Live Review: Dig It Up! - The Palace

1 May 2012 | 11:01 am | Bryget Chrisfield

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Although it's still light (grey) outside, the Palace embraces its nightclub atmosphere for this all-day soiree. With Hoodoo Gurus in the curator chair, the prospect of seeing this iconic Aussie band's favourite acts and key influences makes us froth. On the main stage, Japanese all-girl allstars The's bring the glamour with their matching sparkly shift dresses and sky-high beehives. Intro vocals sound as if they've been lifted from the opening credits to Boohbah. And then there's another sung section that calls to mind Road Runner. An inflatable Godzilla decorating the side of the stage perfectly complements this trio and their playful kitsch shtick. “Let's go!” commands frontvixen Yoshiko “Ronnie” Fujiyama and it's fun discussing which language is employed for each song: lyrics could be “sweet blue cheese”, “sweet blue guts” or, “sweet blue coochies”. Or are we turning Japanese? The band switches between the two, we conclude. One of the tracks featured in Kill Bill, I'm Blue, is killer. And (I'm Sorry Mama) I'm A Wild One is no shrinking violet. After playing “a Japanese kid's song”, their jackets come off for some maraca choreography.

“So how was the score, was it tight?” We push past some blokes discussing footy on our way up the stairs. As you were, gentlemen! Pukka posis are secured for Redd Kross and it's a game of Count The Bungled Stick Tricks from this great height. Drummer Roy McDonald even drops a stick mid-song. It's not a rehearsal, dickhead: never perform tricks in the live arena until they are well and truly mastered. This music sounds extra fantastic when you close your eyes so it's lucky there are banisters to cling to. Frontman Jeff McDonald sports a pair of almost-fluorescent red pointy shoes that clash with his axe. We are expecting a new album from Redd Kross this year. Sign me up for the pre-sale wait list!

The lack of food/some kind of snack onsite drives many out on to the city streets in search of tucker around dinnertime. After quickly scoffing a pie stack, it's back to the Attic (the Palace's) for Royal Headache. The room is rammed and this Sydney quartet's reputation precedes them. Shirtless singer Shogun looks like fitness guru Richard Simmons and possesses a similar nervous energy: “Fuck it, I'm too excited!” This scribe's not 100% convinced however, although 99.99-recurring % of this Attic congregation (especially Cherry Bar's own James Young) would disagree strongly. At the tail end of Psychotic Episode, it's time to negotiate the stairs once more and aim for pole position for The Sonics.

Many exhibit their fanaticism for The Sonics by establishing spots during stage set-up. Perusing the audience, we spy a lone magpies scarf (they must have got up) and slogan t-shirts aplenty: Goner Records, Blade Runner and The Half Pints all in eyeshot. Since drummer Bob Bennett and bassist Andy Parypa from The Sonics' classic line-up are unable to travel, we witness replacements Ricky Lynn Johnson and Freddie Dennis respectively. From behind his organ, stage left, Gerry Roslie sports dark sunnies and boasts a Tom Jones-esque timbre. You can't imagine these cats would have sounded much better than this in their heyday; in fact they have probably relaxed into their performances to their betterment. Shot Down destroys us. Rob Lind possibly breaks the world record for highest-ever sax note played live. Have Love Will Travel takes us there. We are asked, ever so politely, “Would you like to have some rock'n'roll now?” And then Keep A Knockin' knocks us off our feet before Lucille takes hold. The Sonics dedicate Louie Louie to Hoodoos, explaining they're “mates now”, before two's invade the stage. One shamelessly models The Sonics merch and both demonstrate expert stubbie-brandishing boogying.

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The old fart market is ready for an Anzac Day treat as tonight's hosts Hoodoo Gurus take the stage wearing a suitable amount of paisley. There's been so much amazing talent on display throughout the day however, that the band doesn't stand out as obvious headliner. Of course there are magic karaoke moments as the band punch out their excellent debut Stoneage Romeos (*resists urge to include dinosaur references*) – Leilani and My Girl in particular. However, those who were in attendance for Hoodoos' 2007 Meredith set – which stirred up the Supernatural Amphitheatre with thumping faves such as Like Wow - Wipeout and Miss Free Love'69 – are left wanting. Misunderstanding of the type of set promised or not, frontman Dave Faulkner Facebooking their original intention to play “Be A Woman for The Sonics and Television Addict for The's if [they] got a second encore” made not returning to the stage after their first encore all the more heartbreaking. Earth to Faulkner: encore fake-outs have made us lazy with applause, especially when we know the show's advertised finishing time is 20 minutes away. Obviously that means you're coming back, right? There are many frazzled expressions on the faces of those shuffling out of this venue to relieve babysitters earlier than expected.