SLASH, Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, 2012

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Live review: SLASH at Thebarton Theatre, August 28 2012

By STEVE MASCORD

NEW Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. A Tuesday night in Adelaide. After just three songs, they are neck-and-neck.

This reviewer did not set out to compare the Slash show at Thebarton Theatre last night to Guns N’Roses all-bells-and-whistles outing at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino which rang in my 2012.

That had probably been one of my personal gigs of the year to date, with Axl Rose’s wailing version of AC/DC’s “Riff Raff” a spine-tingling highlight, and this was … well … a Tuesday night in Adelaide.

But given the pulsating, compelling, crushing delivery of “Halo”, “Nightrain” and “Ghost”, the comparison had quickly grown unavoidable. Slash’s new album may be a little too modern rock for these ears but this is already a visceral, life-affirming spectacle.

By the time “Standing In The Sun”, “Back From Cali” and “Mr Bownstone” flash by as songs four, five and six respectively, it’s official: Tuesday night in Adelaide is actually BETTER than New Years in Las Vegas.

Myles Kennedy, replete with understated dark buttoned shirt and chain wallet, is as close to perfect as any vocalist you could hope to be. He doesn’t try to imitate Axl or any of the other singers he is “covering” tonight – but makes every single tune (aside from the two sung by vocalist Todd Kerns) his own.

Slash is like a footballer who has become a tennis player. Before, you could only glance at him occasionally – now he is the centre of attention despite uttering barely a word into the microphone all night.

And he stands up to the scrutiny. To say his is a God-like presence as he grimaces, smiles  and plays classic riff after classic riff is the suggest you expected anything else – and I didn’t.

Here is what does surprise, delight and entrance:

Slash has decided to stick with a band – The Conspirators – rather than continue down the purely solo path. As I said, the recorded result of this is not quite to this writer’s taste.

But live, the punkish aesthetic of Appetite For Destruction, born out of squalid camaraderie, has been gloriously resurrected. Axl once once said an early 2000s incarnation of GN’R could “play the shit” out of the early songs. Well the Conspirators can play the #!#% out of them – with all the subtlety of a rhinoceros on Viagra.

“Rocket Queen”, “Nightrain”, “Mr Brownstone”, these guitar-driven anthems from 1987 get their most anarchic, authentic renditions from this band. The current GNR, on the other hand, leans heavily in style and feel towards the over-blown but magnificent Use Your Illusion albums – into which Slash did not delve at all last night.

Pauses between songs while pianos and the like are wheeled out – and the number of slower tunes – suck the momentum away from current GN’R. It’s only the Blues Jam and “Godfather Theme” which do that to Slash’s gritty set.

Ultimately, Slash gets out of the DeLorean from scummy 1988 where this was the size of venue Guns were playing. Axl is from still from 1992, when they were in stadia. That’s the difference.

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Kings Of The Sun Hit Back At Axl Rose, Search For New Singer

By STEVE MASCORD

AFTER finally responding to Axl Rose 24 years after the Gunners front-man kicked him out of the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Kings Of The Sun drummer Cliff Hoad is looking for a new singer – to replace his brother.

The Gold Coast rockers wrote themselves a little piece of Oz Rock history in December, 1988, when Axl apologised from the stage for having “a puny-assed band” like KOTS open for them. Cliff had said in an interview that GN’R had more than borrowed their tough guy image from Rose Tattoo, and Axl had them kicked out of the Haymarket arena in response.

Their PA support was pulled and their laminates were ripped from around their necks. Hoad has bitten his tongue over the affair for almost quarter of a century but tells Triple M Rock News: “History has shown anything that comes out of that guy’s mouth can be taken with a grain of salt – including (by) his own band members.

“If he was ridiculous and over-sensitive back then, it’s the same today and it doesn’t wash with people anymore. Leaving people out there for two hours and not showing up for gigs, doing things that are really disrespectful to his fans and his band members and even himself …

“So whatever he said about me, or Kings Of The Sun, is just water off a duck’s back. I never thought anything of it. When I said those things, I meant them. It wasn’t necessarily aimed at Guns N’Roses. It was aimed at the Australian press and public. ‘OK, make a fuss over Guns N’Roses but at least know that Rose Tattoo exists.”

Cliff believes the time is right to relaunch Kings Of The Sun, now that the Baby Animals, Cold Chisel and Nick Barker & The Reptiles are treading the boards once again. The only problem is that blond-maned singer – and Cliff’s brother – Jeffrey Hoad isn’t interested.

Jeffrey Hoad last September was convicted in a Brisbane court of drugs production charges and sentenced to a suspended 12-month prison term/

So Cliff is looking for an Aussie singer who looks flashy but is far enough from being a wanker to avoid Aussie crowds throw things at him.

“The magic of Jeff is a very hard act to follow but as you know I have been left with no other way to go but to follow your recommendations, fans!” Cliff says.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Check out the classic KOTS song “Serpentine” at the bottom of this page let us know. Send your videos to Hotmetalmag@gmail.com.

Filed for: TRIPLE M