Formed by Ed Kuepper in the 1990s, The Aints originally started doing The Saints covers, and then producing feedback-drenched originals. This time at Twin Towns Services Club in 2017, it was ‘The Aints Play the Saints’, an eagerly awaited gig. The Saints one of the most iconic punk rock bands ever, and everyone was keen to see what they produced.
Twin Towns may be known as a place for the oldies – and indeed there was more than a smattering of grey hair in the audience – but the Stardust Room is a great venue and the sound and stage are exemplary.
The evening started with Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers. A tight rocking outfit, playing their layered power pop and some pretty cool covers. ‘Twentieth Century Boy’, ‘Another Girl Another Planet’, and ‘Teenage Kicks’ among them. The preying mantis-like figure of Medew has not changed since his years with his best known outfit The Screaming Tribesmen. They played two old Tribesmen tracks, ‘Igloo’ and ‘Date with a Vampire’, which the crowd really dug. More than a few people there were right into the Mesmerisers and their tight, bright, rocking sounds.
The Aints were next on stage. Starting with ‘Messin with the Kid’, the crowd were loving it from the start. Ed Kuepper was taking it easy with lots of talking between songs, giving a little explanation of why some songs were written. In some cases, The Aints played songs which were recorded but never appeared on any albums, and Kuepper gave his explanation of why this had happened, so it was a little bit of an education as well. Looks like Ed must have had a big role in composing most of the songs they played.
The playing was great; Ed Kuepper’s buzzsaw SG Gibson was making beautiful sounds, (but maybe a bit different to back in 1975 when he played through an old Public Address system), that “amp” back in the day was a new form of loud and raw. The rhythm section of Peter Oxley from the Sunnyboys on bass, and Paul Larson from the Celibate Rifles on drums were superbly strong, tight, and with the repertoire extremely hard working.
The brass section was a great compliment, and of course a must for my favourite, ‘Know Your Product’. The pace was right on with ‘This Perfect Day’, with some slower songs before ‘Demolition Girl’ got everyone going again. ‘(I’m) Stranded’ had the audience in a frenzy, and of course the old Saint version of ‘River Deep Mountain High’ was great.
Overall it was a cool gig, with some great playing of a bunch of awesome songs. But honestly I did miss the snarling sarcastic vocal tones of Mr Chris Bailey, The Saints lead singer. One of my younger mates said to me, “You would have seen the original line up of these guys hey?” To which I replied I was 11 years of age when ‘(I’m) Stranded’ was released – not quite that old. But I was lucky enough to see Chris Bailey and Ed Kuepper on stage once at Pig City at Queensland University in 2007. That was an awesome gig, and I’m afraid will never happen again.
But hey it was a top night out, and it wasn’t The Saints after all, It was The Aints!
IMAGES (c) Peter Wheeler