The Tote, Melbourne

Words and photo: PAUL WINDOW

March 2013 is turning out to be one hell of a month for top shelf rock ‘n’ roll in Australia. Neil Young and Crazy Horse have just split eardrums all over the nation and Iggy And The Stooges were no slouches in continuing the trend.

Friday 15th March saw Deniz Tek arrive in Melbourne for his yearly visit, as has been his want for the last few years.

The Iceman was showcasing his new album "Detroit", available now on Citadel, and choice cuts from his extensive back catalogue he has accumulated in over 30 years of recording.

Deniz was scheduled to come on at midnight but for some reason he was unable to start until about ten past. Now ten minutes might not mean much to anyone but Deniz doesn’t come here often and it drives me nuts that more people don’t want to come and support one our finest performers. With a 1am curfew and a setlist of classic Tek tunes going unplayed, that is cause for concern.

The band started with a blistering version of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Well” with a real electric bluesy sound prevalent on the latest album. Then it was straight into some Birdman classics ‘Murder City Nights’ and the moody “Love Kills” augmented by Pip’s keyboards.

The next batches of tunes were from the recently released album Detroit.

(Read The Barman’s review and buy it!) ‘Pine Box’, a strident commentary about death eventually getting all of us; and ‘Twilight Of The Modern Age’ was reminiscent of the energy of Vertical/Outside from about 20 years ago. Deniz has not lost any of his edge or commitment to the live performance and as usual he surrounds himself with great musicians, Andy Newman on bass, Gerard Presland on drums and Pip Hoyle on keyboards.

The more brooding ‘Ghost Town’, a centre piece of the current LP name checking Detroit institutions fallen by the wayside…’Said goodbye to Jimi, Mopar and Henry Ford,’ reminded me of brother Wayne’s ‘Back To Detroit.’

Deniz returned to the crowd favourites after a couple more new tracks. The last few songs were almost prophetic in terms of the sudden end to the set, ‘Perfect World,’ ‘I’m Alright’ certainly summed up the high energy performance in front of a privileged few. ‘What Gives?’ then the finale, ‘Aloha Steve and Danno.’

Ever the seasoned professional Deniz opined at the end, “that’s it folks, I’m told we have to stop by 1 o’clock, we had a lot of songs to play, all these’ (as he raises a tantalizing set list of Tek nuggets to the appreciative crowd) ‘but management says we gotta stop, there’s a curfew, anyway thanks for coming down, really appreciate it.’

It was a great gig and the new album sounded fantastic. A few nights earlier Neil Young and Crazy Horse played for 3 hours, Deniz gets 45 minutes, What Gives?

(ED's NOTE: For a venue with a reputation as the "home of rock and roll", the Tote sure needs to lift its game. The venue failed to bill the gig on its website until the day of the show, the departing booker failed to supply Tek's management a worksheet and no staff on duty on the night seemed to know what time the bands were scheduled to play.)

Deniz Tek - I'm All Right @ The Tote, Collingwood (15th March 2013) from Carbie Warbie on Vimeo.



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