The Fumes Live at The East Brunswick Club
Wind, hail and bitter cold; Thank you mid-spring Melbourne. What wasn’t windy, hailing and bitterly cold (well, maybe metaphorically) were The Fumes. Having been some time since their last headline shows, it was shaping up to be a lovely Saturday evening, regardless of some horrendous weather.
Canucks Elliot Brood were enlisted as support and as they were from overseas, they had to be good, right? Armed with two heavily effected acoustic guitars and some drums they brought some folk-soaked, rock ‘n’ roll good times. Clearly enjoying themselves on stage, they got the swelling crowd involved making some jokes about Skippy, which no one really understood because no one watches that fucking show. Anyway, no one blamed the Canadians for having a crack and the songs were good – fairly similar – but overall, good.
Next up were The Fumes, and good times appeared guaranteed. Opening up with Rogue River Woman from their latest album, the crowd were loving it. Steve was chair-bound for the majority of the gig due to a highly reported illness, regularly ducking off stages for “spew breaks”. This of course, wasn’t true – Senor Merry, according to drummer Joel, was just having a seat. This was much to the disappointment of some truly wasted individuals from Sydney who were, may I just add, the absolute pits, consistently offering low grade banter.
After the second song, Steve said thank you and good night (clearly a having a lend) before launching into the ever-fantastic Automobile which, as always, was stellar. To coincide with the average New South Welshmen, there was another fella who kept telling the lads it was his birthday. Unfortunately, The Fumes didn’t come prepared with a birthday cake. Eventually Steve told him he’d buy him a beer, which thankfully quietened him up somewhat.
Cuddle Up The Devil was punchy as ever and had everyone stamping their feet and Seven Year Itch oozed blues into every corner of The East Brunswick Club. As promised there was a solid spread of old, new and really old – much to the appreciation of a few punters who had been there from the start. Tell Ya Story Walking was, and I suspect always will be, a highlight. I had the delight of being with a couple of mates who hadn’t seen The Fumes before and watching their expressions as the song changed from a frenetic pace to the slow, deliberate, riff-filled last couple of minutes was priceless. Mystery Belle got a rare run as well and transformed The East Brunswick Club into a good ol' fashioned hoe-down in a dance hall. I am very much looking forward to what these lads produce next, they are a force. Get it up ya.