CASANOVAS +
THE SPAZZYS
Corner Hotel
Friday 2 July 2004


By PATRICK EMERY

The Corner Hotel was packed to the rafters on Friday night to see the Melbourne launch of the Casanovas’ debut album.

The Spazzys' set was much tighter than earlier shows I’d seen. It would be trite and patronising to list the Spazzys' obvious garage/punk influences. It’s sufficient to say that they continue to enthusiastically explore and exploit their chosen genre and give the crowd some very good vibes. Is there any chance of Liz Dealey doing a guest spot with the Spazzys?

The Casanovas were greeted by rapturous applause and a swelling surge of bodies toward the stage. Beginning with a neat combination of power pop ("Here’s To It") and killer riffs ("Shake It"), the Casanovas easily met crowd expectations for a loud, raucous and entertaining gig.

Tommy Boyce plays the part of the guitar rock god with a very healthy dose of irony. His various permutations and combinations of facial grimaces and knee bend guitar solos kept the crow d continually amused and excited. While the band’s lyrics rarely stray from beer drenched activities, they are far from banal and frequently very witty (viz. "I'm into manogamy baby, though it sounds like wood" from "Nasty"). During the crowd pleasing "10 Outta 10", Boyce did his best Paul Stanley choreography ("
I wanna here the people over this side say 'yeah ... ' ") to engage the audience in a rousing sing along. Bass player Damian Campbell and ex-Onyas drummer Jaws Stanley (easing seamlessly into the band following the departure of Patrick Boyce) held things together with a tight rhythm combination.

The set list drew selectively from the recent self-titled album and earlier EPs and singles, all of which reflected and illustrated the Casanovas’ love of things fast and loud. With the eponymous tribute to Rose Tattoo, the band cut to the chase in paying tribute to its dominant musical influences. The band returned to the stage for an encore of "Living in the City" and Keep it Hot before concluding with a brutal version of "Just What the Doctor Ordered".

This was rock’n’roll stripped to bare basics, with a wash of heavy metal theatrics. The Casanovas never fail to entertain and amuse, with tongue firmly in cheek. To quote Molly: "Do y’self a favour".

1/2

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