Updated: Jul 4, 2019
The follow up to their debut album Different Beings Being Different has been recorded, and a new single is out, so what better time for West Thebarton to head out on tour. It was fever pitch when we caught the band a few months ago at BeerInCider, and we had to see if they could follow it up at The Triffid last Friday night.
Tasmanian garage rockers A.Swayze & the Ghosts opened things up with one the most bizarre sets I can recall. It started as you would expect, with leading man Andrew out in front, his eccentric combination of swagger and flamboyancy on display. The kind of scene stealing moves you need if you want to name a band after yourself.
Halfway through ‘Reciprocation', the band’s 10 minute ballad/slow burner/jam session, was where things started to escalate.
Even before the song was half done, Andrew was off the stage, down at the barrier. He leapt out, and caught the crowd unaware who almost dropped him. But they recovered and he surfed over them before returning to the stage.
The track then hit a long instrumental and Andrew had his tambourine out. It looked as though he was heading for another crowd surf.
But instead, Andrew casually hurdled the barrier and started to work his way to the back of the room, still playing his tambourine as he went.
At this point I was pretty bloody confused. The rest of the band were still on stage, playing as though nothing had happened, while their lead singer was now almost at a different venue. Andrew then paused, shot across to the bar at the back, grabbed a fresh pint, and then rushed back on stage to finish the track.
I can honestly say that was the first time I had ever seen an artist use an instrumental as an opportunity to complete a drink run. And I’m still unsure if I am insulted or impressed.
It was shortly after the impromptu beer break that someone said those dreaded words. The same words I hear at every concert:
“Do a shoey.”
Andrew looked to contemplate the request for a moment, as he stared at the almost fresh pint in his hand, before firing back:
“I’m not doing a shoey, I’m not Luca Brasi you f**k”.
“But you can do one up here if you like.”
And credit to Matt, our courageous idiot of a heckler, he actually got up on stage. Andrew passed Matt the mic and had him introduce himself to the crowd. Andrew lifted his now half empty beer to Matt and said, ‘Here’s what I think of shoeys”.
Before Matt could blink, the glass had been tipped over his head, and beer had poured over him. A shocked Matt left the stage and the show just continued on.
If you are reading this with a beer in hand, please pour one out in remembrance of poor foolish Matt. Just preferably not over his head.
Still in mild shock from the absolute insanity I had witnessed during the A.Swayze & the Ghosts set, it was time for West Thebarton.
To any folks out there who have never see West Thebarton and are thinking of getting along to a gig soon, bring a spare shirt. It is going to get sweaty.
The new album may not be out yet, but, that didn’t stop the band from trying out a few unreleased tracks. First of the fresh cuts and first track of the set was ‘Cold Feet’. Frontman Ray blasted into the song with a huge double jump kick into the air, a move he would bust out more than once over the evening.
Tried and true classic ‘Stuck On You’ came immediately after, and things were already getting hot and heavy in the crowd. The surge to the stage was strong enough; the circle pit was struggling to open up.
The halfway mark of the set saw a smooth one-two combination of new track ‘Desire’ and peak early West Thebarton ‘Moving Out’, which continues to be a personal favourite.
It was followed up with another newy, the aptly named ‘Neck Pains’, which is a chronic condition I may or may not suffer from having attended so many West Thebarton gigs.
As we headed towards the end, it got real old school. The band took it all the way back to the Brothel Party. It may have come out under a different lineup and a different band name, but ‘Glenn McGrath’ remains a close second to the legendary cricketer it is named after.
And before you ask, yeah, Ray busted out some more jump kicks during that one.
The tour title track, ‘Tops’, was the second last to get a play. It has been a staple on my playlists since it dropped and it was great to finally hear Ray and co belt it out live. ‘Bible Camp’ was the last song of the evening and West Thebarton don’t do encores, so, we knew the band planned to go out in an absolute blaze of glory.
I walked out as sweaty as always, with some not so mild ringing in my ears and a drum stick in hand (cheers Caitlin).The ‘Tops’ tour may be all over, but with a new album recorded, it should only be a matter of time until West Thebarton hits the road again. With even more new songs in tow. See you then.
Stuck On You
Set It Straight
Do You Believe