” …he screams jokingly at the crowd.
Three minutes in and I’m covered in beer, some gorilla has stomped on my bung toe…and as the surge moves forward, I’m catapulted into the mosh barrier in front of the stage. It’s 1980 all over again!
This is piss take punk rock at its very best. Greer can work a crowd probably better than Jello did…and Klaus (looking more like Colonel Sanders these days), Ray and DH just pump it out as tight and as hard and fast as ever. I’m in punk pig heaven!
Too Drunk To Fuck….Kill the poor…the floor is electric…stage dives…surfing…it’s old school to the core.
Ron Greer can talk the leg of a chair and loves the limelight…a quick band intro and Nazi Punks Fuck Off really gets the shit happening.
California Uber Alles…Police Truck…Holiday In Cambodia…The perfect setlist really.
Greer has been on board for ten years now and has nailed it to a tee. Beautifully irreverent. Funny as fuck andhe can carry the notes. The perfect front man really.
I have a train to catch. What a show!
And as I train my stale beer soaked self back to the coast, I take solace in the fact that if only for the one night, 1980 was once again in my sweaty, bruised, body scarred grasp. Awesomeness!
Mark Fraser- redbackrock.com
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