The blog goes global as of now. Global as in my mate Al from down under managed curb his enthusiasm for public masturbation and set aside his day job of writing homoerotic Star Trek fan fiction to write a review of a show for us all.
01.07.2011 @ The Sando, Newtown
02.07.2011 @ The Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle
PSYCHOTIC MUSIC FOR NEUROTIC PEOPLE TOUR
Man....I can go see any number of Rockabilly/Country/Punk or Metal shows in a week here, but the one thing we lack is REAL FUCKING PSYCHOBILLY, and in some cases just REAL MUSIC IN GENERAL!!! Sure we have bands that label themselves as such but, as much as reviews can be subjective, I have fucking ears and make no apologies for saying that some bands just ain't bands....
For more years than I care to remember Fireballs gigs have been less than regular.
Sometime a year or two can pass without seeing these guys stalk the boards so when I hear that they are hitting the road I'm there.
20 years of hard knocks, 4 albums, 5 Eps and 2 side projects (SinShifters + Hotrod Sinners) and now not fucking once, but two nights in a row, I'll get to see them slicing off and serving up some flaming cold cuts from the much anticipated Hellrider album.
An album that at times I wasn't even sure would ever see the light of day, let alone that I'd be able to hear it live.
First things first though motherfucker.
I slid right over to Bee's house and said, let's Go! Go! Go!
At first, she wasn't keen on the drive (50kms p/h in a Suzuki Sierra) up the highway to Hornsby train station.
What the fuck. It's the Fireballs.
Then she wasn't impressed with having to grab two separate trains to Newtown.
I mean what the fuck. It's the Fireballs.
She also wasn't keen on pissed people or getting home the next day at 5 or 6 am, and I thought she was gonna pull out. (ooh kinky)
Jeeeessssuuuuusss. It's the fuckin' Fireballs.
"Come on, once you get there you'll be bloody glad you did and miserable if you don't!"
Finally she stopped all the BS excuses and agreed that she would indeed suffer the journey and she's glad that she did I tell thee.
I was really startin' to rev by this stage.
Inside my head there was a a little kid who'd flushed his meds and was storming about screaming his li'l ADHD head off thinkin' FUCK YEEAAAHHHH! Fireballs! Doin' new material.
Preparation for the show needed to be done though so I fuelled up on the best kebabs in the world from the kebab shop (Kebabs from a kebab shop. Well I never - Mainy) on Enmore road, and washed them down with an excessive amount of alcohol to build up some Scottish courage – it's the same as the Dutch stuff, but you say 'what the fuck are you lookin' at a lot more' and headed off to meet a couple of people who I had been real keen to get a face to face with for a while.
That done, we arrived at Newtown station for 7pm and I headed straight to Hawleywood's Barber Shop to see Dan for a trim who didn't mind me dropping by even though they were closed.
Nice guy. Hellow Dan.
Sat in the chair I was handed a Corona and told repeatedly to keep my head still… And thanks sooo much for putting up with me Dan, you're the real deal!
A while later, I was having a post-trim smoke on the pavement with Dan and co and someone asked what Emo stood for.
Bit of a random question, but it kicked of a nice level of bullshit.
The replies were many "emotional" and "How fucking retarded do you have to be to label yourself "emotional" Then it was asked where did it come from? I said well, bands like Big Black, Minor Threat, Fugazi and Black Flag had been referred to as Emo at one stage or another..and added Fuck it! Next time someone asks if you like Emo say "Sure!" I love Pantera!" And I was off!
I bet they were sorry that the question was asked.
Here's where the night got interesting though.
I arrive at the Sando hotel, tonguin' for a beer or ten and who do I see, Joey Phantom and Dylan Villain sitting out the front having a coffin nail so I stop to chat, say G'day and how fuckin' stoked I am to be seeing them, AND with new material being played that it's a bonus from hell.
We talked briefly about Guitar Slingers, and a couple of other bands..the genesis of Fireballs from Terminal Haircut to Hellrider and said how by some very, very, very narrow folks, but not many, they had been called Metal with a Double bass, and how over the four albums it had been a very natural and traceable progression and even through the faster, and at times heavier minutes, nodding or rather, bangin’ their heads to Metal and Punk, there was the unmistakeable solid skeletal frame of blues, Rock n' Roll and Billy to which Joe replied rhetorically "When you look at it, what's Billy!" To which I nodded and all felt right with the world....And for the record…how many bands, contrarily, have a double bass and wouldn’t know who or what “BILLY” was/is if they tripped over their weed whacker strings….That was when he came........er...not Joey..a man, on a mobility scooter, playing one kick arse, ROCKIN' song, (I asked Dylan if he could pinpoint the song the next night but we were both at a loss to name artist or song)..cruising through the throngs along King Street, drinkin' his beverage, takin' no prisoners and rockin' the fuck out...to which Joe loudly retorts "Hellrider!" after him. It was time for a beer...I bid them adieu and rolled on in.
Well I got inside, bought a jug of beer, poured a schooner and had a look around as I was looking for a couple of friends, found a seat by the door and scanned the pub..Hmm, people getting tattooed everywhere, high haircuts, low haircuts, punks, skins, rockers, metal heads, all having a fucking good time.
Well, I'm talking to this guy and all of a sudden I spot an old friend, Robbo, hadn't seen him in near 10 years, and another one, Al about the same amount of time. Fucking insane, this can't get any better...then not 20 minutes later, Shane and Alex rock in, So nice to meet you finally, we chat for a while, then it's up stairs to a packed room for Fireballs.
I had seen Brigitte Handley earlier and though it was packed and I thought the sound was a little muddy it was still fucking cool. I gave them a little time, but was keener to let the tmosphere sink in and catch up with hombres from the past and didn't feel guilty for doing so as I would be seeing them the next night anyway.
After a smoke, and beer or three later the Fireballs took to the stage and this room was tight. Tighter than that a 200 dollar snatch queen who has just turned the clock back on her garden of delight with the help of a nice nip and tuck from the best plastic surgeon in town.
Yep. That tight. Hardly any room to move forward or back.
I lose everyone except Al & Robbo, but manage to find a decent spot at the back of the room, just as I'm diggin' in all comfy like, they broke into the opener, Turn To Stone off the Terminal Haircut album and it was then that it hit me.
This sounds like it did 20 years ago, and I don't know what it was but they had the energy and force of 4 blokes playing top-notch Psychobilly to a crowd for the first time and knowing it's gonna kick everyone in the head..and make em want more!
Eddie Fury's vocals are spot on the mark and myself, like others I talked to there, thought his vocals were insane....HEAD YELLER SUPREME…. "and age will not weary them")
About this time the obligatory Darwin award nominee who shall from this point forth be referred to as dickhead wandered, or rather, stumbled angrily and blindly past.
Spillin' precious amber liquid and shouldering people in the back he didn't seem to have much of a fuckon clue.
I kept watching in that alert way when you can feel shit about to come down pressing in on the enjoyment.
He pissed off for a short time, but on his return he was still spinning out of control.
Pointless him even being there.
By the third time he passed I though that I should cold cock the fucker, but hey, it's not 1991 and it's certainly not 1981 so I impressed myself with the last vestige of maturity that I was clinging to and just walked out thinkin' I see them tomorrow and I'll listen from the fuckin' door instead...
So I heard most of the rest of set from the door and man, it was too insane to mention.
They play hard, fast, rock n' roll like it hasn't been done in years, the only way they can with such energy and honesty, all the while with a smile on their dials.
The songs they played from the new album Hellrider which included, Voodoo Doll, Hellrider, The King Of One More, Youth Injection, Young Girls, & Blackzone, made me anxious to get the album before they disappeared, scream home on my burning skull and stick it in the cd player...truly an incredible night, leaving anyone and everyone wanting more...
After another chat to Dylan, some signing grabbin' a couple of Dark Shadows 7"s and a copy of Hellrider, saying to Pete Speed when he asked if I wanted the new one signed "I'l get this one signed in another 15 years!" (Pete, I could talked music with you alnight!!! Rock on! It was last beers for me and the trip home, high as a kite on what was surely the knowledge that I would see them tomorrow night and "Beerbilly" would not be within earshot!
"Well, I been awake all night and day, need something to put me away....something that won't make me ill...what I need is my dream piiiiiiiiills!"
I got to the Great Northern Hotel 9:00pm on Saturday night and lo and behold, Joey & Dylan are outside..I say G'day, again and give Joey a copy of Six String Bandit by Guitar Slingers and a copy of Capt Drugbuster 7" then we have a brief chat and head inside.
After a few beers and more cigarettes Brigitte Handley and The Dark Shadows take the stage. They sounded bloody excellent tonight and apart from the odd cigarette, I watched the gig mightily impressed with their sound and presence on stage..can't wait to catch them next time, thanks for two awesome nights girls..
hen Eddie introduced King Of One More he said roughly that it came from the knowledge that he could drink anyone in the room under the table!
Sounded like fightin' words to me, although I did only manage 4 beers that night....no one took him up on his "offer" LIGHTWEIGHTS!!!
Fuckin' 2" stage, Fireballs in full force, fine form, incredible sound, easy going crowd, we are away….GO! GO! GO!....like the night before they lurch into Turn To Stone, One could have been forgiven for thinking that they may have been off or slightly askew of the mark tonight, after rippin' it up the night before and coming off tour but no! The twin guitar assault of Pete Speed and Dylan Villain (Which works so well as they feed off each others energy, truly is an experience worth having) with Joey Phantom on gunner's duty (Not all bassist's are this energetic and brutal to watch live) and Eddie Fury captaining the sonic assault (One girl asking "How the fuck does he stand up and drum and sing like that, at the same time!" Hahaha).
This is Fireballs. They came and laid waste to everyone's consciousness that was standing in the room, like a B-1 Bomber laying waste to your city...What can you say?! They came away from that night with new fans for sure!
Fireballs are badder, faster and fuckin' chock full o rockin' beans than most. The fartin' rivers of fire kind...Catch them if you can...for any and all merchandise available, find them on facebook or at:
Thanks to Joe, Ed, Pete and Dylan - You guys Kill! Kill! Kill!
Had the best two nights in a long time...And as I'm writing this listening to Hellrider...AAAAAAHHHHH the cat.....nearly had a heart attack! And to Shane "quiff" Quill who without, I may never have heard them 20 years ago nearly!
Turn To Stone
So Bad It's Good
King Of One More
Under My Wing
Big Black Hearse
Go! Go! Go!
Fall Of The Damned
Photographs by Shane Quill.