Tropical Fu*k Storm, All The Weathers, Surfbort @ The Gov, Adelaide 24/10/2019

While sometimes the supports can be at odds with the main acts musically, it is refreshing that someone has got it correct tonight as the two supports, All the Weathers and Surfbort, complementing each other as well as Tropical Fu*k Storm.

All the Weathers are from Tasmania and although they have been to Adelaide in the past, I have not seen them before tonight. Callum Cusick, Georgia Lucy, and Gigi Lynn switch instruments after nearly every song of their enjoyable but short, energetic, shambolic set that includes songs about The Brisbane Hotel in Hobart (their favourite pub), Bordertown, and even their own theme song.

Surfbort is a band from Brooklyn, New York fronted by Dani Miller who originally had put the band together as a joke. There have been a few line-up changes before settling with the current one made up of guitarist Alex Kilgore, David Head on bass and drummer Sean Powell all coming with a history of having played in hardcore bands. They played a tight set that brought to mind the pacing of the Dead Kennedys with Dani thoroughly enjoying her role and losing herself in the music and leaving the stage a couple of times to sing and dance amongst the audience.

Returning to the Gov since they were last here supporting King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard in 2018, Tropical Fu*k Storm could be regarded as a continuation of the Drones under another name. Musically there has been a diversion into more anarchic, loose and experimental music with mainstays and partners Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin having taken on new members Lauren Hammel on guitars and keyboards and Erica Dunn on drums. During their set tonight, they play songs from their two albums as well as single b-sides although not playing any material released as the Drones as they have done at other shows.

In amongst a set of funky drummer mutant blues, intertwined, chanted female co-vocals and unrelenting feedback, it may not be that easy to connect the dots that are their influences but with effort you can find clues – the opening intro music (Cold Chisel’s Saturday Night), the covers of Lost Animal’s Lose the Baby and the Divinyls Back To The Wall (they have also done a cover of the Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive, although it is not played tonight).

A couple of times it is mentioned as being a school night and in a moment of downtime, we learn a little about crystal meth in a break between songs. Gareth educates us that Adelaide is the crystal meth capital of Australia and that Nazis invented crystal meth among other things (Volkswagens and Hugo Boss). Gareth was in fine form tonight and his distinct vocals and controlled aggression on the guitar is magnificent. This was no more evident in the extended version of Two Afternoons which featured a pedal board effects solo by Gareth.

Late in the set, Gareth receives a shirt thrown from the audience but declines to exchange it for his own. When someone else in the audience asks for the shirt, this leads to Gareth calling it “Ladies Night at the Gov” and asking for male strippers to join them leading to a stage full of people in varying states of undress. One participant’s over-enthusiasm resulted in full-frontal nudity and very nearly resulted in the onstage sexual assault of Georgia from All the Weathers.

There are a further couple of songs played in an encore but this moment of unwelcome ugliness leading up the end of their set may have taken away from somewhat would have otherwise been a near-perfect evening of music and noise.

Live Review By Rick De Pizzol