Here at the Standard tonight in Sydney for a ‘secret’ show from the Baby Animals who have told us they’re going to showcase not only some of their new material but hopefully a slurry of hits from the albums that made them a name, and as the band take the stage with ‘Got It Bad’ which has been floating around for a few years, you really get the vibe that this is going to be a special night. To then throw straight into ‘Early Warning’ was an unexpected early treat and those here agreed. This was the first real taste Australia got of this amazing rock band back in 1991 that literally owned the Australian rock scene for the few years following. What made this band the powerhouse it was, was the raw vocal talent of Suze DeMarchi and the amazing guitar work of Dave Leslie, who are the only original members remaining but with the new additions of Dario on bass and Mick on drums they have really padded out the sound of the band and given them a new direction and groove.
As the band takes us through some new tracks of which I don’t know the names of, sorry, all I can say is the country is in for a treat, there are hooks, there is rock and to me there is that sound that the Australian rock scene has been missing, Suze still has the chops to sing these tracks and to me it’s exciting to hear that this band still wants it. Through ballads and rockers, this is a night of recognition, a reintroduction to a band that should never have dropped off the radar that should once again be the biggest band in Australia. Will that happen? Probably not. Should it? Absolutely.
To then bust out a track like ‘One Word’ which sounds like it did back in the day and to see the way it is loved is something pretty special. So, what I do like is that the new material sounds fresh yet maintains the vibe of the band that we all know and love, a testament to a band that doesn’t want to change who they are. It’s a case of balance tonight as when you play ‘Painless’ which has everyone singing along it proves that these songs hold up. Change? I need that like a hole in the head…
New vs old takes on a whole new level when classic ‘Rush You’ makes its way in to the set early and as it really is my favourite Baby Animals track and it just shows me how they love what they have created, tonight they play it flawlessly and have the crowd in the palm of their hand. What a rocker it is and you know what? This song still stands up today and could be a hit, that to me shows how good it is. With a new album coming at the end of May, and get this, twenty years since their last full studio album, there is that sense of excitement here as the fans are hearing brand new songs for the first time that will make it to the album, and it’s a special treat when that happens, so to say that those here are pumped for new material is an understatement and as I’ve said, it’s going down a treat, much like the hot dogs that we all got on the way in.
With an encore they return with a few more and slow it down a little for a newie but as Sarah McLeod from The Superjesus joins the band on stage for a tribute to Chrissy Amphlett who of course passed away earlier this week, they treat us to a cover of The Divinyls classic ‘Boys In Town’ and this is something else, not to harp on the whole women in rock thing, but seeing these two up there tonight paying tribute to a woman that paved the way for many in the industry was just one for the history books in Australian rock and roll. Sarah stays on stage for ‘Ain’t Gonna Get’ and they just own the place with the perfect closer. This is what rock and roll is all about.
The vocals haven’t wavered, nor the musicianship and here’s hoping that ‘This is not The End’ for the Baby Animals but more of a well-deserved new beginning.
Venue: The Standard, Sydney
Date: April 24, 2013
If you couldn’t make it to Sydney for this show, well, look here..,.
AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES – ON SALE FROM MONDAY 29th APRIL 2013
Friday 14th June Sydney: Factory Theatre
Saturday 22nd June Melbourne: Hi Fi
Saturday 29th June Brisbane: Hi Fi
Baby Animals, This Is Not The End available Friday 31st May, preorder packages still available HERE