Gig/Concert: Bodyjar â€śThe End is Nowâ€ť tour with The Jackards
Venue: Dunsborough Hotel, Dunsborough, Western Australia
Date: 11 December 2009
In one word: Sentimental
The seaside, surfing town of Dunsborough was the perfect setting for Australian skate-punk veterans Bodyjarâ€™s second last gig ever, having decided to call it a day after 15 years of records, tours and hard road living.
Local supports for the WA leg of the tour, The Jackards had the misfortune of having to open to a mostly empty room, the beer garden being the locale of choice for the blonde haired, sand-covered punters to start their eveningâ€™s drinking on this warm summerâ€™s night. It didnâ€™t take long however for their unique brand of power-pop to pique the curiosity of most in attendance.
Headed by Glenn Strangapany, best known for his keyboard skills in the commercially successful Birds of Tokyo but tonight showing off his chops on guitar and vocals, the Jackards presented an impressively diverse sound, with bassist James Trewenackâ€™s playing being a standout talent. Finishing their set with covers of Chris Isaakâ€™s â€śWicked Gameâ€ť and Frenteâ€™s â€śAccidentally Kelly Streetâ€ť was an excellent decision given the nightâ€™s nostalgic theme and drew applause from all those in attendance who were conscious in the 1990s.
The briefest of breaks followed in this two-band show, with the house DJ clearly having done his research and playing songs by ALL, Descendents and Bad Religion during the changeover â€“ for the punk rockers in the crowd this was almost worth the price of admission alone. However, all good things must come to an end, and when that end means the beginning of a Bodyjar show, then all the better!
Opening with the riff-heavy â€śSequelâ€ť from 1998â€™s No Touch Red album, Bodyjar were solid and hard-hitting from go to woe. Looking a little odd and a little old with faded tattoos and greying hair (for those lucky enough to still have some) to contrast their rock nâ€™ roll t-shirts and cargo shorts, it was clear that whilst intent on putting on a show to remember, the boys of Bodyjar were indeed at the end of their bandâ€™s lifecycle and that one last solid tour was just what was needed to leave the world of punk rock on good terms.
The twin Gibson Explorer attack of Tom Read and singer Cam Baines kept the show charging along but it wasnâ€™t until the band laid into their much loved cover of â€śA Hazy Shade of Winterâ€ť that the crowd flipped out in a way that only a room fool of surfers, skaters and rockers can; with crowd surfing and stagedives creating havoc for security. Not to be remembered as just another late 90â€™s pop-punk â€śironic coversâ€ť band, this was immediately followed with perhaps the best example Bainesâ€™ of songwriting from the last decade in â€śToo Drunk to Driveâ€ť â€“ though try as he might Readâ€™s vocals on this duet couldnâ€™t quite match those of the gorgeous and sultry Adalita Srsen of Melbourne rockers Magic Dirt who features on the recorded version. A broken bass string was seen as opportunity for Read to leave the stage to collect drinks for the band, and once back on stage tell some delightfully tasteless jokes.
Ending their regular set with what is without a doubt the most-loved Bodyjar song of all time, â€śGlossy Booksâ€ť, the band returned for a brief encore and a special, though poorly-kept surprise for the fans. Long-time drummer Ross Heatherington, the backline of Bodyjarâ€™s heyday, had joined his former band-mates on this tour and made his way behind the kit to see out the show with 2002â€™s â€śOne in a Millionâ€ť.
This was most definitely a show to remember and a band that will indeed be missed on the Australian scene. The thanks of so many current, former and born-again fans barraged the band, obstructing their exit from the stage, and for good reason.
Â© Steve Pass
Photos – Bodyjar
Youâ€™ve Taken Everything
Not the Same
Fall to the Ground
A Hazy Shade of Winter (Simon & Garfunkel)
Too Drunk to Drive
Is It A Lie?
Time to Grow Up (aborted)
One in a Million