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Live Review: Eddie Spaghetti Beetle Bar

4 July 2012 | 7:08 am | Steve Bell

Clad entirely in black with a matching cowboy hat, he’s one of the few people who can rock sunglasses inside without looking louche or like a douche

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Tonight's a night of frontmen stepping out on their lonesome, as Paddy McHugh leaves behind The Goldminers to deliver a robust set of acoustic Aussie rhetoric and dusty outback narrative. The morbid Dan O'Halloran sets the tone early, before banjo player Mike Hennessy joins and fills things out nicely on Hank Williams' Six More Miles (To The Graveyard) and the jaunty Just The Country Coming Out In Me (from his alma mater Sydney City Trash). He's joined by Jud Campbell for a finale of The Boss' Atlantic City, the three trading vocals to finish a fine set.

Soon Campbell returns by himself, the former Disable delivering a set clearly beholden to the desolate southern climes of the States, his resigned world weary conviction on tracks such as Better Off Without You and Wandering Round hiding an adroit skill with wordplay and showcasing some intense and well-structured lyrics. He throws in some covers which hint at where he's coming from – Lucero frontman Ben Nichols' solo gem The Last Pale Light In The West and Two Cow Garage's American Static being standouts – but it's his own roadworn songs such as King Of An Empty Town and lovers' lament Sick Of The Sight Of Me which showcase Campbell's growing talent at both creation and delivery.

Finally The Supersuckers' Eddie Spaghetti emerges to a hero's reception, and despite his constant assertions that he's merely “one-quarter of the greatest rock'n'roll band in the world!”, it's clear that the born entertainer is made for the lone spotlight. Clad entirely in black with a matching cowboy hat, he's one of the few people who can rock sunglasses inside without looking louche or like a douche, and he soon implements his 'cha cha cha' method of ending songs – raising his guitar and intoning the incantation is the cue for the crowd to go wild – and it adds great frivolity to an already fun-packed set. Suckers classics such as Non-Addictive Marijuana, Dead In The Water, Killer Weed and Roadworn And Weary – apparently the only song of his that his father tolerates – rule the roost, the crowd yelling out songs which are played more often than not, while he slips in the occasional tune from his solo canon such as Jesus Never Lived On Mars. He's incredibly charismatic, and the place goes crazy as he starts stripping back a string of Supersuckers rock favess such as I Say Fuck, Coattail Rider, Creepy Jackalope Eye and Doublewide. Things are getting messy, middle fingers in the air en masse for Supersucker Drive-By Blues, followed by an amazing rendition of Pretty Fucked Up before Spaghetti keeps his band's 'no fake encore' policy intact by leaving after delivering a raucous version of the classic Born With A Tail. If the underground had legends this guy would be one of the first inducted, one of the last bastions of pure rock'n'roll doing the rounds today.