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LIVE: DATURA4, Fremantle – 8 September, 2023

| 10 September 2023 | Reply

LIVE: DATURA4, Fremantle – 8 September, 2023
Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle – Friday, 8 September 2023
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photos by Tia Pinnegar

Where’s my Datura4 checklist…

Bonafide rock legend? Dom Mariani of The Stems, Someloves, DM3, Domnicks, and more – CHECK.

Tight as a rusted together nut & bolt rhythm section? Stu Loasby and Warren Hall, fitting as closely together as a key in a lock – CHECK.

Amps turned up to Lobby Lloyde-approved levels of thunderousness? CHECK.

Hard Boogie from here to the horizon and back? CHECK.

Gigantoriffs intimidating enough to frighten unsuspecting synthpop fans into submission? CHECK.

Mariani’s mellifluous melodies for miles? CHECK.

We never need a special reason to come out and see Datura4, but tonight we certainly have one: this is their last local gig before embarking on a few weeks of gigs through Italy and Spain where they have made quite the name for themselves already.

The night launches and concludes with dramatic statements. The Foes initially declare “We’ve never played before. Well… we have, just not the four of us.” They may look like school Dads, but they’re obviously well-rehearsed and put on a good show, their tunes Cellophane, Burn, One Last Chance and Make Believe reminding us at a push of Died Pretty – and not only because the singer resembles the late, great Ron S Peno.

The Min Min Lights are more power pop, and their drummer is conspicuously absent, so their singer/guitarist jumps on the kit to ensure the show goes on. Why Don’t You Come Back To New York City and a Teenage Fanclub cover impressed, while the versatile band members all took the mic for different tracks.

You can tell a lot about a band from their clobber, and Mariani’s ZZTop Fandango shirt, and Loasby’s Masters Apprentices shirt tell us some of the boogie and psych rock influences that go into Datura4’s potent mix.

Heavy boogie riffs, rumbling bass, strident drums, Joe Grech’s ringing guitar and Bob Patient’s grooving Hammond organ – sound familiar? It’s like a handful of your favourite ‘70s bands deconstructed and welded back together with a turbocharger and added melody from one of the masters of the game, a modern minstrel with the Midas touch.

One gets the idea that if these cats had a taste for the “right” kind of psychedelics, then Datura4 might have ended up more of a jam band in the Grateful Dead vein. Thank goodness that’s not the case. They have all the chops yet none of the pretension or bad habits.

Digging My Own Grave, Worried Man’s Boogie, Looper, You Ain’t No Friend Of Mine all get the crowd jumping and throwing their own boogie shapes, whilst new song Overlord bodes very well for the forthcoming sixth LP.

I’ve previously described Going Back To Hoonsville as “an exemplary hand clapping, foot stomping, hair shaking, rock n’ roll boogie… [which] chucks a six minute-and-one-glorious second burnout through the speakers,” and it’s even more exciting live, thrilling the dancers, groovers, head shakers and the whole room full of fans of hot rock n’ roll.

Then there was the final pronouncement, Mariani sounding a little emotional as he reflected on the band’s evolution and surprising longevity. “I was happy just to play powerpop the rest of my life, then we started this band for a bit of fun, playing some covers… the first album got picked up by an American label and here we are five albums in.”

With that Harry Smallman – “Perth’s best harmonica player” – is invited up for the fantastic Blessed Is The Boogie, complete with Radar Love-style intro, and a raucous Ooh Poo Pa Do before the punters reluctantly shuffle out.

Don’t miss ‘em, Europe – you’re in for a treat.

Category: Live Reviews

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