Hamilton Rock

Back in the day, when I lived in Hamilton, I used to go out and see bands play and drink beer. There was this exceptionally good month when I saw Captain Higiz play every weekend, four weeks in a row. There were so many excellent bands back then, MSU, The Hollow Grinders, Bwa Da Riddum, Trucker, Dean and a bunch of other ones that I can’t remember.

I then got into the Hamilton BBS scene and started writing reviews of the bands I saw shortly after I staggered home from the pub drunk, or sobering up. Yeah, I was pretty hard core back then, man. Here’s two.

Friday August 2, 1996, 1:32 am

“GUYS I HAVE FUCKED”

or

“RELAX, IT’S JUST A CONCERT REVIEW, DUDE”

Hi. Ok, heat deux of the Battle o’ the Bands was tonight at the Wailing Bongo I was there. I had three handles of Export and it was very nice.

First was Department of Correction. I didn’t see them, but they came second last year, so they might have been quite good, if you’re into industrial stuff.

Handle o’ Export Number 1: Trucker

Jamie, Paul, Stan and Paul II rocked very hard. They had the whole pop/rock thing worked out really well. Jamie’s guitar was chuggin’ along nicely, Stan provided little lead parts that sounded really good, Paul’s basslines were from the Planet of Sound and Paul II’s drumming was good too. They were so good that I symbolically had part of Jo’s beer to show that Trucker were worth more than just a handle.

Handle o’ Export Number 2: Disjecta Membra(ne)

Goth dude one, goth dude two and goth dude three and goth drum machine rocked the stage dressed in black. Goth dude three, the keyboardist apparently joined the band on Saturday, but more importantly, he is in my rock music class at uni. Goth dude one sang like the guy from Bauhaus and did some wheedly bits on his guitar, goth dude two played bass and goth drum machine kept a steady beat. A lot of their music was funeral stuff with scary organ music, but they did occasionally rock out, which caused The Goth Dude to get up and dance.

Handle o’ Export Number 3: Psyclops

Metaller 1, metaller 2, metaller 3 and Dylan the drummer had a big bad rock god thing going on. Every single guitar solo was wheedly wheedly weeeeee! At one stage one of the guitarists got so carried away with the sheer emotion of the wheedla that he jumped up on the speaker stack and let it rip. The thought occurred to me “Just because a person can type fast and accurately, doesn’t mean they can write well”. Oh yeah, Dylan the Drummer turned up at my 21st.

So the fascist judges went away and got pissed then came back and said the usual “it was a really hard decision, but in the end the best band won” which meant that they all suck so Department of Erection won. If the best band had actually one then Trucker would have won, so I don’t like the judges.

The whole gang was there. Sciflyer was there and so was David Hasslehoff, but most importantly, Biff Bangle was there and I was at one stage sitting a mere two metres from him.

And as for the title, there is some significance, somewhere out there. Just don’t start psychoanalysing it.

Party at Biff Bangles House, late ’96.

A thousand and one thoughts are buzzing in my head. They need to be written down.

Johnny Fist and the Horny Mormons were between songs. Someone in the audience yelled out “Play some Bryan Adams”. Another person yelled out “play some David Hasselhoff”. I was standing there thinking, “Hey, I can do that!”. May this whole rock thing isn’t as hard as it seems.

After seeing Biff Bangle drumming I am thinking of becoming a Buddhist, so that when I die I stand the chance of being reborn as the raw materials that might one day be made into a drum kit. I can only hope that Biff Bangle would somehow end up playing me.

I got to the party by following the cars and the music. I walked in and realised that I probably didn’t know anyone there. There were all these people with face paint, wigs and stuff walking around. There were sheets of silver stuff on the walls. I started to freak out. Like I was some really straight person stumbling into a dem of debauchery. Then I thought about it. If I’d known there was a wig thing happening I would have worn one. If I had ample supplies of silver stuff I’d stick that on the walls. No worries.

The party was throughout the whole house. The music people were in the front room with the bands, the happy people were in the lounge, the goths were in the kitchen, the stoners were beyond the kitchen. There seemed to be some action in the bathroom. I was considering going to the toilet, but I thought there would probably be a few people in there with drinks.

When Johnny Fist and the Horny Mormons were playing I caught myself air-guitarring. Not full-on wheedly shit, but my hands were just sort of in guitar-playing position.

And those rock songs were so good. Their version of “Smoke on the Water” was really evilly sexy. I’ve never felt compelled to describe a performance that way before.

What does it say about the youth of today that “Camel Walk” and “Miserlou” got everyone really excited?

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