Gig Review: SPOD

Friday, 19th September @ The Lansdowne

The name SPOD is synonymous with the descriptor of ‘fucking legend’, in much the same way that Bruce Willis is synonymous with ‘short-tempered and/or haired badass’. His live performances are renowned around Sydney and/or the world as being some of the funnest, most original and heart-attack inducing extravagances this side of watching Hannibal Burress fight a lion. He can turn an otherwise placid crowd into a single entity of happiness and party-vibes, all with the tap of a drum machine and the hurling of the word ‘CUNT!’ at whoever’s not seven pills deep and truffle-shuffling their way into history’s books.

But that was not to be the stage set for SPOD’s album launch tonight. To celebrate the release of his frankly brilliant ‘Taste the Sadness’ record, a reworking of his bonafide classic ‘Taste the Radness’, and an ode to the plights of no longer being able to handle a beer bong/taxes, SPOD laid out a fine dining experience the likes which made all the local RSL’s green with envy. However, the tellies were not tuned into the horses and footy, but rather to SPOD’s exceptional ability to get turnt.

But, where previous SPOD shows featured popped collars and rabble-rousing (does anyone actually say that anymore #bringbackrabblerousing), tonight featured a real mature elagence. Only a night before, Sydney’s mulleted and mohawked finest gathered to mosh to healthy sets from The Friendsters, Destiny 3000, Miss Destiny and TV Colours. Now, the sweat and puke stains were covered with linen tablecloths, red candles, and a decor that screamed home by 9 o’clock. There were even some lighting fixtures ripped from the local bowlo. It was a paradise.

SPOD wastes no time in gathering everyone’s attention towards him. Betrothed in a chequered emerald bathrobe that’s seen it’s fair share of depressed, lonely mornings, the set started with swelling strings and old mate handing out his own beef jerky to those lucky enough to be seated. Candles lit, melancholy set into his face, SPOD begins his show with the one-two emotional cock-punch of “Totally Sad” and “Last Dance”, the latter which saw him shed his bed-ware for a dignified suit. You’d be forgiven for having tears running down your cheeks, as these songs are enough to crack a tearful sob from even the moist stoic Queen’s Guard. Even bogans don’t stand a chance against SPOD’s truth bombs.

The set revolved almost entirely around the new album, although by no means was that a bad thing. Whilst the album is rooted in a special kind of sorrow and self-realisation, SPOD has a unique ability to invigorate songs and involve the audience. He also made do of a few special guests, notably Richard Cartwright from Richard In Your Mind and his toy megaphone/summoner of Satan on “Devastated”, a “song for the kids” cos they love the reggae. Dion Ford of Palms also got on shredding duties for 2012 standalone single “Coupla Drinks”, SPOD’s ode to having a few cheeky ones with ya mates. To describe that moment as euphoric would be an understatement, as every single thing with a pair of lips bellowed the refrain with their head keeled back like they were busting out “AH ZABENYA”.

Finishing out the night was “Electric Hips”, a funk-ified update of the hidden punk track “Electric Lipz” off ‘Taste the Radness’. Whether he was genuinely pissed off with the sound dude, or because we simply weren’t gettin’ jiggy enough, SPOD didn’t start the track until the whole crowd was sufficiently fucked ‘n’ funky. It was here that SPOD hit his peak, running around like a coke-binged Gary Busey replaying his career-defining on Point Break in the confines of a jail cell. SPOD was reckless and hilarious, damning those in his way, including an enthusiastic dude that got cocked in the head with a microphone and a lady who ended up with all of SPOD’s chest in her face after refusing the get out of the way from his chaos.

Panting, sweaty and naked. No, I’m not describing SPOD, I’m describing the patrons. Despite being forced to sit down and packed in, I’d dare to find an attendee who wasn’t fucking stoked that SPOD was back on the market. The godfather of partying has lost neither his way nor his humour, and tore the Lansdowne a new arsehole. God Bless SPOD, and may he never lose his crown. Even when he’s breathing through a tube, and confined to a wheelchair, this guy will be a better party-goer than you can ever hope to be. All you can do is hope to catch him next time he graces the stage.

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