It’s Friday night and Spiderbait were in town! I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else and my love of this band goes right, right, right back to the beginning. This tour compared to others was a little bit more special and unique dedicated entirely to celebrating the legacy of their revolutionary bass player Janet English, in support of their new album, Sounds in The Key of J. It was fantastic to hear a lot of songs live that I’ve near heard before as well as some of the ones that are more complicated to play live.
Opening proceedings was Adelaide band Molly Rocket who came charging out of the gates at break neck speed. They make plenty of the right noises to be one of those bands to keep an eye out. This was my first time seeing they play live and armed with a few singles we can only look forward to an album or EP at some stage. Even Janet English later in Spiderbait’s set acknowledged there are so many good bands coming out of Adelaide including Molly Rocket.
Spiderbait! I can’t believe that this show was not a sell out and more were there to see and acknowledge the legacy of Janet English. Kram made a few congratulatory comments to Janet before they got started even saying that “if I survive Hindley Street, I might see you in the morning”. This show was played in chronological order on the Sounds In The Key of J which made sense covering songs from the start of their career right up to now. What a start with I Gotta Know and Jesus! Hot damn! Yeah Oh Yeah prompted the comment from Kram “how the fuck do I play this these days, I’m so fucking old. I either rest or plot my own demise”.
Hot Water & Milk was sensational and Spiderbait powered their way through Goosh and Conjunctivitis. Janet played acoustic on Goin’ Off slowing things down a tad. Kram described how they wanted to make bigger and crazier sounding records making a comparison to Crowded House’s Woodface album and how they wanted to make one of those. He also said that they tried playing Gockenpop with other people and trying other ways to play it pulling out his own glockenspiel which got a huge applause going back to where the song had started.
It was great to hear songs from Grand Slam, an album which no doubt has its challenges to play live. Well, they played a few of them tonight with great success including Bessy’s Last Journey, Daisy May, Lickety Split and Stevie. Outta My Head was an absolute banger and kram described Inner Ear Infection as haunting and beautiful at the same, “a bit like Janet”. Fuckin’ Awesome got the crowd singing and hearing Cows was just tops. Kram said that he might drop dead after playing the next two songs, In The City and Riffer, but what better place than Adelaide.
So many good songs and they kept coming with Live In A Box (a song Janet was forced to play but now loves it), the stunning The Sun Will Come Shining finishing on It’s Beautiful and newish single My Car’s A UFO. There is so much love for each other in this band and they are like family and it was hard not to feel the emotion when they returned to the stage for an encore. Plenty of hugs and being the end of this special tour Janet was quite emotional.
Seeing Kram on acoustic was fantastic and A Ballad Of Whitby Farm was a song about growing up in Finley. In contrast Footy was about how “shit” it was to grow up in a country town. Acknowledging Molly Rocket the next one Alex The Seal (more commonly known as Our Lips Our Sealed by The Go-Go’s) was a big highlight for me. Janet thanked the band and crowd for making all her dreams come true playing an epic version of Calypso. So good! Some might say there were some noticeable songs missing from the set but there will be plenty of chances to hear those again. Fantastic show! Congratulations Janet… Kram and Whitt!
Live Review By Rob Lyon