The Spazzys + Mach Pelican
The Marquee, Camperdown
September 23, 2004
It’s surprising, the rare instances of instances of Sydney gig goers moving from one venue to another, during the same evening. So it was when King Felix took to the Annandale Hotel and not too far away, Melbourne’s biggest Ramones disciples The Spazzys and Mach Pelican, appeared at The Marquee, in the neighbouring inner-western Sydney suburb of Camperdown.
King Felix twere making a rare appearance outside the confines of Sydney’s KB Hotel and were without recently-added second guitarist John South (ex-Hunchbacks). They nonetheless played a set to a typically unappreciative and apathetic Sydney crowd, most of whom were quite likely waiting around for their mates in the other bands on the bill.
King Felix’s more up tempo original compositions (“Fell for You”, ”Save my Soul” and ”Stalker”) sat well with their slower tunes (“Housing Commission Blues” and ”More than Anything”.) A newer tune, drawing more from the bands high energy rock-n-roll roots and was a smart inclusion.
It was then time to move on to The Marquee for The Spazzys and Mach Pelican, a pair of Melbourne punk rock trios who clearly worship New York legends The Ramones far and away more than most.
I’d seen Mach Pelican, earlier this year in Melbourne with a second guitarist (who according to the band, just happened to be in town and was not a permanent addition to the band) and they delivered a fine version of Radio Birdman’s ”455 SD” that night. This Birdman classic was not to be aired tonight, the band instead opening with the Ray Columbus and The Invaders ‘60s hit “She’s a Mod”. From there on it was an enjoyable and energetic set of older, and newer, tunes.
The Spazzys were in town to launch their debut CDLP “Aloha Go Bananas” and with tunes such as “Sunshine Drive”, “I Wanna Cut My Hair Like Marky Ramone”, ”Hey Hey Baby”, “My Boyfriend’s Back”, “My Car Doesn’t Brake” and “You Left My Heart in the Garage” proved they had plenty of the rock and a good dose of roll.
A member of the audience had been so rocked he decided to sneak onstage and get naked. He was saved from a summary eviction by the band, who insisted he stay inside.
The Spazzys closed their set with a take on The Ramones’ “Carbona not Glue” and returned to open its encore with another massive homage to The Ramones in “Paco Doesn’t Love Me” which really had the audience all ‘Spazzed’ out.
The Spazzys have continually impressed me and I can’t help but admire the band. No compliments to some of the Marquee audience, who seemed to have emanated from nearest tip and probably learned their (what might be loosely termed) “manners” in the nearest barnyard, alongside all kinds of desperate farm animals. – Simon Li
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