Deniz Tek & Leadfinger

Those venturing to The Tote on Friday 15th March were treated to a double album launch, with Leadfinger and Deniz Tek sharing the honours. Both have had albums released this month - Leadfinger with No Room At The Inn and Deniz Tek with Detroit.

Leadfinger is fronted by Stewart ‘Leadfinger’ Cunningham. Stewart has been a player on the Aussie scene for over 20 years, having played with The Proton Energy Pills, who were Tumbleweed before they were Tumbleweed. He's also played with Asteroid B-612, Yes Men and Brother Brick. No Room at the Inn is the band's fourth album.

The impact of the live gig setting, and the band's stage presence, added some extra muscle and grit to their sound. There is something truly memorable about a band whose every song sounds like something you have heard a million time before. By that, I mean that every riff, and every chorus has that perfect hook that draws you in like all your favourite songs.

Tonight’s set mainly consisted of new tracks from their latest album, Pretty Things, which has a classic thematic feel to it. It's hard not to love a song about girls. Harder still, not to love a frontman who hangs shit on Neil Young.

How dare Neil be playing in town the same night??

It was banter like that, that made the crowd's affinity with Stewart, and his band, even stronger.

One of the last tracks was Gimmie the Future, which Stewart mentioned was a personal favourite. The track chugged along and left the band and the crowd on a euphoric high.

Soon after, Deniz Tek casually wandered on to the stage. From the moment he plugged in, he was smashing out the jams. By the second song, Deniz was pounding through a classic version of the Radio Birdman's Murder City Nights. Even though he didn’t sing the original, his vocals weren't too dissimilar to those of Rob Younger, who sung the original.

His new album Detroit (his first in 10 years) is classic garage. The album's leading track Pine Box was a slow burner on the night, that pierced the crowd’s ears as the song progressed.

One of the other surprises was the added bonus of Radio Birdman keyboardist Pip Hoyle. Pip's keyboard was such an integral part of the Birdman sound, it was great to hear him backing up his old cohort again.

Though Ghost Town was one of the slower, and more bluesy songs of the set, it held the crowd's interest, however the small size of the crowd seemed to deter the energy of the band. Not to say that they were flat, they just didn’t seem as engaged as they might have been.

Can of Soup was another classic example of Deniz's masterful riffage. Without any effort, he ripped his guitar apart and excited the crowd even more. His legacy shining more and more, as the night wore on.

Deniz finished the night on the classic Birdman track Aloha Steve And Danno (which famously borrows the riff from TV show Hawaii Five-O), and then, all of sudden, he announced the gig was over, citing that his management said he had to finish.

Though I'm not sure why it all wound up that way, all was soon to be forgiven. The legend signed my CD - an awesome way to finish up the night.

Here is Deniz Tek performing the Radio Birdman aussie punk classic,  Aloha Steve And Danno from this concert at The Tote.
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