King Buzzo @ Anita’s Theatre, 22nd August ’14 – Across The Ocean

King Buzzo @ Anita’s Theatre, 22nd August ’14

King Buzzo acoustic? Surely that is an oxymoron if there ever was one.

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Here we have the widely adored frontman of seminal grunge pioneers The Melvins, who have been responsible for over 30 years of merciless eardum bludgeoning sludge. Always one partial to experimentation, Buzz Osbourne has ventured back to our shores armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar. Awe and curiosity coalesce and Across The Ocean are powerless to resist investigation.

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The small South Coast township of Thirroul seems an unlikely location for such an event. Scampering in from the deserted streets moistened from perpetual precipitation, we find a healthy crowd of fervent followers loitering patiently. Politely punctual, Buzzo strolls nonchantly on stage, detunes the bejesus out of his guitar and proceeds to unleash. Is sludge/folk a genre? It is now. Large grey afro bobbing around, we see an acoustic guitar molested in a manner not experienced hitherto.

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KB prowls the stage in relentless circles, pausing occasionally to target random audience members with baleful stares.

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Flurried riffarama gives way without warning to deathly quiet muted guitar where it would be possible to hear a pin drop if not for the nervous chuckles of those being glared at. During one of these near silent moments he steps up and sings for the first time with a contrastingly violent delivery that has a fair portion of the crowd literally jumping in shock.

An acoustic performance like no other unfolds before us. Playing a pleasing mix of Melvins classics and material off his solo record ‘This Machine Kills Artists‘, we are treated to a constantly surreal and entertaining show.

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Music aside, the man has a somewhat suprising penchant for spinning a yarn. The metamorphosis from intimidating madman to affable stand up comedian was almost schitzophrenic and further indicative of a unique talent. Promising us “semi funny but basically pointless stories” and referring to himself as “the biggest asshole in the world” the intrigued gathering is then privy to an amusing anecdote about his great mate Mike Patton (that story would require it’s own seperate review to do it justice).

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We walk out glowing with the knowledge we had experienced something truly unique. It is inspiring that at 50 years young this revered musician is pushing himself out of his comfort zone, away from the safety of noise that has accompanied him all these years. Not content to rest on his well earnt laurels, KB has challenged himself to enter new terrain and tonight the folk of Thirroul were privileged to witness it.

Photos: Benon Julius William Otto Koebsch

Gavin Stocker

Gavin Stocker

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Outside of Across The Ocean Gavin Stocker writes, records and performs music under the moniker of P Truck.

He can also be found clinging to his youth on a skateboard or wandering aimlessly through the bush.
Gavin Stocker