Ding Dong Melbourne
Last week, Rocket Science guitarist Paul Mabury mentioned
to me in an interview that there was the possibility of smoke and explosions during their Ding Dong Easter weekend shows,
since their equipment is apparently on the verge of collapse due to relentless touring. Well, all the gear stayed relatively
intact, but the band themselves exhibited a complete rock detonation.
The four-piece have been overseas a lot of late; supporting
the Dirtbombs and working hard to gain their own international following. So there has been a noticeable absence of Rocket
Science shows on the local front. There was a quickie at the Espy on New Years, and then they supported The Dirtbombs at The
Tote under a different name a week or two ago, but their headline spots at Ding Dong were what most were really waiting for.
Local collective City Lights were the only support
for Good Friday nights show, and the Ivy League lads broke the speakers in with a solid half-hour performance of power-pop
rock, finishing with their new single What You Gonna Do? Does that guitarist always wear that long-sleeved striped top? Might
as well get a trademark in early.
Now dont get me wrong, Ding Dong is a nice place; with its silver curtains and comfy couches
but the joint can become over-packed in a heartbeat. Thus it was on Friday night, as was to be expected I guess. After handing
out some beers to people down the front, the band kicked shit in just before 11pm with the immediate Going Away. After filtering
through the well-known tunes from their first two records they offered up a handful of new tracks, all of which sound spectacular.
New single Sex Call is even more of a treat live, with some of the other newies having a tinge of punk in the verses.
Paul decided about mid-set to shove his guitar neck
up into some of the ceiling tiles, which was quite unnecessary but eye-catching. After destroying two or three of the tiles
the establishment owners or sound-guy must have shot him a look as he stopped doing it.
Erupting into some other favourites like Being Followed
and Burn In Hell the encore was a complete instrumental spazz-out. This is when Rocket Science are at their best frontman
Roman Tucker rolling around on the ground with one hand reaching up banging odd notes in his upturned Yamaha, and drummer
Kit just lost in his own frenzied beats; all the while theres a blaring theremin note resonating over everything. After Roman
decided to unexpectedly jump backwards into the crowd, and pretty much crumple one young fellow, there was some more jamming
before it all ended in distortion hums. If you saw Rocket Science sometime in 2002/03 and thought they were fiery enough then,
you wont believe how they can perform onstage now.
Footnote what a shame if you went Saturday night instead,
as the show was cancelled because Roman injured his head. We hear hes in hospital but is stable. Best wishes from all at Beat.
Gav Ross Beat Magazine