LIVE REVIEW – REGURGITATOR / SHONEN KNIFE / THE FAUVES
The Gov -Saturday 20 October 2019
Words Geoff Jenke
Have The Fauves really been around for 30 years? Well yes, and here they are still having as much fun on stage as when they started. The witty lyrics are still with them on their new album Driveway Heart Attack, which according to guitarist/singer Andrew Cox “has sold no copies in South Australia, well except a couple in Mt Gambier and 1 in Bordertown”. They kicked off with Don’t Say When and First Day on the Run before launching into Gone South from their new album. The music has a catchy hook to it and stills sounds fresh today. Before playing the funky Back on the Gear, Andrew told us it was an obscure Beatle song from before they were famous. I can imagine young Millennials checking their phone for Beatle songs. As they kicked off Dogs Are the Best People, Andrew stopped the band saying “The only song anyone knows and I f*#k it up”. They soldiered on hitting their stride on the final Everybody’s Getting a 3 Piece Together. A great celebration of Australian 90/00’s music that is still relevant today.
Japanese girl band, Shonen Knife were in Australia only last year, playing the Oz Asia festival. They have been around even longer than The Fauves, but still play their brand of power/punk/pop with vigour. They started with 1998’s crazy song Banana Chips before going right back to 1986’s Lazybone. The grins on the band members were wide and their enthusiasm extended out to the audience in waves. The playing was tight and very powerful. They have a new album out called Sweet Candy Power and the next two songs were from this album. There is nothing sweet about the songs Party and Dizzy, as a barrage of beautiful noise filled the room. During their 45-minute set they played tracks from their entire career but it was the end song, Cobra vs. Mongoose that shone. With a lot of false endings this was as energetic live music gets. Full marks to Regurgitator, who I thought must have been trembling in the green room thinking, “how are we going to top that”, for letting the band use the huge video screen on stage. It was truly an amazing sight with superb images flooding the screen throughout the whole set. After last years performance I gave them an 8/10 and said the music became “more the same” as it went on. This time they get a 10/10. And it looks like we will see them back in Australia March next year. Hope it is an Australian tour.
Regurgitator also used the big screen to maximum effect, starting the show with Dylan Lewis on screen interviewing a “cyber” Regurgitator about their 25 years in rock. Yes 25 years, where has the time gone. Adelaide still loves them, with two packed shows at The Gov.
Not sure how you describe what they were wearing when they hit the stage, a sort of clown/kid’s TV character outfit. It didn’t matter, what mattered was the music. Any illusions about being worried about Shonen Knife’s set went straight out the window. This is a band on top of their game. The first of 3 sets + encore, was “the rock set” of mainly earlier songs. FSO, Blubber Boy, Kong Foo Sing and of course I Sucked a Lot of Cock came out loud and proud. The ‘Gurger are happy to get a little strange on stage. This was the third band of the night that was having as much fun as the audience, if not more.
The second “act” was the “tracky dacks” era, rap type songs that had the crowd pogoing down front and who said crowd surfing was old hat? Songs like Bong, Party Looks, I Will Lick Your Arsehole and Fat Cop were all rolled out.
Another break, another video interlude and the band run out for the “sparkly” era, wearing tops Human Nature would be proud of. “I guess you have worked it out, this is the UNIT era”. Unit has shifted well over 200,000 copies and with songs such as I Like your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff, Everyday Formula, Polyester Girl, Modern Life, The World of Sleaze, !(The Song Formerly Known As) and Black Bugs, all played this evening, it’s not hard to see why. However, the new stuff is as good as the old stuff, as I get the Internet from 2018 album Headroxx showed. This is Regurgitator at their best.
Another video break before the encore, Quan (and band) came out in ballet dresses and said to the crowd, “You want us to go on? We are happy to go home”. Of course, we didn’t want them to leave. Blood and Spunk opened the encore, loud and dynamic. Distractions fired up next, then Ben stuffed up the intro to Born Dumb, claiming Regurgitator have made a career of stuff ups. I Wanna Be A Nudist closed out the night.
Regurgitator, Shonen Knife and The Fauves are bands still loving what they do. If you could have bottled the happy vibe coming from the stage all evening, you would be a millionaire on tonight’s performances alone. Here’s to the next 25 years for all the bands.