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By Shane Pinnegar | Images by Mark Diggins
Fading out the soundtrack of The Beastie Boys, played in tribute to Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch passing away overnight, THE DEVIL RIDES OUT punch eardrums and assault senses with a bellyful of thunder and all the vitriol of Hank Rollins fronting Kyuss.
They make a mighty roar, these guys, and have the songs to make it real – so it’s a travesty that their set is criminally under-attended to start with, though the crowd comes a-running once the noise is heard in the courtyard.
Highlights are plentiful - from the Floyd playing Sabbath grooves of Right Lane Man to the desert doom of Watch It Burn, the unholy din on Broken White Line (which sees a snare drum executed, only slowing the band down for a few moments), to a slowly devastating drop of The Beastie’s Fight For Your Right, Joey Kapiteyn strikes an intimidating pose on stage, throwing shapes like a transcendental metal Tom Waits throughout a fantastic, killer set.
MATT SONIC & THE HIGH TIMES were an unknown quantity for most going into this evening’s gig, their Perth debut, but absolutely slayed the crowd with a charismatic, high energy clutch of classic rock songs and a desire to make their presence felt, abusing the hell out of the tools of their trade in the process.
Mr Sonic has a knack with a catchy tune and a shredding solo as I Arrived Like A Hurricane (a tale about growing up on a farm with “nothing but a reckless cop for a Dad and a dalmation”) and Cyclone Eater testify.
Anticipation was running high as BLACK COBRA took the stage like they were ready to fuck it, raising a tumult rarely seen or heard. Being a Black Cobra virgin, I’d been told to expect some Sabbathy grooves – but what was served up was a raucous Black Keys-playing-early-Venom assault, making the previous bands seem quiet!
Powerful, intense, spirited and entertaining they are, but ultimately there’s no light n’ shade to spice things up and the one-dimensional wall of noise eventually failed to hold my interest over a full hour.
And on to the headliners – FU MANCHU. Now here’s a band spoken about in hallowed whispers - a cult band with as ferociously dedicated a fanbase as any other, and as soon as Scott Hill offered a quick hello before the no-nonsense riffage of Hell On Wheels, the crowd were enthralled, never letting up for an hour and a half of pure desert rock n’ roll.
Covering tracks from all their albums dating back over the past 18 years, Fu Manchu left no head un-banged, no air guitar un-strummed, and no shirt un-sweaty in a dynamic full frontal assault.
With fuzzed out glory and in a cloud of dope smoke and adulation they blasted through Squash That Fly, California Crossing, Eastin’ Dust, Evil Eye, Weird Beard, King Of The Road, and more, before wrapping up with the towering Godzilla.