BILLY CHILDISH AND THE BUFF MEDWAYS
+ THE BOOBY TRAPS
December 2, 2005
By SIMON LI
The long awaited tour of Kent's (seemingly) last rock-n-roller "Wild" Billy Childish under the moniker of The Buff Medways was opened with tonights gig and was to be followed with a round of show Buff Medways shows in Melbourne and at The Meredith Music Festival in regional Victoria, with a "spoken word" show or (possibly) two.
Local female-led five-piece The Booby Traps were in support and for me somewhat an inconsistent live band. Featuring ex-members of Sydney bands The Thurston Howlers, The Hazelwoods, The Del-Emmas and The Intercontinental Playboys, they not surprisingly play a brand of '60s garage fuzz, which took some time to take some hold.
The Buff Medways then took the stage, featuring Billy Childish on vocals and guitar, "Nurse Julie" on bass and vocals and drummer Wolf Howard, together with the band's own smaller-sized PA sound system, operating next to the house PA. The band leapt straight into its raw, high energy brand of '60s garage, with a (not suprisingly) strong British flavour, in terms of sound and attitude.
I'm not so familiar with this band's repetoire and they preumably played mostly Buff Medways material - rarely, if ever,
drawn into songs from Billy Childish's former groups (The Milkshakes, Thee Mighty Caesars, The Pop Rivets and/or Thee Headcoats). Strange, given this was Billy Childish's first tour of Australia.
The man himself proved something of a revelation with his raw, fuzzed sounds and great raw, guitar playing. He even (strangely) slipped into a capella mode now and theen, which might have been an indication of this l,ine-up's lack of familiarity with some of his older and/or rarely-played, self-penned songs.
Songs such as "Troubled Mind", "Nurse Julie" and "Sally Sensation" were highlights and the set was closed with a great take on the Hendrix classic "Fire".
Through the encore the band delivered a cool take on instrumental classic "Comanche" and the gig would eventually close with Billy singing alone and without his guitar on "Black Dog", whose lyrics made reference to country/folk standard "In the Pines".
The Buff Medways at the Annandale Hotel was a gig to be savoured by Billy Childish and British 60s garage fans alike.
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