I had an awful day on Friday - I'm trying to come off some prescription drugs, and the side effects are quite yucky. I had to go home from work in the middle of the day, costing me $100 in lost wages, and I wasn't entirely sure if I had gastro (caught from visiting my grandfather in hospital) or it was just the pills talking. I went home and slept for 6 hours, then miserably contemplated losing the money I'd paid to see Stereo Total at the Northcote Social Club. Anyway, I had something to eat, took a couple of parrots eat 'em all and hauled my sorry arse up to Northcote from the Deep South (ie Malvern). I'm so glad I did.
One lesson learned from this experience is that you DON'T have to loyally suffer through mediocre support bands, especially when withdrawing from happy pills, but under any circumstances, really. No matter how gorgeous the guys are (although the female drummer from whatever groovy nonentity was on when I got there had some very interesting tattoos), they suck and are 99.99999% unlikely to become The Next Big Thing, and even if they do they still suck. I went for a delicious felafel at the local Turkish halal kebabery and felt much better - a far more productive use of my time than breathing beer and farts because of the off-chance that I might not be able to be RIGHT UP THE FRONT (and when I got back I ended up front and centre anyway). Considering it was a sold-out show I feel quite fortunate - where are all these Australian fans coming from? Do Stereo Total get played on radio here? Or are there shitloads of people in Melbourne who are just as happy to get all their music off the internets as I am?
I was a tiny bit surprised by the singer's appearance, which is stupid of me - Françoise Cactus looks quite a bit like your high school's bursar (the person who handles payments, whom you just know has some kind of secret life involving latex). The show was charming and affable - odd descriptions for a punk rock show but they're an odd band. Françoise's naughty schoolmarm aura contrasted nicely with Brezel Göring's wild man of avant-garde thinger. They did a lot with minimal equipment, managing to fill a room with only a tiny drumkit (one snare, two hi-hats and an effects pedal) and a synthesiser - the bit where Göring played the pipes around the stage was especially priceless. For 'L'amour À 3' they dragged a slightly surprised (but very hot) Asian dude on stage to do the 'wa-OooOoo' bit. When they invited the audience on stage during 'Wir tanzen im 4-eck' (we are dancing in a square, we are dancing concentrated), someone nicked the banner that can be seen in this video, and the show halted while they entreated the souvenir-collector to give it back. I was hoping that during the fake encores (don't get me started on fake encores - just play the frickin' songs already) they'd play I Am Naked, but alas, clearly this was the mandated-by-law Song That Ms .45 Loves But Touring Bands Won't Play.
Whatever you do, you must see Stereo Total if they play in your town - the audience is HOTT!!! and the show is hilarious and warm and fluffy. To compensate for the tragic lack of I Am Naked, here's the German version on video, complete with HOTT!!! but slightly tubby people in their unterhosen.