RADIO BIRDMAN
+ ADOLPHUS
Manly Fishos, NSW
Friday October 14, 2005


By RICHARD SHARMAN

Arriving at the Fishos, I was greeted by a queue to the door waiting for people to sign in, after doing the slow shuffle it was upstairs where I was greeted by another queue to pay and then an even larger line-up at the bar! With that many lines, I get the feeling the place was run by a bunch of Poms!

Finally, with a soothing ale in hand I managed to catch the last few songs Adolphus were belting out – The Lime Spiders classic “Slave Girl”, followed by The Pistols “Liar” then a couple more Spiders tunes to close things out “25th Hour” and “Beyond the Fridge” – all great stuff, but this was just the war- up.

I made sure I was positioned front and centre before Radio Birdman took to the stage shortly after 10. They launched into a new song “What’s It For” before heading into more familiar territory with “Do The Pop”, “Non Stop Girls” and “I-94”. The band hadn’t left off from the last show I saw them play at the Annandale in July, if anything they were more energised and so was the crowd.

Rob Younger was literally in my face and was pulling out all his trademark moves and really delivering on the vocals. Off to the left Chris “Klondike” Masuak was sounding like a demon on his Gibson Explorer and to the right Deniz Tek was giving a rock guitar master class – the interplay between the two was something to behold. Then you had the dapper Pip Hoyle off to left of stage adding his fine keyboard melodies to the mix and it was all anchored by the rocking bass lines Jim Dickson was laying down and the primal powerhouse beats Rusty Hopkinson was belting out. I was privileged to have witnessed the two best drummers in Australia in the space of five days – I won’t tell you who the other one was, but his drumming has copped a rap in another review of mine that has graced these pages recently. The addition of Rusty to the Birdman line-up has reinvigorated them and it’s great to see a guy enjoying his work so much behind the kit.

The band then ripped through “Hand of Law”, “Alone in the End Zone”, another newie “Connected” before ripping into the classic Stooges “Search and Destroy”. By this stage, the crowd was going berserk – the sweat and energy were flowing and both the band and crowd seemed to be feeding off each other.

Next up was another new tune “Remorseless”, then “Man with Golden Helmet” was given a real workout. Then the pedal was pushed firmly to the metal with “Murder City Nights”, “Descent into the Maelstrom” a really rocking new song called “Make it Worse”, “Anglo Girl Desire”, “What Gives” and then the set closing “Aloha Steve and Danno”.

The mayhem up the front was something to behold… the crowd was going off – bodies thrown into the fray and the stage… the sweat was flowing… the band was pumping and energy levels from all concerned were maxed out.

The crowd and I’m sure the band took a well earned breather and refreshment break before Birdman once again took to the stage and belted out “Smith and Wesson Blues”, “Breaks my Heart” and delivered a show stopping “New Race”.

I think at this stage many in the crowd thought it was all over… but it was a case of but there’s more… first off was the White Rabbitish “Heyday” followed by “Burn my Eye” and then a tour de force version of the 13th Floor Elevators opus “You’re Gonna Miss Me”.

Wow… talk about a rock show! This was maximum rock and roll at its finest!

Highlights for mine were the energy levels and performance of the band, Rusty’s drumming and the delivery of “Hand of Law”, “Search and Destroy”, “Man with Golden Helmet”, “Murder City Nights”, “Descent into the Maelstrom” (which is what it was up the front), “Make it Worse”, “Aloha Steve and Danno”, “New Race” and “You’re Gonna Miss Me”.

The best show I have seen all year! This is a band on fire and not to be missed if you get the chance to see them.

 

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