We took advantage of the light rail on Friday night, and it was great to get off the tram right at the door to Vinnies Dive, for a sold-out show for those punksters ‘The Hard-Ons’. You remember all those punks you went to school with? They were there. So were many friends from back in the day, those you used to catch up with late at night at the Surfers Surf Club, The Playroom, the Patch, Industry and the Jet Club. It seemed like it was our teenage years and early 20s revisited, or maybe a school reunion. We were an eclectic bunch at then and now, and everybody was ready to go.
First up was the F1-Elevens, and these guys are exactly as their name says – close to supersonic in some songs, dropping back back to subsonic, and then dropping into overdrive. Like Stoner Rock on ice. They do rock and they can do it with a foot flat to the floor. I had a bit of a chat to Shane, lead singer-guitarist after the gig, and you know what – you can see it there all about having fun and loving what they do. They’re not going to be megastars of the rock scene, but they sure have some fun, and you can see and hear it on stage.
The F1-Elevens had warmed it up nicely for The Hard Ons. It was next level loud, the sound was a little bit blurred at the start, but as the songs cranked through to the middle of the set, the sound cleaned up and it was pumping. For me, it was funny seeing Mr Happy Feet (Keish ) dancing along, he looked quite happy and controlled amongst the sonic destruction coming from the guitar and amp from Blackie, and the super drone grind of Ray’s bass. No more drums for Keish, far from the days when I saw them play at Bartletts Barn at the Hinterland Tavern at Nerang when they were three-piece and it was a power bubble gum punk-pop. The Hard Ons have gotten a lot harder in their old age, but still kicking out the jams, I’ll tell you that.
Concrete (Murray Rose) smashed the drums, he was like a runaway train at full boost. It was thumping and the bar was pumping with a sweat-laden sonic wall driving the mania. The crew were getting crazy, even some crowd surfing going on up the walls, and when The Hard Ons wrapped it up, they did so with the classic ‘Suck and Swallow’. The crowd loved it and went nuts.
Some of the audience were yelling out for the first single ‘Surf on My Face’ but those days are long gone. They have grown up and gotten heavier- No ‘Girl in the Sweater’, no ‘Bye-Bye Girl’, it was pretty obvious the band had moved on from those days. The crowd had a ball enjoyed it immensely – another great gig at Vinnies Dive. So there you go, a top night everybody was happy, and with good vablue drink prices, maybe a bit average the next day!
Images (C) Peter Wheeler Photography