The Toot Toot Toots @ The Hi-Fi
If Bruce McAvaney was a rock’n’roll commentator, he’d have spent early the evening before tonight’s Toot Toot Toots album launch waxing lyrical about the spectacle that was about to unfold, for this was an event that was only ever going to be, in Bruce’s time-honoured discourse, special.
Mother And Son are a great band, period. Brodie Jarman has the couture, coiffure and classic style of any rock’n’roll icon; on drums Matman thrashes a beat so violent it almost warranted attention from the resident security personnel. Theirs is music conceived in the bars of the '50s, matured on the garages of the early 60s and consummated in the garages of the late '60s. Everybody should see Mother And Son.
John Dickson’s declaration that this would be one of Little John’s last gigs from some time was the only damp note on an otherwise typically spiritually uplifting Little John set. If the average Sunday church service was this impressive, congregations would be spilling over with converts, believers and revivalists. At one point Dickson jumps into the crowd and manages, miraculously, to avoid injury. Another irrefutable sign of goodness.
There was a distinct sense Toot Toot Toots was looking to impress like never before tonight. With regular appearances from its go-go dancing troupe, the band had more fun than a beagle in a butcher’s shop. The set drew heavily from the Toots’ new record, Outlaws, including the rousing Gomorrah Fields and the sublime spaghetti garage Lily Of Sharon. Guiliano Ferla has the crazy eyes of a circus performer eager to drag anyone along for a wild ride; Danny Eucalyptus has a voice like shovelled gravel, yet can pull out a moment of elegant harmony that defies understanding. It’s colour, movement, mania and rock’n’roll beauty; the crowd is dancing en masse, and everybody’s got a shit-eating grin.
There’s a few tracks from the Toots’ debut release, Curse Of The Crow, before the band departs the stage for a well-earned break. The second encore brings with it a dedication to mixer and label boss Loki Lockwood: the featured track seems vaguely familiar, and possibly out of place. Before we know it, the distinctive string melody of ELO’s It’s A Living Thing fills the venue, and it’s a moment to savour for time immemorial. Special, Bruce would say.
BY PATRICK EMERY
LOVED: The cover of ELO’s It’s A Living Thing. Who wouldn’t?
HATED: Paying $9 for a stubbie of Fat Yak.
DRANK: Fat Yak, at $9 a pop.