Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mammoth Mammoth.

Sat 14th November 2009.
The Tote, Collingwood, Melbourne.

Sunday Bloody Sunday,
Sabbath bloody Sabbath,
And then of course there's

The night was organised as a "big fuck you to Lung Fibrosis". A benefit gig to support Tobias from Mid North Coast band BoozeHag who is currently in need of a lung transplant. The bands’ had donated their time and the rest of us were ready to rock!

Due to injuries, My Left Boot and Kids of Zoo didn’t play. Unfortunately I missed Daughterboy Jao and Don Fernando & The Council. I paid my way and wandered in part way through The Peep Tempel set. We went out into the beer garden ready to drink the hectic week that had been away. From what I heard, the two-piece were cranking and those that stayed inside to be a part of it didn't miss out. Will definitely keep an eye out for another gig.

Mammoth are bigger than their name. That's perhaps why not many came. It's a lot for the punters to deal with. No bullshit, fuckin’ shit hot Tote rock. Straight up we knew it was going to be the set from hell! Whether it was the Tote's rock gods behind them or just for the support of Booze Hag's Tobias, Mammoth Mammoth delivered.

Mammoth’s intensely hyperactive vocalist, Mikey, didn't appreciate the punters who were sitting outside from the getgo, even though they’d paid support they weren’t getting involved. He thought he'd bring the outside in. He brought them a little closer by opening up the window… with his head! How the hell do you top that during the first song of the set? Smashing a window with your forehead! Those that saw were stoked and shocked but altogether loved being a part of the energy tonight!

As one of the Tote’s security staff calmly cleaned up the mess (oxymoron, security & calm in the same sentence!), Mammoth were blistering through their set! The way Bones was belting those skins you wouldn’t have known he wasn’t well and even passed up a BBQ invite during the day so he could get it right tonight. Right he did! He looks like Captain Caveman sitting there up the back keeping it tight as hell reigns supreme.

It was brought up after by a couple of members of the band that they aren’t the most technically proficient band out there but to the punter that craves kick-arse riffs, it doesn’t even enter your mind. Mammoth aren’t constrained by the regular conformities of playing live, they venture out from the stage, literally, Mikey’s presence through the Tote pit was like a tornado, reefing his mic cord around, kicking what he could. The foldback speakers didn’t stand a chance and found themselves landing on the floor a number of times.

Some friends of mine, Hutchy and Jimmy, were Mammoth virgins and certainly had that cherry popped. Well… more like exploded! When Mikey jumped from the stage and hung from the lighting rig swinging feet first into them, it was sheer pleasure dripping from their faces! Headbanging with them and sharing ‘yeahs’ into the mic, they were rockin out like they were in front of thousands at Donnington!

Which is what everyone was feeling when Cuz ripped into the opening chords of Kyuss’ Green Machine. Rough as guts rock is fuckin’ great and throw a Kyuss cover into the mix… what more could you want? And that’s what draws you to Mammoth, the familiarity with the old school, the love of all things rock and that they still kick it with their own attitude and style. I was told that a review on Mammoth’s release wasn’t impressed with their cover of Green Machine and that when you try to cover a song exactly as the original it doesn’t pay respect to the band covered. Something along those lines… Unfortunately I couldn’t find the review to quote. How do you pay the ultimate homage to a band revered by many and put up on the highest of pedestals? Play one of their songs how you feel it running through your veins, your interpretation, your style and showing them honestly how it makes you feel. It doesn’t sound the same. It has more of a Cosmic Psycho’s Aussie pub rock edge, perfect for the Tote and perfect for their fans. Mammoth Mammoth do it with a power and force that many couldn’t compete with. They do it in their own way, possibly a big fuck you to convention and certainly a much respected shout out to Kyuss. To said reviewer… get your head out of your arse!

How do you rate a highlight from a set like this… When talking to Mikey after the gig he thought that the blistering Short Fuse Lifestyle would be the stand out on their latest release, it packs more than a mighty punch and fast suits the band but listeners of their debut full-length and the punters tonight seem to head toward the meandering heaviness that is Engulfed By Flames. It showcases Mikey’s raspy vocals perfectly.

The band just doesn’t hold back. Whether it’s Gash belting his bass while writhing on the floor and flinging his glasses across the room, Cuz shredding on the guitar – riffs that took me right through 80’s Anthrax to the Descendants to 90’s stoner and pub rock or Bones belting the hell out of his kit, Mammoth are truly worth hearing but 200% definitely worth seeing live! This band is made for the stage, made for gig speakers and made for an audience.

After the gig we went for a wander to find somewhere to drink and ended up with some of the Mammoth boys at Ya Ya’s. Which is always an odd mix of folk; those too drunk to find their own way home and those too drunk trying to find their way into someone else’s home! Chatted with the guys about the band, music in general and consumed half the bar.

I ran into Paul Dempsey as I was leaving the toilets. He got acosted by my mate in there for a photo. I at least had the manners to wait until he walked out! A backpacker from Sweden said “I am not from Australia, are you famous?” Ummm yes! Just one of “Australia's greatest guitarists!” I reply. “Not really” says Paul ever so humbly. ”He is underrating himself! He is definitely one of Australia’s greatest guitarist’s!” And a photo was then had by all!

If Mammoth, Paul Dempsey and copious amounts of alcohol wasn’t enough, who else should grace the space of Ya Ya’s but none other than Adalita from Magic Dirt. My long standing favourite Aussie band. Ahhh, I remember the day when I kept going in to the local record store in Manly and harassing the staff… “Has it come in yet? Has it come in yet?” Eagerly awaiting the release of Signs Of Satanic Youth. The alcohol content in my veins seemed to destroy any nerves left in me long enough to find out her favourite Magic Dirt song is She Riff, because she has always liked the clip!

We staggered outside into the unwelcoming morning and slid into our respective cabs. Was a blurry ride home filled with a mixture of odd conversation and what seemed to be the Star Wars cantina band playing on the stereo. I quietly knocked everything over as I clambered inside and finally got into bed at 5:46am. I have no idea how I remember that other than it’s one of those random things that I remember that knocks something important out of my head like…..

Even my cat jumps off the bed thinking, “Dude, you're too pissed! Don't sit on me! So not interested in pat's tonight!”

It was a massive night… it took a few days for coherence to start making a comeback and for the vertigo to chill out whenever I stood. It was an unsettling couple of days after, but cheers to the Mammoth boys for a rockin’ night and one of the greatest sets from any band I have ever seen! They were tight, switched on and everything that night was electric! Thanx for hanging out for drinks after. It's been a looooong time since I've walked through my front door when the sun's coming up!

Log onto Mammoth’s site and grab a copy of their full-length release while you can! It kick’s arse and the artwork is super sweet! It oozes style with naked girls sitting around a burning Ganesh holding a megaphone, a smoking bong and the heads of the Mammoth crew! Artwork is some of the best you will ever see!

Mammoth Mammoth are:
Gash - Bass
Mikey - Vocals
Cuz - Guitar
Bones - Drums

For more information on lung fibrosis or in particular the form that Tobias has, scleroderma with pulmonary fibrosis, please check out the scleroderma NSW site which also includes Australian Support Group details.

Please contact Skye from The Little Bird Agency to make a donation to support Tobias.

For some rockin tunes, click on the bands below.
Booze Hag
Mammoth Mammoth
The Peep Tempel
Daughterboy Jao
Don Fernando & The Council
Kids Of Zoo
My Left Boot

Paul Dempsey - Something For KateAdalita Srsen - Magic Dirt

© Anthony Moore 2009.

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