It is quite an extensive and tasty smorgasbord of rock this chilly Friday night “Up The Creek” (without a paddle). Five courses of locally sourced, weighty musical fare is served up to the swelling crowd. Jam-packed, hot and steaming sounds for the soul. The occasion is the release of Kobrakai album, Zodiac, and they have handpicked a quartet of bands to support them.

First up, long haired, head bashing, stoner prog rockers, Fly Agaric. Hailing from the Northern Rivers areas around Lennox Heads and Nimbin. “Rainbow Country” someone quips. Curiosity got the better of me as I had to google the word’ agaric’. It means fungus and is particularly applied to those trippy red and white polka-dotted mushrooms that you see gnomes and fairies lurking around, The wee Rainbow folk.

“Oi Currumbin”, drawls lead singer Ralf in his thick Scottish brogue. “Doon’t be shy. Come doon the front”.

Deep, dark, guitar driven wah-wah riffs. They take us through that murky underworld with Mirror, Spare Me, What Goes Around and finish their thumping set with the moodily titled, Black Clouds.

I saw Cornerstone a year or so ago, also Up The Creek. They have had a couple of line-up changes since and have become quite a tight knit ensemble. Continuing the grunge-stoner theme, these local Goldie lads kick the evening along nicely, darkly, with such tracks as Big City, Glory Box Mistress and Go Away. Loud distorted guitars, heavy rhythmic undertones.

Nowhere Else finds lead-singer Jodie prowling the stage and dance floor menacingly, tauntingly, as she belts out tracks from their self-titled album. Blistering straight in with Blood Whispers, Shoot First, Damn My Soul. Zain and Pauly jokingly bantering about having heaps of fun in Lismore the other night with Kobrakai.

“Lots of meth in Lismore. No, it was a Food and Wine Festival”.

“This is a brand new song so we’re probably gonna fuck it up”, as Zain strikes a pose and caresses his brand new iridescent-red bass guitar. It’s the first time it’s been played in Australia. The guys have just finished a tour which took in Sydney, Brisbane and Newcastle, finishing in Japan where he found the radiant beast.

As next band, Unfinished Business, are setting up, I spy a trumpet, Yes. I love a bit of brass. It brings a whole different flavour and texture to the night, predominated by scorching guitars. It lends an almost Latino air to the sound, Mariachi’s s marching to a heavy beat. They lunge straight into the punching punk of What Do You Want From Me?, Walk Away, Wasted. And even a song, about, “what’s happening with Australias’s favourite biscuit?”, titled Tim Tam. Moy Bueno.

FU and Dungeon follow. “But don’t fuck with the biscuit”. Me gusto mucho.

So to headliners Kobrakai.

“We’re Kobrakai.. This is our 2 year anniversary.”, as they launch their rocket-ship, Zodiac into the universe. Aptly titled tracks Space Age, X-Ray, Angel Spit, Utopiate and Pisces hurtle us though the galaxies. Sweeping and soaring. Ripping guitars, psychedelic, cosmic riffing and pounding. The trio of metal heads lure us into their orbit and attack our head nodding senses.

What a trip. What a way to fly. And what a brilliant crew to share it with.

All aboard.

PHOTO CREDIT: Karyn Kruger

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