If this momentous show was to have any theme to it, Pennsylvanian folk rocker Jim Croce had it defined with one quotation: “If you dig it, do it. If you dig it a lot, do it twice”; how you may ask? On this night there were two bands, both celebrating over two decades as bands, the headliner was performing two sold-out shows at the Gov over two successive nights and Adelaide of course receiving twice the enjoyment.
Adelaide Surf Punk quartet the Numbskulls channeled their SoCal idols such as NOFX and Green Day, but with a big injection of Australiana to provoke the audience into an “Occa” great time. This was in all sincerity, a stunning opening to a prestigious show of this magnitude. Their onstage performance and stance was immaculately powerful and practically enforcing in inciting the parent punks, furry onesie-wearing kids and bearded beach bums into a dance-off around the venue.
Pizza Box, Beerin Up, Green Room, Glad You’ve Gone Away, Coco Pops and Numbskulls were highlight tracks; honestly though the entirety of the presentation was rather faultless.
Celebrating 26 years together, the four-piece know how to work any room and The Gov was of no threat to the four gentlemen, even if it was their first time. Whilst their brand of juvenile yet jovial punk was light-hearted fun, an important message was sent out to the audience about bassist Dave Aulert’s wife and a charity the band are working with. Please find more details here:
For this writer, 1996 marked the year of twelve years on this planet. At the time, “rebellious punk kid” was an accurate description of my existence and the walkman I owned was in short, the purpose of my being.
I remember my comprehension of the world of music altering vastly at this point in life as adoringly fell in love with a short song entitled Buy Me A Pony. Forgotten was my overplayed cassette copy of The Presidents Of The United States Of America and I saved pocket money and endlessly listened to Triple J for that one minute and 44 seconds of alternative grunge punk which came from Spiderbait’s ‘Ivy And The Big Apples’ (I eventually bought the album).
At this event, a sold-out Governor Hindmarsh venue including this scribe and a lot of South Australians were invited to celebrate 20 years of this remarkable record with the three members of Spiderbait: Drummer Mark Maher, bassist Janet English and guitarist Damian Witty and the anticipation was beyond palpable.
With an eruption of noise upon the trio’s entrance onto the stage, the known opening track Chest Hair, with its fuzzy guitar tone and pummeling drum-beat acted almost as a calming hypnotism provoked by the three-piece’s reserved beginning. Understandably this show was not a sprint by any means, more like a mini-marathon and all present needed to warm their muscles before the main stretch.
Hot Water And Milk boosted the energy levels but it was the anthem Buy Me A Pony, the first Australian number one in JJJ’s hottest 100 that garnered the most momentum and the birth of a “polite” mosh-pit.
When Fusion Ruled The Earth was an excellent elaborate math-punk number which entranced Adelaide; Calypso soon snapped the attendees out of their hypnosis with a deafening sing-along.
Goin’ Off was a delightful ballad with guest drummer, a lucky kid called “Jack”, who fulfilled many of the observers’ dreams. This was accentuated superbly by Horschack Army.
Jasper was THE SONG to incite adrenaline venue wide and the momentum carried through until closing track Driving Up The Ceiling.
However, this was not the farewell, an encore was a necessity and the ‘bait gladly obliged. Fucken Awesome was a beast in itself and a requisite for the event although surprisingly not the ending. Black Betty originally by Ram Jam and covered by Spiderbait in 2004 was the official song of departure and executed exquisitely. On any other day this writer struggles to embrace the track, but in this live setting with a dramatic extension and infinite intensity added to the hillbilly swamp punk number, it more than worked, it rocked.
In closing many thanks must be given to Spiderbait, this was an excellent celebration of their milestone and in exceptional form percussionist KRAM is still a monster both on and off his kit. Personally my gratefulness is toward Janet English, who over 20 years ago opened this music-adorer’s mind to women in rock and still has the same grace in her beautiful voice today. Spiderbait you are still a ‘Grand Slam’.