"Regurgitator instantly erupted like they had an unspoken responsibility to rock harder than the younger and arguably more dispirited musos of today — if for no other reason than to show them just how the fuck it’s done."
One of Perth’s most loved and iconic stalwarts, the Astor Theatre, is celebrating its 100th year in operation and, on Friday night, its resplendent halls filled with a delightful wealth of rock, pop and funk, befitting the glorious onset of summer.
Self-described ‘Tarantino rock’ four-piece Day Of The Dead were met with initial bemusement from those that had gathered early, but they soon settled into place with drawn-out Californian desert grooves, garnering them many a “woo yay!”. Guitarist Ben Frichot was particularly impressive, letting loose on the fret board on Death Valley.
The hilariously indefatigable Boys Boys Boys! walked out on stage to the Imperial March, cleverly snapping everyone to attention before drenching them in synth-heavy caffeine-pop. It worked a charm and their unapologetic set of guilty pleasures won over the remaining stoics as they weaponised Ticky Ticky Boom and fulfilled their nefarious plan to transform the entire room into a giant anime disco. Their utterly nonsensical joy rivals the greatest of the J-Pop universe.
Being reduced to a three-piece has done nothing to stultify Sugar Army’s signature hard-hitting sound, although it’s unmistakably diminished Pat McLaughlin’s ability to ensnare entire crowds with his characteristic frontman charm, as he’s so well-known to do. Opening with a rousing slow jam that bore hints of prog a la Karnivool, the Astor echoed their quick-to-temper and infectious style. It’s a small crime that Australia hasn’t fully embraced them as a household name, despite their initial success, but if this set was anything to go by, we’re far from seeing the back of them just yet.
Age has by absolutely no means wearied Regurgitator. They instantly erupted like they had an unspoken responsibility to rock harder than the younger and arguably more dispirited musos of today — if for no other reason than to show them just how the fuck it’s done. Blubber Boy and Everyday Formula catapulted a generation in the twilight of their youth back to the '90s when the ‘Gurge were at their most mischievous and anarchic. With a relationship spanning over 20 years, both Ben Ely and Quan Yeomans are as tightly refined and symbiotic a unit as they’ve ever been. Yeomans’ Patton-esque rapping on Track 1 and Kong Foo Sing was as funky as anything on Blood Sugar Sex Magik, but it would’ve packed a tonne more punch if the mixing desk had have given his voice more of a boost.
One lucky lady managed to catch Ely’s ear requesting Fat Cop, to which the boys happily obliged. Jerico and Bridget from Boys! were invited to the stage to dance up a storm and provide the very necessary "ooooh"s for the irrepressibly catchy ! (Song Formerly Known As) and in a flash, Regurgitator left the stage having no doubt fashioned a few more cracks in the Astor’s ageing walls.