Hong Kong Mississippi and Wrong Turn at the Great Britain Hotel, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia, 11 April, 2009 – Show Review

April 12, 2009
Gig/Concert: Hong Kong Mississippi and Wrong Turn

Venue: Great Britain Hotel, Richmod, Melbourne, Australia (map)
Date: 11 April, 2009

Headliners: Wrong Turn
In one word: Diddley

Melbourne is one helluva place; it’s massive but everywhere’s closed on Good Friday, what’s that all about!? Roll on Saturday and we find ourselves at the Great Britain hotel through recommendation to go see Hong Kong Mississippi’s first show.

First of all, I’m diggin’ the name – any band named after a Bo Diddley song is a band I like, you can already tell what they’re gonna sound like!

We arrive in the hotel. It’s a cavernous old pub with various little rooms all intertwined, it takes a minute to suss out where the music’s happening but after spotting a guitar neck round a corner it becomes apparent. That guitar belongs to the singer of Hong Kong Mississippi, who looks a bit like a manic Jerry Lee Lewis holding what looks like one of Ted Crocker’s finest guitars – it’s essentially a dinner table with pickups – oh yes!

They start up with one crazy motherfucker of a song called Pork Chops, Smoky Bacon, Barbeque Ribs which is sung with a great big southern growl and played with a ramshackle rhythm reminiscent of The 5,6,7,8’s or The Oblivians.

“The song they play is called Suicide Train and the diddley bow sounds absolutely brilliant, what a thing! More people need to use ‘em but use ‘em right.”

A few songs later of much and such the same they bring out the Diddley Bow. – don’t confuse that for Bo Diddley. If you know who Seasick Steve is then you’ll know that a diddley bow is essentially a plank of wood with a bit of metal nailed to it and a piezo transducer (or guitar pickup) attached. I made one myself and they sound like the real deal, even if you’re not. of course. I suppose these days if ya know who

The song they play with it is called Suicide Train and the diddley bow sounds absolutely brilliant, what a thing! More people need to use ‘em but use ‘em right – these guys know what the deal is! A few more songs go on such as “Rock n’ Roll Kids”, “Jack the Ripper” and they end with what I’m gonna call the ‘Manic Screaming Song’.

Hong Kong Mississippi is a band with a beat, a rhythm and one helluva howl on top, I hope to see them again and collect everything they record, they’re a band for weird blues wankers like myself to obsess and get all hard over – oh yes.

Next up, after much waiting and waiting and waiting is Wrong Turn, a two-piece whose drummer looks a bit like Mark Dolan mixed with Pat from the Black Keys and the singer looks a bit like Howard Stern.

I get the kinda notion they look to sound like The Mojomatics, a most excellent Italian garage band who (I believe) formed from the ashes of L’Amico di Martucci who were one truly great hardcore band who perfectly described themselves as “Chuck Berry okayed at 78rpm”.

Wrong Turn have all the equipment that you would dream of, the proper cases for the pieces and the original amps that have been lovingly looked after and are most certainly at least 50 years old. This looks like a good start and they certainly seem to have their shit together.

Sadly to say I’m a bit disappointed with them. They’re both very talented guys but their first song sounds like The Rolling Stones covering Bonie Maronie, the second like The Rolling Stones covering Bo Diddley, and the third like The Rolling stones ripping off Chuck Berry. The audience don’t seem too interested in them either for the whole part, there’s faint applause and faint interest. At one point it gets to be a bit much and we decide to give up and scam a ride home on the tram.

I’m not sure if it’s an off night for them or I’m so blown away by Hong Kong Mississippi to not even understand the point of Wrong Turn. They werecertainly the tighter and better band of the evening but are just not as good.

© Danny Crombie

Wrong Turn www.myspace.com/wrongturnrockandroll

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