Friday September 9, 2005
Excelsior Hotel, Surry Hills, Sydney


Another Friday night at The Excelsior which, under new management, is continuing its fine tradition of supporting great Australian music. Good luck to the new team, let’s hope they continue to build on the fine reputation of the Ex!

First up were Mink Jaguar, who I had the pleasure of seeing for the first time a couple of weeks previously. A three-piece who rock pretty well, a touch of rockabilly, a touch of the Clash – a good way to kick off proceedings for the evening.

Next up were the Brisbane outfit The Busymen – a four piece who mine the rich vein of 60s garage punk. They give a big nod to the Lime Spiders, nice fuzz guitar and tight rhythm section with a slightly deranged lead singer – worth checking out for his off beat tambourine style and random leaps from the stage. Good strong songs and a good sound.

After a brief interlude in the front bar where I caught the dying moments of the Sydney Swans' come-from-behind win on TV it was back to the bar room for the main event.

This is a slightly different incarnation of The Love Addicts from the last line up I saw. Rilen on guitar and vocals, Cathy Green on bass, Kim Volkman on guitar and Theo Katz taking the seat behind the drum kit.

Kim Volkman

The band kicked off with “Booze to Blame”, the sound was loud, dirty and tight as a fish’s arsehole. Rilen’s rasping and howling vocals, and thrashing rhythm guitar anchored by the rock solid beats and bass lines hammered out by Green and Katz overlaid with the sizzling lead and slide guitar from Kim Volkman.

You can tell just how seriously Ian Rilen takes duties with the Love Addicts, for a man famed for his rock n roll excess, it was ice water all the way, no signs of the alcohol/drug excess that at times has fuelled some of Rilen’s performances in the past.

Cathy Green

The band tore through the huge Rilen back catalogue with songs new and old, highlights being “401”, “Mobile Phone”, “Happy”, “Deep Sea Floors”, “Cold Wind”, “Passion Boots and Bruises”, “Wishing Well” and the song that sums it all up for Rilen, “Rock N Roll Man”. The hour and a half long set flew by far too quickly but the memories will linger for a long time to come.

This was a rock performance from the heart, no bullshit here just passion, emotion and energy. Definitely the best band I have seen this year – this is the real deal! If you like your music white hot and smoking this is the shit for you.