Gay Paris

Gay Paris

Music... y’know... what the fuck? We've set ourselves up in this world. Our civilization places value on results, profits, evidence, proof, and certainty. All well and good, I suppose. But it denies a fundamental truth. The past is gone, and the future does not exist. Rock 'n' roll shows are temporary, ephemeral, gone tomorrow into a mere memory of noise. But music is still so powerful that men and women will dedicate their lives to its study, discussion, criticism, elevation, and, celebration for absolutely no financial reward whatsoever. They can give it their all and have nothing to show at the end.

Major record company execs turning up at bars and seeing bands are a long gone memory. No one is gonna rescue our music from the hard mucky muck of occasional empty rooms, and low budget touring.

BUT... When you remove the profit motive what you have left is the raw joy of creating and sharing. Essentially a folk art form. These are not dark times, this is a golden age.

Tonight's line up is sonically united by down-tuned guitars, over-sized drum kits and a middle finger to their school’s career guidance counselor. We’re talking of a genre of music that is conveniently termed "stoner rock" and Melbourne produces and hosts some of the best. A strong community vibe is what fuels these shows. The stage gear is shared, and the hugs are flowing.

So now we get to the gig review.

I love the Dukes Of Deliciousness. Mike Findlay (vocals/bass) walks a naughty line, his Jagger moves, and stage pizzazz cleverly obscure a very able musician and songwriter. Hanging out with Mike made me use the word “rad” again after I’d long relegated it to my teen years. His radness is more infectious than swine flu. Second from last song “Totally Rad” totally sums up the vibe, giving a shout out to pretty much everybody in the room. Not only does the Dukes show have all this but there is Billy Watts’ over the head guitar solos, Juicy Joes power riffage, and Juzzy Sticks boombastic drumming. The Dukes are Kiss, Kyuss, and KY all rolled into one.

Don Fernando's guitarist/singer Andy Simpson and drummer James Innes are Australia’s Hetfield and Ulrich, the solid core of a sometimes annoyingly fluid line up, which has included members of Warped and King Parrot in the past. Don Fernando are embedded into Melbourne’s heavy rock scene. The riffs are killer, the songs are killer, and the delivery is a space trucking freight train. Bass player Ryan Kemp (also playing in Uptown Ace) is all joy, hair, heaviness, and a catalog of rock moves. Guitar player Jonny Driver (Uptown Ace, Devil Rock 4) filled it all out. Andy Simpson cheekily dedicated “Release Me” to Jonny, in a reference to Jonny’s occasional, and possibly reluctant membership with the band. Why you wouldn't want to be in Don Fernando is beyond me. They’re looking for a guitar player right now boys and girls.

Gay Paris has a higher profile than most, the direct result of regular hard touring. Sydney forces you out to find an audience. Melbourne is dangerous, being in a music scene that has everything you need isn't conducive to getting out of town and smashing your shit down the throat of folk in other states.

They are a walking, dancing, swearing, self loathing, drug begging, victory of the human spirit. Still stinging from a difficult recording process for their latest album the forthcoming The Dark Arts, bass player Dean “Slim Pickins” Podmore recorded the whole album 4 times, and despite the handicap of having two gingers in the band they danced on to the Cherry stage with borrowed gear, and they fucking delivered. I don’t know the names of the songs, I checked the Facebook page for the names of the band, but the Cherry crowd gave it right back, and lost its collective shit. There was moshing, Luke “Wailin H” Monks was getting his cock grabbed and being undressed by the front row, Slim Pickins went crowd surfing, and came dangerously close to grabbing the PVC sewer pipe that was not designed for musicians to dangle from. Big riffs from Lachy, and Thunder from Six-Guns. There was focus, attention, and mayhem. As exciting a show as any you’d see.

By my calculation:

25 people up the front went completely apeshit bananas.

A further 50 people are blown away.

Another 75 people are deeply impressed.

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