The Empire, Annandale
June 10, 2006


It has been recently written at the I-94 Bar that blandness and apathy continue to conspire to put their evil sword into rock-n-roll, driving into into the heart of the kind of music that we have always covered. This gig at The Empire seems to be a vital part of the fight to keep it alive.

Opening were Sydney band King Felix previewing much of their upcoming self-titled CDLP, with original songs such as "Suburban Angst", "Housing Commission Blues", "More than Anything" and "Someone Like
You" and covers from Neil Young ("Too Far Gone"), The Easybeats ("Easy As Can Be") and Bob Dylan ("Baby, Let Me Follow You Down"). They also included The Byrds ("100 Years For Now").

The cover songs drew attention to the band's '60s and '70s rock influences and with their original material, proved the band have plenty of thoughts about the world today.

The first of two Melbourne-based bands, The Naked Eye (or according to the venue's advertising for tonight's gig "Naked on The Eye") followed and played a great set of the kind of the rock-n-roll, we can't get enough here at the i94 Bar. The band played material from both albums ("From Obscurity to Nowhere" and "Done and Dusted"). Songs like "Blessington Way", "Next to You", "From Obscurity to Nowhere" and "Outside" were stand-outs , as well as their takes on The Squires "Going All the Way" and The Eastern Dark's
"Stay Alone" (with ex-The Eastern Dark bassist Bill Gibson in the crowd).

Next were The Mystaken in its current four-piece configuration led by ex-Small Hand Gun (and Sydneysider) Sally Bailey and powerhouse young drummer Kati. This version of the band is a far cry from the fledging original line-up that begun playing around the traps in Melbourne in the late '90s. The set drew from the debut CD "Life's Never Been So Real". Killer songs such as "Midnight Rat" and "Kids" mixed it with some new
material and covers (The Sonics' "Strychnine"). Sally was in top form with hecklers and friends alike.

To close the night were local Sydney band Adolphus (or according to the venue's advertising for tonight's gig "Aldophus") comprising ex-members of The Lime Spiders and The Celibate Rifles.

Adolphus and its billing as headliner for Blast Off! 2 to this reviewer are a key part of the reason why the current state of the Sydney live music scene should not be ignored by so many.

Adolphus seem to continue to find its feet with their unique original rock-n-roll and are at their best for many when they rely on its "older" Lime Spiders material such as "Slave Girl", "Beyond the Fringe" and covers such as The Dead Boys "Ain't Nothin' to Do", all of which you'd think they'd tire of by now.

Blast Off! 2 was quite some blast for the committed and the unintiated - in other words, anyone keen to be part of the fight to keep our kind of rock-n-roll alive and well.