Spiderbait @ The Metro, 8th August ’14 – Across The Ocean

Spiderbait @ The Metro, 8th August ’14

The Metro, scene of many a Spiderbait conquest of yesteryear, is bursting at the seams on this wintry Friday evening.

As hits from the 80’s pump out over the room pre gig, the predominantly older crowd sings along emphatically, revelling in the days of yore. The singing and air punching did begin to lose it’s fervour as the stars of the evening weren’t in a particurlarly punctual frame of mind, eventually strolling on stage around twenty minutes late.

Any nascent impatience on the audience’s behalf promptly evaporated at the sight of Kram bludgeoning his kit and leading the band into opening track off their new album, Straight Through The Sun. Kram, as always, is the epicentre of attention as he brutally monsters his kit in a tribal flurry whilst simultaneously spitting out manic vocals.

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There is no let up between tracks either as he treats us to some garrulous rants of nostalgia from the band’s early days. Outta My Head and old school classic Run get an early airing, the latter inciting the evening’s first bout of what is to be numerous crowd surfs.

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Right of stage, Janet is plagued for the first segment of the set by bass issues and as a result was understandably distracted early on. Thankfully this crisis was soon averted and the band celebrated with a blistering version of rarely played oldie Scenester (inspired by Nirvana according to the ever informative Kram), a catalyst for dancefloor mayhem and beaming smiles on stage. It was the moment it all came together.

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From here on it was a rollicking party with even guitarist Whit far more animated than he used to be. Whilst the band ploughed through a fair share of newer songs, it was the older numbers that raised the roof as we were treated to Footy and an epic jammed out Old Man Sam. A few more suprises lay in store for us too. Janet jumping on drums for Buy Me A Pony caught everyone unaware as did a quirky cover of much loved 80’s tune 99 Luftballons (sung in German too).

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Going back to the embryonic stages of the band’s existence, debut single Circle K is blasted out to the delight of the real old schoolers in the crowd.

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The last tracks of the night however, are not so suprising. The difference betwen this band in 1994 and 2014 is a dose of commercial success and with it no doubt an obligation to round things off with a couple of the big hits. Thus the night ends with more established faves Calypso and what is now their most well known track Black Betty.

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As much as their albums are widely cherished, Spiderbait will always excel as a live act first and foremost. It’s not always watertight though and there were several moments of sloppiness and apparent confusion but with these guys it has never been about perfection, it’s about raw energy and occasional bouts of what appears to be Kram induced spontaneity. Interlaced with a cheeky sense of humour, it is easy to see why they are so revered.

Spiderbait‘s music is relentless and fun and tonight they put on a show to more than satisfy all fans old and new.

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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