Spiderbait – The Gov Thursday 20 April 2017.
Words Geoff Jenke
Spiderbait are a legendary Australian band. Despite not releasing any new albums since 2013’s self titled CD, they continue to sell out shows every time they tour. This time it is two sell out shows at The Gov.
Kram, Whitt and Janet were here to play their third 1996 album, Ivy and the Big Apples in its entirety. Yes, all 16 tracks from start to finish, some of which have never been played live before. They also still have the original three members, who first played together in 1991, a rare feat in the rock world these days.
“We’re going back to 1996” said Kram “All you needed was $20 to have a great night watching a band” When the riff to Chest Hair began, the sold out crowd were already onside.
Janet stepped up to sing Hot Water & Milk, sounding as lovely as when it was first recorded. Normally Buy Me a Pony would appear at the end of the show or in the encore, such is its lasting popularity, but it was the third song on the album so it came out early. Buy Me a Pony was the first Australian song to make number one on Triple J’s Hottest 100, way back in 1996.
Despite never being played live before, the instrumental When Fusion Ruled the Earth proved to be one of the highlights of the evening for me. The guitar/drum battle was very intense and extremely enjoyable.
While Calypso was thoroughly enjoyable and the crowd sang along heartily, it was songs like Don’t Kill Nipperland and Conjunctivitus that showed how much a powerful force Spiderbait can be.
The show finished naturally with Driving up the Ceiling with the crowd on the floor actually moshing. At the end of the song, Whitt left his guitar bleeding feedback through the speakers, which stayed on until they came back for the three song encore.
F@*ken Awesome was just that, awesome and they wrapped up the night with a revved up version of Black Betty, far wilder than their original version. The whole floor of the Gov became one moving seething monster.
What surprised me was how much of a powerhouse drummer Kram is. He is probably the best drummer I have ever seen and I have seen quite a few. If he had hit the drums any harder, there would have been earthquakes in the Bowden/Bropmpton area. At times his drum sticks were just a blur. On top of that he also sings and even picks up a guitar occasionally. He is the front man of the band, playing at the back.
The sold out crowd were taken back to 1996 for one night and loved it.
Adelaide band Numbskulls opened for Spiderbait, playing their brand of harder faster surf punk. The crowd gave them full support as they tore through 45 minutes worth of songs that included Coco Pops, Killing Mr Whippy and Numbskulls.