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LIVE: SCREAMING JETS with The Poor, Perth – 18 May, 2019

| 21 May 2019 | Reply

LIVE: SCREAMING JETS with The Poor, Perth – 18 May, 2019
The Astor Theatre, Perth, Western Australia
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Damien Crocker

If ever there was a band which personified the ethos of a band of brothers on a hellraising larrikin rock n’ roll rampage, it was The Screaming Jets. For thirty years, on and off, they’ve been tearing audiences a new one, and they show no signs that they’re going to stop any time soon.

Supporting them on this leg of their Dirty Thirty tour of Australian theatres (including the decidedly un-beer barn-like Astor Theatre in all its restored glory) is The Poor, legends-who-never-were, who originally hailed from Darwin and hit hard with debut EP (as The Poor Boys) Rude, Crude and Tattooed, way back in 1992.

Founding members Skenie and bassist Matt Whitby take no prisoners, with Skenie prowling the stage like a tiger, having lost none of his fierce, threatening ageless charisma and vocal talent like a modern day harder-edged Bon Scott. If anyone’s found the fountain of youth, it’s most likely this bloke: a man for the masses, a black-eyed bruiser, and the frontman of a band which deserved far more acclaim than they got. Long-time drummer Gavin Hansen is a machine, while young new guitarist Daniel Cox shreds like a hyperactive man possessed.

The Poor rip and tear through Dirty Money, Liar, What I’d Do, Hair Of The Dog, Man O War, Feel My Pain and the double-punch finale of their biggest near-hit More Wine Waiter Please and Poison, another ode to the pleasures of the bottle.

The Screaming Jets wanted to celebrate their Dirty Thirtieth in style, and promised an interactive set including videos and stories of their misadventures. The result was a little different, with neo-iconic frontman Dave Gleeson cheerfully admitting they’d had a long day “getting on it” already after leaving Darwin at a terribly un-rock n’ roll time of the morning. Any indulgences didn’t show in their energy and performance, though, with the band roaring through a set that leaned on their earlier hits but covered everything a fan could have hoped for.

Talking of fans, there were precious few in attendance, with the venue less than half full with around 400 people. Are we, as an audience, just getting more choosey? Do we have less cash to spend and can only see our favourites every few times they visit, rather than every time? Whatever the reason, it is a sad turnout and if the trend continues then Perth will receive less and less tours.

An acoustic interlude featuring Friend Of Mine and the Boys Next Door cover Shivers, amongst others, highlight an important fact that is often overlooked when talking about this band. Usually labelled pub rockers with a punk edge, it’s worth remembering how diverse their catalogue really is. Shivers is dark chillout suicide rock, Helping Hand is jazz-lite, C’mon and Friend Of Mine are rocked up pop songs. There’s nothing ‘samey’ about the band’s set list in the slightest.

As an antidote to the acoustic break, the rip-snorting punk blast of Living In England works a treat, as did F.R.C., their anthemic callout to the backward thinking fat rich c*nts who seemed to have inexplicably triumphed in today’s federal election.

Saving their biggest song for (nearly) last, next up was Better – and just as well, because not much could really follow this anthemic, life-affirming, rock n’ roll classic. After a short breather they returned for a raucous singalong to Neil Young’s Rocking In The Free World, ending a show which proves that after thirty years, The Screaming Jets have still got it all and do it better than most.

Shane

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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