Metalise - May/June 2017

Column: Metalise   |   Date Published: Saturday, 13 May 17   |   Author: Josh Nixon   |   1 month, 2 weeks ago

The ANU Bar was an integral part of Canberra’s musical lineage. Back in January The Canberra Times ran a pretty good piece on the bar, even though it got the year Nirvana played there wrong (it was 1992, not 1993). At least a year prior, Mudhoney had brought Sub Pop grunge to the refectory in its most raw and vital prime. The article interviewed Pete Spicer. He was the man back in those days. All genres of music had landmark moments in that joint, in every permutation, from hip hop to a full evolution of electronic music events.

In the metal context, Adam Agius offered his perspective in his story on Metal for the Brain (MFTB), long the benchmark for domestic metal shows. Along with the local heavy music scene, MFTB generated an invaluable pre-internet national touring network and created a festival that many have tried to imitate. And while the shows at UC were also fantastic, the ANU Refectory was always the annual highlight.

For fans of extreme metal, I don’t reckon you can top the Morbid Angel show on the Blessed Are The Sick tour in 1992. Well it was actually entitled the Morbid Obliteration of Downunder Grindart Tour 1992; the Canberra show saw supports by Psychrist and Armoured Angel. There were tonnes of others. I remember talking to some folks loading in gear when Electric Wizard were soundchecking ‘Return Trip’. For me, it was the heaviest sound check in the bar’s history. Dozens of us were all pulled from our conversations, inexorably in its orbit. Cathedral, Paradise Lost and Alchemist, etc. etc. etc.

There were so many configurations the room could accommodate. I got to see and play shows on big, medium and small stages on the steps down the end near the shops, the stage at the opposite end and half way down, facing into the bar. These were classic experiences. No matter what part of BMA you like, there was something that impacted your musical life in those two rooms and the surrounds.

So the fracas around the big ending show that has seen Regurgitator replaced with Liquid shouldn’t have any bearing on one last chance to have the bar doors unceremoniously slam down in your face when the headliner still has four songs to play.

On Saturday May 27, Live Evil, Witchskull and Wretch will give the old girl one last blast before who knows what happens to the space. You gotta go. Long hairs, former long hairs, growing out mullets, now balding and greying hairs, you owe the old girl one last hurrah.

The Basement in Belconnen is thankfully not going anywhere and Lance and the team are, as ever, keeping up a steady supply of heavy for you guys. Perth band Voyager have a killer new album entitled Ghost Mile and are on an extensive national launch tour with The Algorithm from France to celebrate. The tour hits Belconnen’s home of heavy on the Saturday May 20 with Immorium and Highview.

Life is Noise made my day with the news that Pallbearer will be back in the country late June/early July. One day I will convince them to come to Canberra, but for now the closest show is in Sydney on July 4 at Manning Bar. Their album Heartless has pride of place this year in my current list. Speaking of which, the new album by the The Obsessed, Sacred, is absolutely killer. Check it.

Aversions Crown are undertaking a tour in June dubbed the Zenocidal Warpath Tour (sounds brutal). They’re here Thursday June 15 with Boris The Blade and Alpha Wolf, also at The Basement.




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