Buck 65 live at Prince Of Wales July 2006(Melbourne)


I wrote this pretty quickly for inpress here in Melbourne. But it can give you a bit of an idea of what Seb was talking about in terms of patchy last album but pretty damn good live show:

If you walked in on Curse Ov Dialect for the first time, prowling around the stage, bizarrely dressed full of energy, it would almost be too much to devour at once. Every moment seems like something incredibly important is happening; such is the gravity with which they approach stupidity. Yet aside from their antics, their message is one of tolerance and understanding, rapping over world and traditional music samples, whilst they gesture wildly. Sydney outfit the Bird were keen to get the party started, imploring the audience that it was all improvised and that they feed off the energy of the room. And the steadily building crowd, who were quite satisfied to place some distance between themselves and those Curse weirdos, streamed to the front and really kicked things off. A mixture of dub and drum and bass courtesy of a live drummer, electronics, bass and the incredible Tabla of Indian classical player Bobby Singh, the reaction to the Bird was huge, with bodies flung haphazardly to their intricate upbeat rhythms. Slowing it all down to allow a Bobby Singh solo was easily the highlight of the night.

Buck came on and Buck was sick, grimacing with each step, clutching at his nose and coughing. It’s hard to know how sick, thanks to his hammy on stage persona, but lets just say he was sweating profusely and very pale. Yet he steadfastly persevered drawing in the main from his recent long player Secret House Against the World. He may have been going through the motions, just to get through it, but it was still a great performance, his show pretty much a karaoke routine, singing over a backing tape, and occasionally scratching. Yet such is the force of his charisma and the ingenuity of his word plays that it feels like so much more. He was ably assisted by his fiancée Claire, a stunning French chanteuse whom he called to the stage for duet duties. Of course her appearance shattered the hearts of some of his admirers in the front row, particularly during Drawing Curtains, where they fell just short of dry humping on stage, yet her presence added an extra dimension to Buck’ rapidly developing shtick. He also played some new tracks, in which he seems to have moved beyond his Johnny Cash fixation and into fifties exotica, the track “spread em,’ in which he spurts out cop show clichés was particularly well received. And he played homage to the older classics like the Centaur, and delved into Talkin Honky Blues for the likes of 463, Wicked and Weird. For a sick man, he gave it a good shot and when he threw his glitter in the air one last time and offered his hand to the front row despite the risk of contracting his affliction people streamed forward eager to get a touch on Buck.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.