Counterfeit Tribute Night: Ween Keen 5 – Across The Ocean

Counterfeit Tribute Night: Ween Keen 5

It’s a windy winters night and Sydney’s Imperial Hotel is host to a bevy of like-minded music lovers in appreciation of a little band called Ween.

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A joyous celebration of all things Boognish, Ween Keen 5 is another proud notch in the belt of Cadence Commotion’s Counterfeit Tribute Nights and as per previous incarnations it’s an evening to be remembered.

Ween love aside, Across The Ocean staff are also here to support our own Gavin Stocker in his outfit Corridor of Uncertainty, tonight’s opening act which sets the tone for an onslaught of silliness… Ween-style.

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The Imperial’s Cabaret room is slowly filling up as a Gav kicks off precedings with the halo of the Boognish behind him. Falling Out is the opening track with The Corridor’s choice of setlist characteristic of his much-loved sardonic style.

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Tender Situation leads us in to a sweet accoustic take on Captain Fantasy and by the time She Fucks Me is underway, there are some gruff voices in the audience trying to match The Corridor’s afflicted growls in singalong appreciation.

With a red glow bathing the stage, Dominic Sheils’ Dom n’ O take up post for a charismatic performance, complete with “Homo Rainbow(s)” and hearty advice – Don’t Shit Where You Eat.

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The crowd is settling right into the warm, baroquely decorated setting of the Cabaret Room and many have taken clothing along to be branded with the Boognish thanks to Rex and his stencil. This is such an awesome idea and no doubt leaves many proudly clad, but sadly, the combination of spraypaint and confined indoor spaces does lead to some complaints.

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The fumes are pretty difficult to ignore but then again maybe they’re adding to the heady atmosphere as we all sing along heartily to Piss Up A Rope.

The Jaunt Brothers have nailed it with their theatrical Boognish masks as they take the stage for the percussive trippiness of Blackjack and Candi.

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Event organiser, Leyne Elbourne sums up their vibe playfully when she thanks them for “opening everyone up to some of the more Mainstream Ween Stuff”.

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The boozy sensibility in the room intensifies and it’s time to confess that much of the night is, from here on in, a delightful blur.

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Eddie Dingle & The Kaiser Buns have chosen songs that suit female vocals perfectly with a goosebump inducing Someday and a standout redition of Mononucleosis.

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An apt prediction from a wise man beside me says that the energy is “about to go up a notch” as Schwebel take the stage with Take Me Away.

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Right across the room, from the stage to the bar we all bounce along to Roses Are Free and of course who can resist the charms of Ocean Man.

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At some point Leyne Elbourne is up there on drums with her own band Luna Bugs, summing up the shared love in the atmosphere quipping “How do you find this many people who like Ween?”.

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T’Mershi Duween bring us the big band goodness of La Cucheracha, complete with a leopard print hat and Egg bring us alluring versions of Gabrielle and The Mollusk.

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There’s lots of silly dancing afloat for I Dont Wanna Leave You On The Farm with City Of Weiners, and at some stage thanks go out to DJ Halloween on sound.

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By the time Trop Fort hit the stage things are pretty loose. Singer Brian Campeau is singing horizontally on the stage floor, getting amongst it on the dancefloor and for Your Party pinning an unsuspecting girl against a wall while belting out My Own Bare Hands.

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It’s an almost perfect ending to a night of totally unashamed Ween love except for the profound absense of Where’d The Cheese Go? While some of us lament the cheese finale we’d been promised, we all exit with the warmth of the Boognish upon our souls. Bring on Ween Keen 6!

Photos: Benon Julius William Otto Koebsch

Kat Gilbert

Kat Gilbert

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kat Gilbert comes to ATO with no further credentials than a love of live music and a passion for penning her two cents worth.

When Kat’s not catching a gig you can find her pondering the meaning of life at her graphic design day job or taking long walks on the beach in fluffy pink moccasins.
Kat Gilbert