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LIVE: PAINTERS & DOCKERS – Perth, 5 May, 2017

| 6 May 2017 | Reply

LIVE: PAINTERS & DOCKERS – Perth, 5 May, 2017
With The Polite Society
Gate One, Claremont, Perth
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Paul Dowd

It’s impossible to describe a Painters & Dockers gig from their heyday to a neophyte. In the late ‘80s and early-to-mid ‘90s pubs the world was a looser, less politically correct place, and P&D gigs would often involve full frontal nudity, fire breathing, sado-masochism and more in hugely over-crowded bars. The hipsters of today would be shocked at the rabid anarchy and mayhem, and it’s a miracle no-one died.

It’s been twenty long years since Painters & Dockers visited Western Australia, and the faithful – all of whom have their own unique story about seeing the band in those days – are out for a good time.

First up, Hurb Jephasun’s Polite Society kicked off the entertainment with some beautifully rootsy, country-flecked rock n’ roll that had much in common with 1970’s Rolling Stones, The Band, Neil Young and their ilk, or even the rootsy modern blues of Seasick Steve. A six-piece group, The Polite Society deliver a great set of plaintiff, heart on sleeve rock, Beard-Mountain frontman and acoustic guitarist Jephasun proving that appearances can be deceptive, with some lovely, melodic vocals on tracks such as Cold Dark Night, Darkness & The Glory, Home and Another Beer Another Cigarette.

Boasting four original members – frontman Paulie Stewart, guitarist Colin Badger, and the brass section of Mick Morris and David Pace – and a couple of young pups, including Badger’s guitar playing son (who turned 22 today), The Dockers may be a little slower (age plus liver transplants will do that to you) and a little less anarchic (could you imagine flames and flares and nudity onstage today – the social media-verse would explode in outrage!), but their sense of fun and desire to entertain hasn’t changed a bit.

Early classics Kill, Kill, Kill and Pull Me Off opened the set after the brass section led everyone inside like punk pied pipers, before Stewart, wearing fly-like goggles, dedicated New World Order’s tale of dictatorship disguised as democracy to “the Trumpster.”

Basia and Soul Child show that the band’s punk heart still beats with danger and unpredictability, Stewart especially obviously overjoyed to be here again having fun with his people.

The horns are so integral to the Dockers’ anarcho-punk pub rock sound, Morris and Pace nailing it tonight, and Pace stepped up to sing a couple of departed member Chris O’Connor’ songs, including their first ever single Mohawk Baby, and the classic Nude School.

The sheer suburban vulgarity of Eat Shit Die attains perfection and a boisterous singalong, whilst a chorus of young ladies put heart and soul into singing the chorus of All Men Are Bastards (Except For Me) onstage. A chorus of blokes got into the spirit of The Pogues’ Dirty Old Town, and it was a treat to hear the rarely-played debut album track The Boy Who Lost His Jocks On Flinders Street Station.

Whilst nothing could recapture the mayhem of their (and our) youth, the night was a wildly entertaining revisit to their back catalogue – and we sincerely hope it’s not twenty years until we see Painters & Dockers again.
Set List:

Kill, Kill, Kill

Pull Me Off

New World Order

You Know You’re Soaking In It


Some Friend You Turned Out To Be

Soul Child

Mohawk Baby

Organised Slime

Eat Shit Die

All Men Are Bastards Except For Me

Die Yuppie Die
Nude School

You’re Going Home In The Back Of A Divi Van
I Know Better Queens Than That
Dirty Old Town

The Boy Who Lost His Jocks On Flinders Street Station


Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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