[Live Review] SPIDERBAIT (Brisbane)


The Tivoli, Brisbane
Friday March 31, 2017 :

Be still my ’90s music loving heart. When Spiderbait announced that they would be going out on tour and playing their iconic Ivy and The Big Apples album from beginning to end I have to say, I was pretty excited. This was an album I absolutely thrashed as a teenager and for the countless times I would have seen Spiderbait play live over the years, there would be more than a few songs from that era I haven’t seen performed in their sets.

We arrived at a sold out Tivoli in Brisbane and one look around at the crowd and I can unequivocally say that there is not a single person under 30 here…. It’s all band shirts, converse sneakers, dreadlocks and surprising polite lines at the bar.

I caught the tail end of Screamfeeder’s set and they are just like they were in the ’90s. Still a solid live act after all these years, with Tim jumping around the stage like he did all those years ago. A quick chat to the bouncer who let me in to the photo pit to grab a few shots before they wrapped up their set, Cheers dude.

When Spiderbait took to the stage the crowd went absolutely crazy. Kram, still the showman he was back in the day, hands in the air, telling the crowd how much he loves to play in Brissie.

I have to say, a soon as I heard the opening bars to ‘Chest Hair’, the first track off Ivy and The Big Apples, I was immediately transported back to the ’90s, being 16, buying treasured CD’s from Soundworld in Newcastle Mall, sneaking in underage to gigs at Bar On The Hill, and being crushed against the front crash barrier in the mosh pit at Homebake… Ahh, those were the days. Safe to say I was not the only one having those kinds of flashbacks at the Tivoli that night, with punters around me chatting about great gigs past between sets.

Spiderbait have always been one of those great Aussie bands who are so solid in their live performance, and even 20 years after the first time I saw them play live, Kram still performs with as much gusto as he did in the ’90s. This is a guy who truly loves to be on stage, you can see it in his eyes, he’s loving every minute of it. Janet and Whit are far more low key, however the smiles between the band members definitely suggest they’re pretty thrilled with the response they’re receiving from the crowd.

‘Hot Water and Milk’ showed that Janet still has it on the vocals, and then crowd favourite ‘Buy Me A Pony’ had the crowd moshing, yes, for real moshing, just like old times. I was struggling to take any photos whilst singing along to this one… Still to this day one of my all time favourites.

I then took my place on the staircase overlooking the stage for the rest of the set and was surprised at my ability to sing along to every song, word for word. For someone who struggles to remember their pin number, this is quite a feat. I guess I did thrash that album all those years ago.

The rest of the set rolled on as you would expect, showcasing why this album is such a classic. Highlights include Kram on the vocals belting out ‘Hey’, Jasper’, ‘Horschack Army’ and ‘Should Have Done What My Mum Always Told Me To’, and Janet mixing it up with ‘Conjunctivitis’ and of course, crowd favourite ‘Calypso’. The acoustic sing along to ‘Goin’ Off’ was really sweet with a band group hug, and the set wrapped up nicely with ‘Driving Up The Ceiling’.

After playing Ivy and The Big Apples in it’s entirety throughout the main set, the band came back out for the encore and blew the crowd away with an eight minute rendition of all time fan favourite ‘Old Man Sam’, and then Janet belted out her killer track ‘Fucken Awesome’ from 2004’s Tonight Alright, then wrapped up the show with their massive cover of Lead Belly’s ‘Black Betty’.

Fucken Awesome indeed.

Reviewer and Photographer : Chrissy Kavalieros

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