What a surprising night in paradise. Magic, aliens, dinosaurs, space-craft, robots and genies. Far-out. Still getting my head around the lock-out laws and what times bands start and finish, so I missed most of the amusingly entertaining show Master David Schwepps put on. You have to say it like an echo effect: “Schwepps Schwepps Schwepps” AKA Zach Johnston, sinner and guitarist for the (on hiatus hopefully only temporarily) fabulous Jimmy The Saint and the Sinners.
It’s a combination of magic show and vaudeville-ish entertainment. As I walked up the stairs of elsewhere, over the chequered and flashing dance-floor, I knew he was in the building by the trail of playing cards scattered about. I get to catch his last couple of numbers, thumping on the keys and singing some crazy arse lyrics. Known to be not-shy of wearing a frock, wig and heels on occasion, tonight he is attired in a relatively conservative and definitely daggy, baggy, bad-taste, camel coloured suit. Schweppervescing.
Buff Girls keep the tunes spinning as I try to suss out the weird robotic-looking drum-kit contraption on stage. WTF? Never seen anything like it. All will be revealed.
Two piece Tesla Coils take their place on stage. Jed A Wolters on vox and synths and things and Chris on ‘normal’ drums. They seem to have a fascination with dinosaurs, outer space and all things alien. Makes sense I guess as they hail from Planet Tyrannus and once played in a moon crater to 30 Archunians. Jed (Jedi?) is clad all in black with a shining silver immunity-emulate around his neck.
He looks like Rasputin and performs like a man possessed. Maybe he was probed on one of his journeys to other galaxies. The mad-monk conjures and gyrates his way through songs, Creature, Parasite, Dinosynth, Evolved and finishes with a rousing rendition of The Party. We have been exorcised, probed and enthralled.
I’m excited for their showcase on Planet BIGSOUND in a couple of weeks.
I haven’t seen Free the Genie before. Man, they blew my tiny mind. Jack is the bass player and humbly says, “Ty is the other chap that does everything else. Vocals, guitar, keys and he also built and programmed Natasha”. ‘Natasha the Basher’ is the robotic drum-thingi proudly standing centre stage. Bizarre and astonishing to watch ‘her’ at work. The drumsticks look like they are suspended in mid-air. Spooky. The guys start off with swirling multi-instrumental sounds on tracks Featherbomb and Lucifer’s Lunchbox. The light show is just as trippy and psychedelic.
The boys co-write all the music and lyrics and create all the live visual and stage props. They take us on a wild and weird rocket ride of sight and sound on songs Warm Like Milk, Caviar Teeth and Peperoni. Preferring to perform only original songs, they couldn’t resist covering Talking Heads classic, This Must Be The Place. Everyone sings along with glee, “Home is where I want to be but I guess I’m already there”. The set closes with Palace Laundry, but they are not getting away. The crowd scream for more. After discussion with Natasha, who is being ‘a bit of a diva’ at this stage, the lads launch into a cheeky version of the Rolling Stones’ Miss You.
“Baby why you wait so long / won’t you come on. Come on”.
See the genie set free at one of their regular gigs at Aloha Bar, Black Coffee Lyrics and Nobby’s Arc. Also playing support for Melbourne legends The Stiffies at The Shark Bar, 10 September as well as popping up on the Wallapalooza lineup at Mudgeeraba, 17 September.
Hop on board the space-ship. Come On.