Posted October 2, 2007
By THE BARMAN
Lime Spiders gigs are uncommon events and as much a a release for the band members as the fans, drummer Richard Lawson reveals.
"I think there is a definable Lime Spiders sound. It'd probably be even more full-on if we ever did get together and write anything new.
"When we play, we just really enjoy that sound.
"We just enjoy getting our rocks off. We enjoy turning things up, hitting things loud. We just get taken up in the moment.
"In a way it's good that we're all doing different things because then we can get back together and concentrate afresh on doing the Lime Spiders."
The band's reconvening for a full-blown Australian tour in November-December '07 is on the back of a new album "Live At The Esplanade".
It's a crunching set from their brief 1998 tour that'll delight anyone who saw the band then or anytime else, with the added bonus of two previously unheard songs. It'll be out on Fig Tree Music, the label run by Lawson and bluesman/label manager Cletis Carr.
"That '98 tour was the firsttime we'd really played since the major run in 1994. It was recorded at the Espy in St Kilda through the same desk they still use for the Rockwizz TV show.
"We used Oysters, Midnight Oil's sound guy, and it was recorded straight to tape.
"As soon as I heard it, I went: 'That sounds awesome!' Oyster was a very, very good mixer and he got a great sound on tape."
It's also a good reason to dust off the gig-going shoes - or to get acquainted if you're under 40.
If you didn't already know, the Lime Spiders began life as the fuzzed out progeny of the Nuggets album - and grew into something of a musical meeting place for a much more diverse set of influences.
The Who, prog rock, punk and the Detroit psycho rock of Alice Cooper all got bundled up into the show. The band spanned three studio albums and a string of charting singles over a career lasting from 1979-92. Their "Slave Girl" 7" is an underground 1980s classic.
But back to the present and the Spiders are nothing if not a diverse crew away from their sporadic reunions.
Richard Lawson spends much of his time as a guitarist and half of rootsy folk and world music duo Blue Valentine, alongside vocalist Fiona Harris. Their debut album is out through Inertia and he lives in Mudgee and Sydney.
His previous band, Fig Tree Renaissance, were similarly rootsy and the ranks included ex-Moffas mainman Tom Kazas.
Longtime guitarist Gerard Corben is a member of both power combo Adolphus and Mark Sisto's eclectic Vindicator Electro, but has won wider acclaim in country-blues circles as a member of Wheelers and Dealers. They recently backed the legendary Albert Lee on Australian dates.
"Ged's playing a lot of guitar and mandolin and dobro. Really geting his chops up," Richard says.
"We have a standing joke about him getting a mandolin out and doing a solo on 'Slave Girl'.
"We're both doing a lot of music teaching. I do a lot of drums and vocals teaching, Ged does a lot of guitar teaching - to the extent that we're both able to work fulltime in music."
There's a change in the line-up this time out. Tony Bambach has retired to spend time with his family and to concentrate on Adophus and Phil Hall (fulltime member from 1998-92) is back.
"Phil Hall works in linguistics research and does a lot of travel overseas, getting his frequent flyer points up."
Vocalist Mick Blood is again nursing in longtime home Perth, after a spell in Melbourne working on some yet-to-be-released recordings with his own solo band, Blood Group, who included Spencer P. Jones.
"Mick's back in Perth and has quite a nice little network there, with Dom Mariani and Roddy Ray'da. He's right on the beach at Cottesloe," Lawson adds.
Then there's guitarist Dave Sparks, a fixture since the '90s reunion gigs, and his other band, The Countdown Explosion.
"Dave's retired and living on the NSW South Coast after making his millions from warehouses but plays in the house band for the Countdown Explosion (a revival tour for '70s and '80s popstars who were part of the TV show Countdown, Australia's version of Top of the Pops.)
"He did a starring role on that tour as Vincent Price from the 'Thriller' filmclip!"
While the Spiders never knowingly attracted Jacko as a fan in their heyday, they could number Joey Ramone, Jello Biafra and Iggy Pop among their followers. Lawson says his time in the band (he joined in '83) was an enjoyable blur.
"We did have that magic moment up in Byron Bay when a hippie got up and played a flute solo with us, prancing around in a sarong. We're were beside ourselves.
"But it'll be full-on this tour - we're not about to start playing dobro solos, put it that way."
Brooding guitarist Richard Jakimyszyn (who guested on the one-off Annandale gig in May 2006) has stood down. Fans are still talking about that show - and Lawson agrees it was a cracker.
"Everything just clicked. We had Richard Jakimyszyn back on guitar. Him and Ged together. It was just as intense, maybe a bit more defined and not as messy.
"Since the DKT-MC5 support in Sydney (in 2004) we've done two shows at the Annandale. Basically, because we could. And they were fantastic."
As to more touring - especially overseas - it's all a matter of timing and availability.
"Two record companies and a management company are really keen. We're using Myspace a bit.
"We'll see how it goes. We haven't been back to Europe since, I think, '90."
What do they say about absence making the heart grow fonder? Don't discount another chapter being written.
Tour Dates 2007:
Thu 01 Nov- BARWON CLUB HOTEL– Geelong, VIC
Tix and info- www.myspace.com/barwonclubhotel or 03 5221 4584
Fri 02 Nov- ESPLANADE HOTEL – St Kilda, VIC (album launch)
Tix and info- www.espy.com.au or 03 9534 0211
Sat 03 Nov- GAELIC CLUB – Sydney, NSW
Tix and info- www.thegaelicclub.com or 02 9211 1687
Fri 09 Nov- MIAMI TAVERN – Gold Coast, QLD
Tix and info- www.miamitavern.com.au or 07 5535 1366
Sat 10 Nov- STEP INN – Brisbane, QLD
Tix and info- www.oztix.com.au or 1300 762 545
Fri 30 Nov- AMPLIFIER BAR – Perth, WA
Tix and info- www.amplifiercapitol.com.au or 1300 GET TIX
Sat 01 Dec- MOJO’S BAR – North Fremantle, WA
Tix and info- www.mojosbar.com.au or 9430 4010
Sun 02 Dec- GOVERNOR HINDMARSH HOTEL - Adelaide, SA
Tix and info- www.venuetix.com.au 8225 8888 or venue 8340 0744
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