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ROCK FOR DOC, featuring Mr Damage, with Krank, Ragdoll & Big Guns – 28 Jan 2013

| 11 February 2013 | Reply

The Charles Hotel
Monday 28 January 2013
By Shane Pinnegar

Rock For Doc poster

With news that The Angels iconic lead singer Doc Neeson is battling cancer – just as he was about to head out on the road with a new incarnation of The Angels, dubbed 100% and featuring Bob Spencer, Jim Hilburn, James Morley and Buzz Bidstrup (who all served in the band during different eras) – rock fans around the country united in showing their affection and appreciation for one of the stalwarts of the Aussie rock sound.

Here in Perth, Tom Tapping quickly assembled Mr Damage, a tribute to the great band, and provided a healthy crowd with a great option to rock and roll on – aptly – a Monday holiday for Australia Day.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE arrived too late to catch Big Guns, which are apparently Babyjane in cover band mode.  Those we spoke to seemed to enjoy their set.

We caught the latter half of Ragdoll’s set, incongruously, playing the only originals of the night.  They delivered a scorching set of originals from their Here Today EP, their musicianship, songs and charisma second to none, as usual.

Krank went back to cover band territory, playing a pretty predictable set which ticked the usual boxes from Bryan Adams to Screaming Jets, Nirvana to Blink 182.  Featuring the disarmingly young Carly on lead vocals, who we’d love to hear getting her husky and sultry vocal chords around some solid original material.

Mr Damage took the stage in a fog of smoke and moody lighting, Tapping’s Neeson impersonation spot on from the very start.

The Jets’ Steve Garde and local rapscallion Gazman Campbell literally tore through classics Night Attack, Let The Night Roll On, After The Rain and I Ain’t The One while Pete Borg (Blackjack) and Steve Essex (Ice Tiger) held down the rhythm section with style.

A climactic Comin’ Down led the way for a brief lull in proceedings as personnel came and went, the night’s special guests Bob Spencer and James Morley taking over on six strings, whilst ex-Johnny Diesel & The Injectors tub thumper Yak Sherrit took over on the drums.

No Secrets absolutely explodes with energy from the stage, and suddenly – no disrespect in any way to those who came before – it was obvious that this was something altogether more nuanced, more magical.

Spencer, Morley and Sherrit simply have the experience to make something more of the material – especially the former two, who spent considerable time in the band playing these very songs.

Fashion & Fame and Backstreet Pickup sound immense and get the front of stage writhing with dancers and head shakers singing along, whilst outside some randomly overtanked individual started breaking windows, prompting security to pull smoking punters inside and lock the front doors.

It’s testament to the impact this man and his band have made that these wall to wall classics span eras from the mid Seventies through to the mid Nineties, and that such a healthy crowd has turned out on a long weekend to a gig announced only twelve days ago.

The Name Of The Beast, We Gotta Get Outta This Place and Shadow Boxer are all electric, Spencer especially delivering a stunning performance, while Tapping gives it his best Neeson, scarf and all, on the unbeatable Take A Long Line.  Channelling Doc seems to come so effortlessly to the energetic frontman that Mr Damage seems more of a tribute to Doc himself, than to The Angels as a band.

The original line-up returned for the encore, a wonderful run through Be With You, and the seething and anarchic, almost punk, Mr Damage, before the throng united as one to join in with the ‘unofficial’ lyrics to Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again.

Filing out of the doors (spiderwebbed with cracks thanks to the aforementioned numpty) and back to their individual realities, everyone knew they’d witnessed something pretty special – and all for a very good cause.  Get well soon, Doc.

Category: Live Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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