It still seems like a dream or distant memory. This was one of those bands that I never thought I’d see live.
I got turned on to The Scientists back in the early-mid 90’s while working at Apollo Records in Buffalo and receiving one of Gary Apollo’s comprehensive “History Tapes” which were high quality dubs of pristine vinyl releases from his personal collection, and he had stuff nobody around there had. Add to that, this was pre internet, so he had stuff nobody around there knew about. His “histories” had nothing but the hits in chronological order, plus various rarities, such as 12″ b-sides or cuts only found on comps etc. all carefully compiled and recorded onto a high quality master cassette and dubbed onto Maxell UDXL II tapes for friends or whoever might have been interested, and back then, very few were interested…
I was already into The Cramps, Gun Club and ‘Dirgy’ bands like Jesus Lizard and Birthday Party, so when I heard The Scientists, they fit right in. There was always something about those Aussie bands that got that post apocalyptic wasteland thing dead on. There’s the “Swamp rock” thing that they get labelled with, but there is also as much desert/spaghettiwestern/tumbleweed aesthetic in there as well. Radio Birdman were like “Death-Surf” and other bands around that scene such as Beasts of Bourbon, The Visitors, Crime and The City Solution and later These Immortal Souls (UK/Australia) were an amazing mix of energy and darkness and depravity that I’ve never heard from an American band, very rarely anyway.
I’ve been lucky enough to see Radio Birdman twice when they did a couple of shows in SF around the release of “Zeno Beach” 2006. I never thought I’d see them. I also saw Crime and The City Solution a few years ago. I’m fortunate enough to live in a city where these artists actually make the rare appearance when they come from so far, so I was really excited to hear that these guys were coming over for the first time ever to do 11 dates! We got tix immediately after they went online and they did not disappoint.
I shot most of the show, enjoy!
We took a spot up on the balcony for a birds eye view. All far away pix by me.
All close up pics by Eric Moffat
A few more vids from up top!
They were hornery and antagonistic at times.
A rollicking version of Braindead:
This was a once in a lifetime show and I highly recommend going if they ever come back to the U.S.