It’s not often you get to see your childhood musical heroes take the stage as an entire band, but this band is different, this band means something, this band is one of the greatest supergroups in the world. This band…….is Me First and the Gimme Gimmes? Hold on a second, bear with me, I need to figure out how to compose this article properly.
We all came to The Triffid tonight to see other people’s songs performed with a hint of comedic flair, carefully choreographed dance moves and the most dazzling suits this side of Broadway. The Gimmes came to rock and poke fun at each other, in neither field were we disappointed. The sold out crowd is a sea of Lagwagon, SNFU, NOFX and various other band shirts relating to the 90’s punk genre. I am reunited with my people tonight…..and it feels so good.
It would be disrespectful of me if i didn’t mention tonight’s supports. Leading off is young Brisbane trio, Something Something Explosion. This tight little outfit deliver some powerful guitar, bass and drum work and the set of pipes on front woman Grace, mirror her crimson flame red hair, bold and forceful. Belting out a sensational rendition of Slipknot’s ‘Snuff towards the end of their set, the crowd laps it up, giving the local act a roaring round of cheers and applause.
Next on the bill is Rockhampton quartet Pandemic. These guys display their style to the Triffid faithful, delivering some original tunes that set an electric mood for the upcoming magnificence that shall be delivered in due course. The energy that these guys display is infectious, never stopping for a moment to show the Brisbane crowd what Rocky has to offer.
By now, we are all ready to ‘Believe in Life After Love’, and to travel on the ‘Country Roads’ to ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’. As the Gimmes take the stage, the roar of the crowd is thunderous. We are well primed for other people’s songs, played at breakneck speed and with a hint of comedic tribute. Spike bursts onto the stage, bringing with him one of the most awe inspiring white on blue suits, reminiscent of Miami Vice. With the matching colour combination throughout the entire band and a gold curtain-esque background, these guys look like they would fit in perfectly on a 70’s variety show.
Launching full steam into classics such as ‘Summertime’, ‘All My Lovin’’ and ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’, the crowd mirrors Slawson’s every word and tries to emulate the electric energy that the band displays. With the crowd more than amply revved up, its a full scale country sing along with ‘Ghost Riders In The Sky’, the classic tune getting an ear-splitting cheer of approval from the huddled masses.
Every time Spike and Joey introduce a song by saying ‘this one’s a cover’, you find yourself smirking a little. Not the best comedic timing but it never gets old. Waves of laughter erupt when Spike informs us ‘Fat Mike couldn’t be here tonight…..as he’s too busy rolling in ALL YOUR MONEY!’. The banter between the band members is fantastic, showing that their blatant use of the C word and ripping on each other is perfectly suited to the Australian audiences.
Giving the sold out crowd everything that they paid for (and some they didn’t), we’re treated to feverous guitar work from our own Chris Cheney, who is a perfect fit for the lead axe work. Cheney showcases why he’s one of our greatest guitarists, with flawless fretwork on classics such as ‘Rocket Man’ and ‘Mandy’. Spike’s ukulele work on the introduction to ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ gets the congregation groovin’, but this performance is far from over. Giving us everything from show tunes to R&B greats, it’s easy to see why these guys are the worlds greatest cover band.
As we all disembark the venue, snatching up merch on the way out, it’s a mixture of elation and the ever present chants of ‘Sweeeet Caroliiiine, DUN! DUN! DUUUUN!’. The 90’s punk crowd is satisfied. While we never got to hear any of the anthems of our youth, we did however get every punk cover song off nearly every 90’s punk album, crammed into a tidy 90 minute set. This one was definitely one for the ages.
Photos by JD Garrahy