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HITS AND PITS with Black Flag – Perth, 24 Nov 2013

| 27 November 2013

HITS AND PITS with Black Flag – Perth, 24 Nov 2013
Sunday 24th November
Capitol & Amplifier, Perth
By Star Wiggam

“I wonder how often they paint over these doors”


We arrived late, through no fault of my own or my punk musical accompaniment chick friend – poor management of the event page = contradictions in time by comparison with the website and not having the time to work out which was full of shit and which was not… So we went when we wanted to, because that is what you do when you naturally harbour a punk attitude…

On arrival, we were confronted with the generosity of a random punter and I gained “free” entry (I say “free” entry because we later ended up buying him and his other half a few drinks)… was this the start of a terrific night OR would I later be thankful that some other sucker paid for my ticket?

I have to say though that the $90 was well worth every cent, though not for the headlining act, for that left me feeling somewhat disdainful…

Regardless of what was to happen later, it was a fucking great night, bloody awesome! I was loaded on rock, punk, fun, attitude and a bottle of whiskey… but, there was something very distasteful on the horizon and I wasn’t much prepared for what I was about to see…

My mother always did say that if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all… but then I never did care too much for what my mother did say!

Hits and Pits 2013

Black Flag – I’m a pretty big fan… of the old Black Flag that once was and whilst I don’t normally say it’s time to hang up the gloves… in this ring, in this fight, I do say it’s time to let the legacy of Black Flag be and move on… let’s respect what once was and bury the hatchet… Ding ding!

It was with surprise that I note that the crowd once Black Flag took the stage grew even thinner than a balding old man’s hair – before the 1st song had even finished I heard a few grumbles and groans (some of those were my own), and immediately after it had ended there were an overwhelming number of “boos” from the crowd… the atmosphere was heavier, angrier and people wanted to mosh all their anger away…

Ok, so Black Flag aren’t known for light pretty pop punk entertainment, lets face it, that much we do know, but I couldn’t help feel a major disappointment from the moment I saw these guys hit the stage. Why? Because it was exactly the same line up as Good For You – who frankly I hadn’t taken to at all… the only difference was the singer, but even then, the singer from Good For You was on the stage, waiting in the wings… ready to throw anyone off stage who even got a sniff of it (and you bet your ass he did)… I had to stand there looking at him, wondering why he was still there… wondering why he just wouldn’t fuck off already.

My only soothing to the visual was “knowing” that the singer wasn’t going to re-inflict me with his vocal pain… or so I thought!

It felt like a complete rort. The Pistols’ “Ever feel like you’re being cheated?!” popped into my mind a couple of times. The crowd mood took a swing, a musical mosh pit dive to its death: things got serious, the singing was aggressive and I didn’t “believe”.

[Editor’s note – see this news item for more details about what actually happened during Black Flag’s set – HERE]

Each time the singer smiled at me with his eyes, a part of me wanted to throw my plastic glass at his head, which I later threw at someone else for repeatedly falling on top of the guy in the wheelchair at the front stage – whom no-one seemed to suddenly give a fuck about.

From the moment the 1st song finished, I wanted to leave BUT had wanted to see this legendary band for a while now and so thought I’d wait it out, hoping this was just some kind of a joke and the real Black Flag would storm the stage any second now, with a little jib or a jab about a late April fools… “I’m wrong! I’m wrong! Is it just me?” But I look around and no one seems impressed… people are slowly leaving and the singer himself seems to know it.

No-one actually enjoys writing a bad review… on the upside, credit where credit is due – they were good musicians (but sloppy/almost amateurish during their first couple of songs in the earlier set with Good For You), they played the songs well as a matter of skill, and they obviously loved Black Flag… but I couldn’t help but feel it was more a cover band or in memory of the late band Black Flag.

I hate to say it! I really do! It’s taken me 2 days to write this review because frankly it sickened me to the core… this is my truth as I saw it… who wants to say something bad about a band that you consider to have been a part of inspiring your own musical adventures & creations… They are of course legendary but they were also the last on, so let’s run with number 1…

BLINDSPOT, from Perth WA

We missed the first band – sorry Blindspot! You were in our “blind spot”. See above re: the event page issues.

JUGHEADS REVENGE from LA, California

I liked their riffs, spitting on stage, drew me in, got me pumped and in the mood – there was no way I could or even want to complain about having a headache (which we all know goes away with sex, people!) and get out of this climatic punk explosion… if you love punk rock – give your ears a bashing with them – check em out!

OFF WITH THEIR HEADS from Minneapolis

I’m not saying Off With Their Heads sound like Foo Fighters because they don’t but they had a “Foo” element that you will need to experience for yourself… definitely worth a listen.

The singer, wearing what I think was a Cannibal Corpse shirt (my eyes were starting to blur so there’s no way of really telling if that’s what it was) sung his guts out and gave it his everything – that got me feeling even feistier on alert waiting for a massive punk rock attitude junked up infusion! They didn’t talk much but it was a no frills, in your face, get it all out, spit & scream fest and I loved it…

There’s something very familiar about the words “God damn it, I’m falling apart” as I found myself continually singing along to songs I had apparently never heard before… The guitar work was meticulous as was the bass… and I found myself wanting to hear more… lovely.


There wasn’t much good going on here, in fact Good For You left a shitty taste in my mouth… I wasn’t falling in love tonight… maybe it was a bad night and there was something else going on here that I couldn’t see?

I joked to my girl friend & half of facebook that the bass player looked like the kind of dude who would cum too quickly – I just couldn’t help but have cruel thoughts or feel that they should have been an opening act.

My thoughts on this set: Shit, Crap, More shit, I’d rather be at home taking a shit, fairly sure someone just took a shit on stage, I can smell shit, I see shit – it’s everywhere, So glad I didn’t pay to come see this shit…

Okay they weren’t that bad, they were pretty ok, but I don’t know why I couldn’t help but laugh a little at a few stage antics like the guitarist who looked vaguely familiar and keep twisting his head like the exorcist (I would later realise this was THE Greg Ginn of Black Flag himself – whoopsy my bad!)… and the singer… I just didn’t connect with him, felt his vocals were weak and he seemed stage aggressive, which can sometimes work but I felt this failed him on this particular night… he did seem to “believe” in what he was singing though… seemed passionate for the most part & for that I respected his presence. And there was a Rollins vocal touch to him (at least, in his mimicking) which I was only slightly drawn to… BUT it wasn’t Rollins sooo next please!

“Life is too short to NOT hold a grudge” is the name of their latest compilation. Think that pretty much sets the mood right there people.

Here I am, “Hanging Around” – I felt like hanging myself!


When I first laid my eyes on the cello these guys had on stage, a piece of me died for a moment… I thought “WHAT?!” but then… that whore cello drew me into its filthy pit… I felt at home, relaxed, dreamy, and found myself staring into the night sky… pleasantly surprised by the melodic sounds of Bad Astronaut… Well the “night sky” was actually blank cd’s hanging from the ceiling and a disco ball, but it was close enough and all I needed right now…

Melancholy, beautiful stuff and for a moment there, I’d even forgotten what I was doing here…
Definitely worth your time and money checking these guys out!

SNUFF (this is the stuff tuff guys are made of) from London

Ok so I immediately spotted a trombone and thought “fuck! what have we got here?” but it earnt its place on the night, just as Bad Astronaut’s cello did… I’m always sceptical when I see an instrument that I’m not convinced is going to fit into the mix, but by golly fuck, it had us all by the balls.


I was already impressed and fell in an instant deep love but when I heard the bass player refer to the guitarist as “cunty” (or maybe he called the dude on the keys that – who can tell and frankly who cares!) – I knew it was going to be an exceptional set. And it was! They did not fail to deliver, especially with the classic I’m An Arsehole And You’re A Fucking Wanker, still swirling through my head days later.

For every twist and turn, we graciously bowed down and admittedly I was a little taken aback when I realised that the drummer was actually the singer (I always am when I see this, especially if I don’t have a clear view of who’s singing) but all the guys in the band got into singing along and before too long, you didn’t notice nor did you care… in fact, you go from zero to hero in about 1 minute flat!

Definitely kick ass punk with a little sound dash of reggae here and there… loved, loved, loved them… Might even Valentines Day those pricks!

BOYSETSFIRE from Newark, Delaware

This band actually really excited me on so many levels… They had it all and the singer well, I have few good words to describe him… he was fun, energetic and they should have been the closing act.

For a guy that started out with a headache, he sure as hell put a good show on… very charismatic, he connected with everyone. People moshed, they had fun, they got into those special guitaring moments that normally only a guitarist can get into, the music was awesome and all songs were easily digestible, even with not actually having heard any of them before either. The entire band gave an outstanding performance on the night… a very tight unit.

This band knew how to entertain and they LOVE their jobs on stage… they were there to entertain the crowds and they knew just how to wrangle those limp drunk little souls to their musical heights…

I will be honest, I don’t recall one song or even one lyric, but I didn’t need to (they had massive shoes to fill after Snuff came on with their Arsehole song) – I had a name in my head “boy sets fire or boys set fire” and that name was going to stick, or set fire to something… maybe my little black heart!… I left knowing they were kick ass and that I’d hit their Facebook page and all their other little social networking links up when I got home… That’s all I needed to know!


How very diminished the night turned out to be…

Now, when I hear booing and I witness a singer of a band, pretty much getting the boot off stage by the singer of a different band, I have to ask myself, what the fuck is going on here?

So picture this… I am already unimpressed with “Black Flag”… I have the singer of Good For You on the sidelines through this entire set, with no relent… he walks up, takes a mic and “takes control” of the stage… it’s pretty outrageous stuff, even by punk standards… but in a very uncool way… I couldn’t help but think “who the fuck does this guy think he is… he isn’t much chop himself!”

I’m standing there, looking up at the singer of Black Flag and I hear him say “So I guess that means I’m getting kicked off then” and walks away into a world of puerile sulk… I gotta think twice about handing him any respect, or the singer who took the mic and decided he was singing the rest of the set… or did so without giving the current singer a chance to say goodbye (by his own givings the singer is annoyed about been given the stiff)…

Well you know, we never do know what goes on in the background of a performing band, and I’m guessing that singer got fed up with watching the slaughter of a good name… but what did it actually prove & why did he think he could do any better? And what gives him the right…???

Were they good? Did I hear all the oldies and goldies? To be honest, I didn’t even notice… there was so much other shit going on, background politics that spewed over into play time, crowd aggression… that I just couldn’t relate to any of the music at all… it went through a cloud of angry… and the truth is… Rollins – where the fuck was he, that old but glorious bastard!

I have no idea how many more songs were sung… and a couple of others entered the stage to sing along… As I walked away, unable to view the shambles any longer… I couldn’t help feel that a large majority of Perth missed out on a really good experience overall.

As for the debacle at the end of it, the air had been blistered with ego! And that alone, ruined the moment for me. I don’t know how much longer it went on for… all I know is I was drunk, pissed off and felt cheated!

[Editor’s note – see this news item for more details about what actually happened during Black Flag’s set – HERE]

I saw one girl grab her friend by the arm “Lets go! This is shit! This is not Black Flag. What a fucking rort!”… and another 10 or 20 people followed her.

Ok! It was an out of body experience and I was that girl… and whilst we all murmured our dislike, it wasn’t long down that little laneway til we were all merrily singing “I’m an arsehole and you’re a fucking wanker!”

Indeed! “I wonder how often they paint over these doors”

“I painted over that Black Flag door with a little SNUFF. A little like stuff but much more like SNUFF.

And I ask you did I just witness the peeling of the paint on the door that is Black Flag?


Category: Live Reviews

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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