The Triffid, Brisbane
February 18th, 2016
Supported by The Jensens & Tired Lion
When musicians start bands, there is usually a combination of reasons behind doing so such as, curing boredom, learning to better yourself as a musician, world domination, becoming local home grown heroes or to make enough money and gain exposure somewhere else across the globe so you can leave this country behind. Unfortunately most bands don’t last longer than a few years if times get too tough and they haven’t had their “big break” to help them yet. A band who doesn’t fall into that category is Finley trio Spiderbait who are celebrating 25 fuckin’ awesome years of making great Australian music together. The group made up of bassist Janet English, Damian Whitty (Whitt) on guitar and the bearded wonder Kram (aka Mark Maher) really proved why they’re one of the best, long-lasting acts to come out of our country last night when they performed a whopping 25 songs from their career to eager fans in their first of two shows here in Brisbane. We’ll get to their set soon but first let’s take a look at the opening acts.
Opening the night were Brisbane band The Jensens who’s slow jam feel wasn’t as appealing as their attempt to collectively grow moustaches. A band with a musical style similar to that of the Arctic Monkeys combined with Tame Impala didn’t really grab the audience’s attention straight away, but as time went by the punters filled up the venue to check these guys out. Their last song was much faster in pace, complete with a “nah nah nah” sing-a-long which they should have brought out earlier into their set. By this time the crowd were enjoying them more. Not bad for a local act who only started up back in 2013.
Next we were treated to Perth band Tired Lion who scored themselves the opening slot for the whole tour, which suited the band perfectly because the minute they started playing their opening track Pretend, everyone was digging them. Front-woman Sophie Hopes (who has a striking resemblance to actress and mega babe Mila Kunis) brought the rock early into their set which resulted in the venue going from being barely filled to practically having no space around you as everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of these guys. Sophie caught the audience’s attention early on with her smooth vocals and exceptional riffage and after that there was no turning back. She also joked that earlier in the day she missed her flight and would be kicked out of the band if she didn’t pay the guys back for covering her new ticket, which would be a big mistake if that ever happened.
When hearing songs like Suck, December and their final track I Don’t Think You Like Me, you’d be mistaken for thinking these guys have been around for the same time as the night’s headlining act. This indie rock quartet can now be added to the ever growing mass of upcoming and established bands from the west who deserve recognition. Keep your eyes on these guys and remember the name Tired Lion. They’ll be big sooner than later.
After what seemed like an eternity of waiting the lights finally dimmed just before Spiderbait took to the stage. The audience erupted with close to ear piercing screams as the band opened with favourite hit Shazam! which gave us all a taste of what was to come over the next 2 hours. Yes, 2 FUCKING HOURS OF SPIDERBAIT. What more could you want from a band celebrating 25 long years together? Kram took to the mic and dedicated their anniversary tour to “love and fucking shit up“, and thats exactly what the crowd proceeded to do when the band launched into Outta My Head.
Up next Kram once again addressed the audience stating the next song was for those who got on speed 20 and listened to the band about 20 years ago, that song was Fucken Ace and looking around the room, there were quite a few smiles, crossed eyes and gurnings to last you a lifetime. Safe to say some of those speed users were still going hard 20 years later at this exact concert. One bloke in front of me was obviously so off his chops he couldn’t stop the swaying of his waist which just so happened to be level with my crotch. Yes the guy was practically twerking on me. Awkward doesn’t even begin to explain the scenario I found myself in so after shuffling a few meters to the right, all was fine again.
Take Me Back’s trippy rock sound was up next followed by the Kram lead track Monty, which resulted in the drummer smashing his snare to the point it needed fixing. He came to chat to the crowd to fill the time while this was getting done before sitting back down for Hot Milk & Water and Janet‘s return to the microphone. Another crowd favourite which had the entire venue singing at the top of their lungs. Up next we had our first cover song of the evening with Run (a cover of The Goodies) from their first album “Shashavaglava” then the crowd once again got fired up for Straight Through The Sun which not only sped up their movements, but slowed things down throughout it’s entirety, enough for everyone to catch their breath for short moment, only to lose it again soon after.
The next part of the evening was one of the most memorable gig experiences I’ve ever witnessed, a man in the front row with a home made sign on an A4 piece of paper which read “Kram Can I Play Your Drums?” was pulled onto the stage and revealed to be Spiderbait‘s biggest fan named Tom Devoss.
Kram took a break while allowing this guy to take over his kit for the song Jesus and HOLY FUCKING SHIT, HE KILLED IT!!! There was not one person in the venue who wasn’t clapping and cheering this early 20’s hero on as he smashed his way though the song with Janet and Whitt while Kram watched from side stage gobsmacked at this guy’s ability. At the end of the song everyone was in awe and the band joked about changing their name to the Tom Devoss Blues Experience, much to the approval of everyone inside the Triffid at this point. The crowd cheers this legend offstage where he is met by high fives, hugs, photos and pats on the back before Spiderbait get back into their setlist with Four on the Floor, Scenester and I Gotta Know.
By this point the almost unbearable heat and unstoppable sweat the band are experiencing on stage is slowly getting to them and you can tell they’re looking quite worn out however the continue to power on with 7 Zark 7 before slowing things down with Tonite. They didn’t let anyone catch their breath as next we were right into Fucken Awesome which as expected, lived up to it’s title. Kram addressed the next song saying
“It’s about getting really stoned and going to the shops, and unfortunately these shops aren’t around anymore!“
The song in question was their first ever single Circle K released all the way back in 1991 for those of you playing at home. The guys flew through the next couple of songs including Yeah Oh Yeah and Miss The Boat but a quick jam session turned into a surprisingly unexpected cover of Motörhead‘s Ace of Spades sung by Janet English who can I personally say nailed all expectations. Ol’ Man Sam follows their tribute to the English metal band then Footy errupts the crowd into a frenzy as Janet jokingly dedicates the song to Billy Brownless, who is going though some interesting times at the moment. During this song a very drunken yobbo, profusely sweating from every orifice in his body decided to take off his shirt, get all up in my face screaming “FOOTY FUCK YEAHHH” as little bits of saliva hit my cheeks. He also procees to run back and forth (for no reason at all) and with every turn he rubs his sweaty gross body across my arms. It takes every calm factor insie my body not to say anything because he’s just trying to have a good time. I can now see why no one is standing in close proximity to him as sweat falls off him like a dog shaking off the water at the beach. I would have loved to enjoy the song more, but this guy ruined it for me.
Once I compose myself and stop hating life again, Janet swaps her bass guitar for the drums and proceeds to perform one of Spiderbait‘s biggest and best hits Buy Me A Pony. Everyone was moving during this song and that continued into Sam Gribbles which ended with an exceptional drum solo by Kram. As Damian Whitt played around with the higher notes of his guitar we all knew what we were about to experience as flashbacks of the Heath Ledger movie 10 Things I Hate About You invaded my thoughts just as Calypso started taking it’s form. Arguably the most popular song of the whole entire evening, looking around the room there was a massive array of older (over 40’s) and younger fans getting into it (check out the performance at the bottom of the page). Last but certainly not least their most popular and successful cover song to date ended the evening, Black Betty turned into a heavy rock jam session halfway through complete with drum solo and ear bleeding guitar riffage. By this point the audience and band were worn out, completely wrecked from the 2 hours of Spiderbait back catalogue we were exposed too and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Spiderbait are up there with the greats of our generation such as (early) Silverchair, Grinspoon, Regurgitator, Powderfinger and will continue to do so for many years to come if they keep performing like they did last night. There’s a few shows left of their 25th Anniversary Tour and I’d highly recommend you get yourself a ticket (if you can) and check these legends out.
Outta My Head
Take Me Back
Hot Water & Milk
Run (The Goodies cover)
Straight Through The Sun
Jesus (feat. fan Tom Devoss on Drums)
Four On The Floor
I Gotta Know
7 Zark 7
Yeah Oh Yeah
Miss The Boat
Ace of Spades (Motörhead cover)
Ol’ Man Sam
Buy Me A Pony
Black Betty (Lead Belly cover)
Until next time, rock the fuck out
Spiderbait – 25th Anniversary Tour
Fri 19 Feb – The Triffid, Brisbane – SOLD OUT Fri 26 Feb – 170 Russell, Melbourne – SOLD OUT Sat 27 Feb – Metro Theatre, Sydney – SOLD OUT
Sun 28 Feb – 170 Russell, Melbourne – Tickets Here
Thu 3 Mar – The Gov, Adelaide – SOLD OUT