Night of The Living Dead

Chucked a huge sickie and no one cared. Lay on the floor coughing up blood tuberculously and not even a Get Well Card. The missus just suggested I fetch the groceries on the way back from the hospital. I even tried dragging my gagging carcass up and down the corridors of Kunst Kamp but that just slowed me down enough that I got mugged in the wet photography wing by the shadier members of 1st Year. What kind of a world is this where manipulative seeking of secondary gains by old men is no longer respected?!

It’s a place where bands like Scattered Order and The Dead Travel Fast play live gigs, that’s what it is. Sunday night, two bands that haven’t made a peep in decades decided to reform and perform. There is a story about the BBC television service shutting down over the Second World War. They had a Mickey Mouse cartoon playing which stopped in mid mouse. When the war was over and broadcast resumed the cartoon restarted from the exact spot at which it had left off. It was just like that.


(Almost as spooky as last weekend with my brother driving my parents around their home suburb with me in the back seat playing the theremin loud out the car windows. Cranking it up. Our mum told us to shut it, but not before the upper north shore of Sydney witnessed an outbreak of geriatric hooligans pumping spooky theremin music.)

Where was I? Oh yes. So when the Dead Travel Fast came on, it was like they had a intermission that lasted 25 years and then did the second half of the set. Probably that’s why the audience looked like they’d spent 25 years drinking at the bar. And it’s as if I resumed the exact same thoughts as I had last time I saw them… ‘I dunno it’s a bit too jazzy for me’. Back then I didn’t know half the music history I do now, but for all of that the years had not changed my tastes. Tastes really do lock in at 16.

Really interesting use of technology the whole night – it had moved onward, but grudgingly. One of the Dead would take a CD out of a pouch and insert it into a player before each track. Why wouldn’t you just burn all the songs to one CD? Maybe that would be GOING TOO FAR. We’re not one of them there computer bands.

When you have that many fogies in the building the need to pee was overwhelming. People’s bladders just ain’t what they used to be. Patrick G from the Systematics was egging me to go piss in the street but I just felt that would more pathos than punk. God, imagine what it would be like at a Fleetwood Mac gig or something. The Bladder Tour 09.

Scattered Order was Mitchell and Michael T for this gig. I think the era they were doing was the Prat Culture LP, so must have had Michael Prod’s drumming on tape. God bless, Mitchell was still playing bits off old detective films four times at semi random over the top of things but back in the old days he’d do it off a cassette and keep rewinding it. This night he had a super contemporary CASIO sampler. Mind you there was still a cassette recorder being rewound somewhere in the wall of noise.

Wall of noise makes it sound bad, it wasn’t at all, it was very manicured noise. Very solid. At one point Mitchell claimed it was a Hawkwind tribute night and that was apparently because I was a fan. Actually yes, Hawkwind is a good comparison, and the various space rock bands up to Chrome. Michael T is not a lead guitarist in the Helios Creed stamp but was making some very fine noise with an ebow guitar and two(!) laptops.

So that was just fine by me.

But what now. Last time, Scattered Order slowly moved into the centre, we all did. How far will this post punk reflux take us? We’re now replaying 1981. Will we move all the way up to 1985? I mean the Models played live with The Reels last year. Thank God I was never as young, thin and pretty as the Models, the before/after would be too much. That’s the thing about videos, you can always remake them. Speaking of which I had best go do that.

p2206605dtOh BTW, finally saw the film In the Realms of the Unreal about the outsider artist Henry Darger. Knew it was going to be great but actually cried over that sad magical bastard. I don’t know why it strikes such a chord but bless Henry Darger, one of the only real artists.