Friday 28th November @ Goodgod Small Club
It feels like there’s way too small a crowd assembled for Scotdrakula – these guys are gut-wrenching, heart-in-your-throat good, blasts of toxic garage fury blaring with the kind of ecstasy you can only find at Defqon. I mean, Scotdrakula don’t get up to Sydney much, and missing out on them is like missing out on the zeitgeist. The last time they were in the land of the Big Bridge was for a support slot with Mac DeMarco – which is far too long to wait for what occurred on stage. They blast off at Apollo-13 levels of ramshackle brilliance, with ‘O’Clock’. Whilst it took a while for movement to flourish onstage, once tracks like “Shazon” and “I Ain’t Going to Sleep”, off their most recent record ‘Scotdrakula‘, pronounced themselves, the group were as fluid as an inflatable tube man out the front of a used car sales lot.
Frontman Matt Neumann was particularly impressive, as he managed to retain Scotdrakula’s signature howling yelp that makes their recording so much goddamn fun to listen to. He also had a weird shuffle manoeuvre that’s probably going to become the next fad, like the Jay Z “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”, or the Soulja Boy “Superman”. The set was just irrepressible energy, steeped in a love of dirty 60’s rock ‘n’ roll, and modern depravity. As the set progressed, things became even more unruly and riveting. The actions on stage were vitriolic and electric, with the final moments on stage being blaring noise, deranged bellowing and guitar thrashing that would make Dimebag Darrell ashamed. It’s almost too easy to headbang and shake ya rump along to Scotdrakula’s songs, and it makes you wonder what kind of deal with the devil these guys initiated to become so damn catchy. It was a mighty shame that the room wasn’t packed to capacity in order to experience one of the better garage bands our fair country has to offer.
Whilst Bloods warm up the stage, Al Grigg and Dion Ford of Palms fame pump a slew of all-female DJ classics (The Breeders, Madonna etc.). The song choices seem appropriate choices considering Bloods are renowned for their anthemic garage anthems led by the vocal powerhouse of Marihuzka Cornelius. Although the beginning of the set suffered through sound issues, Bloods soon had an attentive audience. One of the better aspects of their music is that, unlike most rock/garage/punk music, it doesn’t care to bludgeon, but rather to caress, working with you rather than forcing your attention. In the live setting, this characteristic becomes especially notable, as the bands sweeping melodies fill the room with good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll family values.
The thing about Bloods is that all three members, MC, Sweetie and Dirk, are so in tune and adept with each other, making for an incredibly tight set and well as allowing for each distinct voice to shine through. Sweetie’s bass lines are as thick as the best egg nog you’ve ever eaten too much of, the guitar riffs are as dirty as anything Joan Jett’s ever spat out. And Dirk Jonker’s pretty much re-enacting the Garth “I like to play” scene from Wayne’s World, Metallica t-shirt gradually seeing more sweat, but grin splashed permanently across his mug.
This kind of telepathic communication and simple desire to play loud rock music means that each single hits with a power and passion to rifle Peter Gaza’s feathers. “Penelope”, “Goodnight” and “Into My Arms” are all especially direct shocks of rock ‘n’ roll thrills.
Bloods finish their euphoric set, and the crowd stands with cheers on their tongues, begging for more. The dance floor holds itself with baited breath, pleading to get their boogie on once more. Unfortunately, old mates Bloods are all out of songs to play. We sucked ’em dry, but they tore us apart as well, with all the fun and fury that we love them for. That’s what happens when Bloods play, and here’s to hoping it won’t be too long before we all get to do it again.