Nostalgia for original line ups can conjure up such intense feelings, that the announcement of Veruca Salt’s tour at the Corner Hotel, saw the show sell out within 8 hours. Is it because we’re sentimental for a genre that made the alternative music scene popular or are we suckers for catchy harmonies and copious use of distortion pedals?
The Corner is packed tighter than the tobacco in a Cuban cigar. While punters wait for the band who has in their own words, “Hatches buried, axes exhumed,” Sydney garage, punk pop rockers Bloods, unleash their frenetic paced, surfer tinged songs, punctuated with impressive vocals, and witty repartee. Single “No Fun” from latest EP Golden Fame incites the throng whilst lead vocalist MC confesses her love for Veruca Salt.
From the get go, Veruca Salt put on a solid performance that lived up to the hype; loud, grinding guitars, Louise Post and Nina Gordon’s hair thrashing about while they assault their axes, endearing harmonies and fans singing every word of even the lesser known songs. It brought back memories of when we were younger, life was simpler and fashion was easier. Checked shirt and black Levis anyone?
“One More Page of Insincerity Please” opens the set, with enough feed back to satisfy the most avid fan. Drawing heavily from albums American Thighs and Eight Arms to Hold You, plus a preview of their upcoming album release with singles “It’s Holy’ and “The Museum of Broken Relationships”, Veruca Salt sound as relevant as they did in their heyday. Seether is a force to be reckoned with, and their live rendition does justice to its memory, while “All Hail Me”, “Victrola”, “Spiderman 79” are equally as potent and Sundown an ode to Kurt Cobain is a sad reminder of that era. Minor quibbles are the intermittent weak vocals and insincere sounding between song banter. Does anyone except the diehard fan really care about Gordon confessing she’ll eat a Cherry Ripe on stage and how good looking we all are?
Repartee aside, Veruca Salt are back with a vengeance. Louise Post, Nina Gordon and her older bro drummer, Jim Shapiro, and bassist Steve Lack put on a killer show resurrecting the grunge of old and rekindled fond memories of the nineties.
Loved: The feed back squall of duelling guitars
Hated: The trite between song banter
Drank: It all in….
Photos by Mary Boukouvalas
First Published in Beat Magazine in September 2014