Scientists

You didn’t have to be in Beck’s Music Box last night to hear the Scientists, but if you wanted to see them perform an extended and reshuffled version of their Blood Red River album (and get a drink), you had to be there. They were loud.

Fortunately, we were warned by Guy whose team were doing the sound and we were given some decidamps along with the crew. [1]

I’m not familiar with the original album of six tracks compiled over East in the 80’s, but the extended version includes tracks from other albums, times, and lineups, so the show was full. However, they played the album, and then Kim Salmon announced that was the album over, ‘we can do what we like now’ 🙂

The show at the Music Box as part of the Perth International Arts Festival was a Don’t Look Back Concert presented by All Tomorrow’s Parties. Bands that perform Don’t Look Back shows, including Sonic Youth (also coming to the Music Box), reform to play a specified album complete, which I thought was a pretty cool concept.

The band has consisted of various lineups over the years, but last night it was Kim Salmon, Tony Thewlis, Boris Sujdovic and Leanne Cowie. Former members James Baker and Roddy Radalj (founding members of Le Hoodoo Gurus) joined Kim Salmon on stage to play ‘Frantic Romantic’ as part of an encore.

Although I used to listen to The Scientists a long time ago [2], in pubs not on albums, I haven’t listened or seen them recently. I must admit I had a faint sense of don’t look back which was funny as the concert was billed as “Performing Blood Red River in a Don’t Look Back Concert”. Previous concerts of musicians from my teenage years have been disappointing, ranging from pathetic to wondering why I’m there. I have come to the conclusion that it is better to dig out the albums now and again for a want of nostalgia, but seek out new music to go and see.

However, the Scientists last night turned that resolution about as I really enjoyed the evening with the band that invented the word ‘grunge’ (Kim Salmon on Long Way to the Top, ABC DVD). Interestingly, since discovering The White Stripes on rathergood.com, (Fell in Love With a Girl) and other musicians featuring Punk Kittens, I can see that my music taste is heavily influenced by this earlier mix of drums and guitar of bands like the Scientists.

Unlike the The White Stripes though, Kim Salmon doesn’t appear to get it about providing freely available well produced music tasters on the internet. Most of our purchases these days are from being able to see and hear songs on the internet, and going into our favourite music shop to see if they have the title or can get it in.

However, when The Scientists started in Perth, I was more of a see them live girl at that time, and didn’t buy albums. In an unrelated conversation with H prior to the show I had a little mini-reminisce that a lot of the pubs that had bands are no longer around. We both remembered the Raffles Hotel (since refurbished ) and the Shenton Park Hotel ironically knocked down to make way for seniors’ accommodation.

The Scientists were a hard act to follow, but Rocket to Memphis warmed up the after show party and got a few people dancing. We were able to stay for the whole set before running for the bus. Silly public transport. The last bus for us is 2317 from St Georges Terrace. Grrr.

[1] H wore his, but I got absorbed in the show too much to spend a moment to insert ear plugs. I don’t feel too bad, unless that part of my hearing went years ago 🙂
[2] “Perth’s music community finally has a commentary to call its own. In an attempt to answer the king of all drunken pub conversations” (X-Press Magazine) feature length documentary Something in the Water premiered at the Astor last week.

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