Screaming Jets & Boom Crash Opera –The Gov – Friday 31 August 2018
Words Geoff Jenke
Two of Australia’s iconic bands have joined forces for a trek across Australia to deliver a powerhouse of high rotation hits on the Rock Radio Riot tour. The tour hit Adelaide in the form of two sold out gigs at The Gov.
Boom Crash Opera formed in 1985 and in the words of Rob Ryan from acrossthecean.com.au “It isn’t until you see this band that you realize how many great songs they have in the armoury.” Great Wall, The Best thing, Hands Up In The Air just to name a few. Original vocalist Dale Ryder left the band in 2016 but has been ably replaced by Andrew De Silva who not only won Australia’s got Talent in 2012, but was also was the 1995 ARIA winner for the highest selling single Let’s Groove with his band CDB.
Boom Crash Opera played a solid hour of hits with one new song thrown in for good measure. Drummer Peter Maslen came out first, sitting behind the drums awaiting his fellow band members. A solid hit of the drum and they were off running with Hands Up in The Air and the audience were pumped from the get go. Vocalist Andrew De Silva was stalking the stage, claiming every inch of it, encouraging the crowd to sing along.
Great Wall came next, followed by City Flat from their debut album. For Get Out of the House Andrew De Silva donned an acoustic guitar to add to the already full sound. I had forgotten what a classic song Her Charity is and when Bettadaze was played, the bass player, John Favaro, asked if we wanted a bass solo because “I know just the man for it”. We were surprised when he then handed his bass guitar to the singer who let rip with a short solo. They played a new song called Shuffle which sounded a bit like the old Norman Greenbaum song Spirit in the Sky during the chorus, but still retaining the catchy BCO beat. Disappointingly they didn’t play my favourite BCO single, Soundtrack. I am not even sure they have ever played it live.
These here are indeed crazy times as a fair portion of the crowd singing and dancing along would not have been born when Best Thing and Onion Skin were originally released and rounded out a superb set from Boom Crash Opera. I was surprised how fast the hour went. We partied like it was the eighties all over again.
The Screaming Jets formed in 1991 and have released 8 albums to date, the latest, Gotcha Covered, only being released this year. The album is a collection of Australian song covers. The Screaming Jets are no strangers to doing covers, with Shivers and Eve of Destruction being two of their biggest hits.
Tonight, the Jets come out all guns blazing with a fast version of the Easybeats Wedding Ring and it was clear to see already the band are here to enjoy the night. Dave Gleeson, an Australian rock icon, had a manic smile on his face all night. C’Mon and Needle, both from their debut album follow in rapid succession, Gleeson swinging and punching his arms all over the place. Dave then announces that guitarist Scot Kingman couldn’t be with them as he was ill and they could of “just cancelled the show like pussies” but instead bought in guitarist “Apples”. (sorry didn’t get his real name).
Tunnel followed with its Stoner Rock feel and lyrics in “Well as I travel in my time machine/To the other side of the night” and played in all its heaviness. At stages between songs Dave would just start to sing classic songs like “Who Listens to the Radio”, without the band and get the crowd to sing along. Shine On was a highlight of the evening played with a dirty blues sound. Dave dedicated Paul Kelly’s Darling It Hurts to any prostitutes in the house and then had the Gov Choir (us) sing along to Helping Hands.
Razor, Smack in the Mouth from 2016’s Chrome album, Goanna’s Razor Edge and Better rounded out a fiery end to the set. Dave let us know what he thought of the new Prime Minister prior to playing Better using words I cannot repeat here.
They were back for more though, with a blistering version of Stevie Wrights Guitar Band with Dave letting the guitars do the talking towards the end of the song. Dave then donned an acoustic guitar for a rousing Folsom Prison Blues. The band were not sure what he was doing at first as the set list showed them to play Rockin’ in The Free World, but they soon joined in. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the Free World song played. That would have been awesome. The night ended with a very loose Shivers, a sort of anti-climax to the hard rocking evening. We had partied like it was the 1990’s all over again.
Trivia – Last year radio station Triple M Sydney crowned the Jets song Better as its most played Australian song in its 37-year history, having been played over 5,000 times since it was released in 1991.