After already seeing them 5 times, there’s got to be a reason that I keep going back to see MangelWurzel. That reason is that every time I see them they get better and better. Strangely, it also seems that every time I see them they’re sporting a slightly different lineup. Their latest incarnation features the return of Anna Joy Gordon on sax, bringing the horn section back up to two, while the keyboards have all but disappeared with the departure of Natalie Pawuls. As good as they’ve been in the past (and they’ve been really fucking good), Mangelwurzel have never sounded better than they do now.

I caught most of Hideous Sun Demon’s rollicking, fuzz-laden performance and I was really impressed by the Perth boys. They delivered a brilliant set of super fun stoner, garage, surf, punk, funk blended in a way that kept the dancefloor pulsating with the groove from start to finish. I definitely recommend checking these guys out, if not just for Vin Buchanan’s eccentric vocals and stage presence.

After a screening of the video for ‘My House’ Cosi Jaala thanked the support bands and expressed her concerns about following Hideous Sun Demon in a way only she could, saying “I don’t know how we’re gonna play after those cunts but it’s too late to back out now!”

Right from the opening notes of ‘Oh Whys’ I noticed a different energy emanating from the stage to what I’d experienced at previous MangelWurzel shows, and it wasn’t just because of Cosi’s epic hangover. The mania was still there, both musically and otherwise, but there seemed to be an air of seriousness that, to me, felt totally new. And I loved it. A broken string early on meant Loretta Wilde used three guitars for three consecutive songs, but even with Cosi’s “smaller, shitter” guitar and a borrowed Telecaster, she still rocked it.

The more streamlined approach meant there was less instrument swapping, although Charlie Woods put down the trumpet and took over lead vocal and keyboard duties for the gloriously depraved ‘Baby Pie’. Previous single ‘Everybody’s Friend’ had the crowd singing along, and the new single they were launching was just perfect. No encore at the end of the set left some disappointed briefly, but an impromptu art performance (and singalong) of ‘Tiny Horse’ by a gentleman wearing only his boxers definitely made for a memorable, if not slightly chaotic, end to the night.

Wes Fahey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.