Aussie Wrecking Crew @ The Cathouse, Glasgow
Aussie Wrecking Crew @ The Cathouse, Glasgow
I am glad this one finally got here, I have had an old school friend and fellow reviewer who is now in Australia harp on about these bands for over a year now. He has seen them in what we would call pubs and he loves them. As much as I would have loved to say to him they were crap( a great Scottish trait) and he was wrong I could not as Massive, Black Aces and Tequila Mockingbyrd brought their own brand of rock from down under and it turned out to be one hell of a night.
Black Aces took to the stage first and these guys wear their Aussie rock band clichés like the band patches on you old, faded denim vest. Gibson guitar(Black, not red), old school Malcolm guitar, floppy hat and a guitarist who uses every inch of the stage in reckless abandon.
The best thing about the references to their heroes is no one gave a shit, this was raw, dirty and a whole heap of fun. It is like a one year old child sticking their face into a whole chocolate cake…they do not care what it looks like they just know they are loving it.
They burst onto the stage, no set list, no decorum and just went straight for the jugular and within minutes the whole venue was grinning from ear to ear and singing along. It took the audience members in AC/DC t-shirts about 3 seconds to be won over, the rest of us maybe 10 seconds at a push. As soon as you see Tyler Kinder throwing himself around that stage or watching the whole band headbanging you just cannot help be sucked into the rock funfair unravelling in front of you.
This show had everything, brilliant songs, massive amounts of energy, broken guitars, Tyler jumping the barrier and proceeding to play on top of the bar with Bass player Alex McMillan filling in on vocals. They also saved the best till last with a quick rendition of “Bonnie, Bonnie Banks Of Loch Lomond” on guitar, all the more special as I live five minutes away from Loch Lomond.
The boys promised to be back next year even though they are the only band from this tour making the journey home but I will be holding them to this as they have a beer or two to repay. What a way to kick of the night.
Tequila Mockinbyrd are a complete change(apart from the obvious curves and more feminine outlook) but these sheilas (sorry, I had to get that in somewhere) can still rock with the best of them. They bring a brand of Punk Rock that is blistering, heavy and right in your face. This threesome has played all manner of dank, dark and dodgy bars in Oz and it shows. They are as tight as a thong three sizes too small (that can be a UK or and Aussie thong).
Estelle Artois’s(really, named after a beer…go figure) vocals were immense, I was expecting a far rougher and rawer sound than on their album “Fight And Flight” but nope, spot on as was her guitar playing. Jess Reilly also was a very accomplished and when she took to the mic and stared straight at you, you got a little scared(I aint messing with any of these girls). This leaves the last band member of Josie O’Toole who may sound like the start of an Irish joke but I can tell you that she has the punchline. This woman has no respect for a drum kit whatsoever. I though Jen Ledger from Skillet was a powerful drummer till I saw this woman in action. She honestly looks about 12 years of age(but is the oldest band member on this whole tour), she is very slight but she will rip apart a drumkit like the Predator pulling out a spinal column.
Within minutes she had to realign the bass drum and just before we headed into their final song she had to replace a totally trashed snare drum. From this you can imagine how good a band they are live. With such a brutal rhythm section you have nowhere to go but full on.
They opened with the powerful “Money Tree” and the scene is set from the off, Punk Rock heaven. The band did slow down to inform us of how much the they love a Scottish accent…to which the reply ”Ock Aye The Noo” comes back from the crowd only to be met with them saying we love the accent, just cannot understand a word you are saying(Oh, how we all know that feeling).
Back to the music as it isn’t a particularly long set so we break on with “Shut Me Down”, “Everybody Down” and “This Ain’t Dead”. There is no let-up of pace and we get more, well written and performed Punk perfection, this band will suit rockers and punks alike and I can see the huge crossover appeal immediately.
Irony of tonight comes in the form of the song “Never Go Home” which is quite apt as the girls took up a pledge to fund coming over to the UK to set up home and make a go of it over here. Based on tonight’s show I think they made a good choice and if we see them tour anywhere like they did down under we will all be going to T-Byrds gigs before long, and regularly.
Last on tonight are probably the better known band Massive. Once again they are completely different to the support acts, they are more refined, not so rough around the edges and probably why they have garnered a bigger following over here. They too have decided to leave the Aussie Sun behind and go for broke in the UK. Once again all I can say is good luck and we are lucky to have them.
This band takes the Aussie sound and twists it through a number of differing genres to give you a real authentic and original sound. You may look at lead singer and guitarist Brad Marr and think, Blonde Hair, nice shiny jacket, yip he is all looks but that man can play and sing.
He may not be the tallest man on the planet but he can bellow with the best of them and live he outdoes everything that they have on recording. The whole band does, in fact the amount of talent that has graced this stage tonight has been seriously impressive…I mean where did they fit all the practising in between beer, BBQs and basically being too hot to move your ass?
The set switches between debut “Full Throttle” and “Destination Somewhere” and we get a full hour show with top quality songs like “ Lacey”, “Hollywood” and the epic “ Dancefloor”. We also get a brilliant version of War Pigs thrown into the equation that may or may not have reared its head from elsewhere but with a room full of Scots on a Monday Night(who have to go to work the next day) the most impressive feat would be drinking a full can of beer whilst playing a solo…now that is Ronk’N’Roll people.
This was an amazing night of music and for me to catch three bands live that I have never seen before is very rare…and for each one of them to blow me away is even rarer. I can safely say that the city who were the audience on “If you Want Blood” accepted these three young bands into their hearts (and wallets by the amount of merch that was shifted tonight) and each and every one will be welcomed back with open arms.
The Aussies really do rock!
Images and review Ritchie Birnie