The Lime Spiders are a legendary Sydney band so it was time for this expat New Zealander to venture down to the Annandale and continue his education in the history of Australian music. The path of discovery has travelled through the towns of The Saints, Scientists and Radio Birdman and we have now arrived at the door of The Lime Spiders.
Tripping onto the stage to entertain the early birds was the Straight Arrows. The lack of a crowd did nothing to deter them from launching into a batch of short sharp and fast garage punk tunes that were impressive in their delivery and attitude. A nice wire thin trebly guitar sound and surf inspired lead breaks were highlights of a set that sounded like a cross between the Black Lips and and Dead Moon on speed. These guys (and girl) would kick the arse of bands like Little Red in a switchblade street fight any day of the week.
Next up was the Happy Hate Me Nots who are another band with a history reaching back a couple of decades. Their sound ranged from the Jam influenced ‘Salt Sour & Brighton’ through to harder edged melodic punk songs where their tightness came to the fore. Their enthusiasm rubbed off on the growing crowd who responded well to their brand of positive power pop.
The Lime Spiders have been kicking against mainstream pop music for nearly 30 years now and they still know how to kick out the jams. With a new drummer (guitarist Ged Corben’s 17 year old son Tom) they delivered a powerful muscular performance, hardly stopping for breath between songs. Their sound probably hasn’t evolved much over their career and they played the hits such as “Slave Girl’ and ‘Out Of Control’ alongside other album tracks and a couple of covers (I’m Bored and Don’t Fear The Reaper). These two choices neatly summed up where the Lime Spiders are coming from with their mix of 60’s/70’s US punk and more classic psychedelic rock stylings.
Singer Mick Blood still possesses a gravel soaked growl of a voice that packs more power than you would expect from a man of his size. His delivery is understated and he keeps his ‘rock’ moves to a minimum which is refreshing in this day and age of posing and posturing. The only slight criticism of their sound was the over eager enthusiasm of drummer Tom who seemed to fill every spare piece of silence with drum fills and cymbal crashes. It would have been nice to hear a wider palette of drumming with a simpler, more solid beat in places. Not that this was a slight on the show as the Annandale crowd lapped up some of the best loved songs of the Australian underground by a band still intent on delivering their motor city ramalama grooves with fire and sweat.