Live Review – Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats / Child
The GOV Wednesday 04 March 2020
Words & Photos – Geoff Jenke
Uncle Acid is an English rock band formed by Kevin Starrs in 2009. His backing band The Deadbeats have had a revolving set of musicians since the formation with Kevin the only constant. They have released five albums, the latest being Wasteland, released in 2018.
The band’s music was once described as “the original Alice Cooper band jamming in a cell with early Black Sabbath and the Stooges” by Metal Blade Records. Theirs is the sound of the autumn of the summer of love, of Altamont and the Manson Family and all that is apocalyptic of that era.
Support band Child come from Melbourne. I have to admit to not knowing the band but as soon as they powered into the Intro and opening number Free & Humble, I sat up and took notice. Child combine the heavy emotion of the blues with hard rock and a touch of psychedelia.
The stage was bathed in red for the entire performance, not sure if that was just a “support band thing” or intentional. It certainly added to their heavy vibe. By song three the drummer had his shirt off, such was the power with which he was hitting the drums. As a sign of their 70’s influences, singer/guitarist Mathias Northway had a fringed jacket on. I was jealous as it is what I wore while watching similar bands in pubs way back in the 70’s. Lobby Lloyd comes to mind with long heavy songs. Songs often returned to bass & drum riff blues before the lead guitar re- enters loud and commanding. The songs were long and beautiful, with only five actual songs played in the 50-minute set.
How good were they? I ended up buying their 2 Cd’s they had on sale, to find they only played one song from the albums. They road tested a couple of new songs before heading into the Outro, the longest ending to a show I think I have ever seen. Not sure how many times I thought the set was finished, when they would just fire up again on a different tangent.
There is something on their Facebook page about a change of name/direction?? Let’s hope it is not too far from what they did this evening. Loud and heavy, dirty blues. Heaven!!!!
As the stage filled with fog Kevin Starrs and band walked on stage, grouped around the drum tier and awaited the end to the taped intro. Firing into I See Through You on a dark stage, shrouded in fog, it was hair flying and a bass riff that pounded through your body. This was a band playing loud and hard.
A slower, almost doom metal, came next with Mt. Abraxas with some Sabbath riffs buried in the mix. Kevin was a man of few words, letting the music do the talking. All we really got was a “thank you Adelaide” and a “I want to see some headbanging during this song” when they played Pusher Man. Headbanging wasn’t big on the minds of the punters at the front, sure a few were doing it, but the rest were just out for a great time.
While the sound was loud and clear, the vocals were buried in the mix. If you didn’t know the songs beforehand, you couldn’t make out the words. They were just suppressed in the barrage of stoner rock.
The sound is far heavier than their album versions. The energy the band put out was immense. Justin Smith on bass didn’t stop moving all night, hair flying around his face and his bass held high.
The trio of songs, 13 Candles, Melody Lane and No Return bought the set to a thunderous climax with Kevin leaving his guitar leaning against the speakers, high pitched feedback reverberating around the room. As the last song played No Return may have suggested, there was no encore.
You couldn’t follow that ending.