GARGANTUA FEATURING PSYCHONAUT, MAVERICK FIREBIRD, ELECTRIC STATE, ART OF DYSFUNCTION
THE MILK BAR
Photos by Emanuel Rudnicki – Carving A Giant
There was a rumble in the jungle of outer space on star-date 28/05/2021 as GARGANTUA opened up a new portal via the Milk Bar. As a first timer to The Civic Hotel’s renovated band room, I found myself in orbit around the venue till the black hole opened up on the Coles side of the carpark. New lighting towers were apparent and there was a marked improvement in the acoustics.
These guys combine seasoned professionalism with ridiculous banter that may or may not cause rectal leakage!
As it became apparent that ART OF DISFUNCTION were ready for this intergalactic experience, a booming voice filled the black hole. Was it a message from GOD?…. Hang on…. Is it some sort of Intergalactic fight night or a colossal battle of axe and batons?… “weighing in at 838 Facebook Likes – ART OF DISFUNCTIOOOOOOOOOOON”! And that’s when it started, the voice of Gargantua was replaced by the heavy blues rock stylings of a band that punch well above their Facebook weight. It was easy to get into the groove as the four-piece delivered their growing arsenal of original thumping songs. There is nothing dysfunctional about them except their wardrobe.
We were reacquainted with “The Voice of Gargantua” as ELECTRIC STATE was introduced. With the new layout at Milk Bar, the burning question from the get-go was “What is Rob Viney going to climb?”… We were about to find out as this years double WAM award winners adorned the stage with Russ providing the signature opening riff to “Get In You”. And that’s what this band does, they get in you, around you and on anything physically possible. As Paul(bass) & Bill(drums) bring the rhythm section into play, you soon realise why ELECTRIC STATE won the WAM award for ‘Most Popular Live Act’ (Editor’s note: If we really have to mention WAM, we should get the name of the award right, Frankie). With Rob Viney (vocals, guitar, Janis) as front man, he takes the audience on a joy ride of harmonies and catchy choruses. With Janis(megaphone) in hand, Rob soon joins the crowd, coaxing potential vocalists out of their shell. Group sing-a-longs engage the whole Gargantua crowd, then all of a sudden in another “where’s Wally” scene, where the hell is Rob?… Oh, look up there!… He’s up near the ceiling, embracing the lighting tower as the show goes on. Another interstellar act that doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. In fact, it won’t surprise if they take to the big arena’s of the universe when that damn virus is laid to rest.
With the half-time recess allowing for bladder clearance, it was back to business as Gargantua brought forth the lean, mean, sonic machine that is MAVERICK FIREBIRD!! After a brief hiatus and a lineup change since the release of their self titled debut album, it’s been a pleasure to catch them back on the gig circuit. Craig Jovanovic spearheads this project which re-launches the blues based heavy sound of the halcyon days of the early 70’s but with a local slant that has you standing tall and proud to be a West Aussie. I’m talking about the anthem “Great Northern Highway” in which this song alone will raise your hackles and take you on an epic journey. If that doesn’t sell the band to you, “Black Voodoo” will ensure your “Obsession” for more. You only had to look at the lineup to recognise the local music scenes incestuous nature and brilliance as Royce Mack (drums) and Michael Menna (guitar), both from Art of Disfunction, joined Craig Jovanovic (guitar, vocals), along with Simon Hallet (bass). These guys combine seasoned professionalism with ridiculous banter that may or may not cause rectal leakage!
Enter PSYCHONAUT and its time to get mental, dark, twisted and insanely entertained by the veterans of absurd thrash and speed metal. It’s been 26 years since ex Voyager stalwart “Mark De Vattimo” launched this crazy outfit. Another act that has been rarely active in recent years but seemingly back with a vengeance and lust. Gargantua had already been a rocket ride and Psychonaut were not about to let momentum slide. On the contrary, the adrenaline surged as the sheer prowess of heavy metal creativity filled the cosmos. Whilst dark and heavy bombastic riffs contrasted with speed & power it was a roller coaster ride with no shortage of thrills. And then there’s another twist, this band don’t take too much too seriously as the element of satire shows, along with the crazy antics. Throw in some classic Dio and my night was complete. This 3 piece outfit of seasoned pros also show the incestuous nature of the music world with Mark De Vattimo(vocals & guitar operator) also active in Jazz & blues projects plus tribute bands such as Orgasmatron & Sabotage. Sebastian Giorgi(drums) also occupies the throne in Sabotage & Cold Fate, whilst Simon Hallet(bass, vocals) making it double duty for him on this epic journey through GARGANTUA!
I look forward to another GARGANTUAN probing.