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Live Review: Regurgitator

23 January 2017 | 4:25 pm | Rhys Anderson

"A guzheng when played by Mindy Meng Wang can effectively replace the saloon-style piano and droning viola that feature on the original record."

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"We used to come here [Tasmania] in the '90s and it was a really scary place, but it's lovely what you've got here now, " Ben Ely says through a wide smile, "...and on that note we're going to play a song about sex. This is Venus In Furs." Regurgitator play The Velvet Underground & Nico: a controversial, classic album that has inspired countless artists and soon-to-become artists.

Regurgitator are an Australian electro-punk band famous for outrageously energetic live sets, a song about being friends with a robot and an incredible DIY attitude to electronic production. Lou Reed died in 2013. One of the credited producers of The Velvet Underground & Nico is Andy Warhol. Regurgitator played this album at an Andy Warhol — Ai Weiwei exhibition and then they came to Mona. Those are the givens. What was perhaps less expected was that Ben Ely can do a damn fine Lou Reed.

Less can be more when properly considered. A guzheng when played by Mindy Meng Wang can effectively replace the saloon-style piano and droning viola that feature on the original record. The traditional Chinese string instrument sometimes dips too low under the thundering drums and washed-out guitars, but when audible it resonates with an incredibly versatile tone from plucks to drones. The band bring enough live energy and charisma to the production for this tribute project to be true to the original material while still feeling like a Regurgitator show.

Nothing could have been more suitable for an outdoor show at a world class museum as the sun begins to set over the water after the thrumming sleepiness of Sunday morning builds to a very-Regurgitator electro rendition of European Son

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