Seeing: The Beasts of Bourbon - ANU Bar Canberra

Confounded study (and nerdiness) kept me from seeing much (or any) of the support acts - Roland S Howard and Magic Dirt - but I saw the Beasts of Bourbon play one of the most chaotic, shambolic and yet utterly ROCK shows I've ever seen last night.

From the small part of the set that I heard, Magic Dirt were tight and loud - and it appears fortunately that they're moving away from their much poppier sounds of the last few years.

But the show was all about the Beasts - (check out my thoughts on their new album here)

Tex Perkins, even off his tits as he appeared to be, positively exuded charisma - and this in the face of spitting on stage, regularly dropping the mic (not in a clumsy way necessarily, just not caring), breaking off midsong to banter with the band and spectacularly falling backwards off stage (like a scuba diver entering the water) halfway through the final song. For all of this, my friend Jo, veteran of rock shows, left the venue feeling even more gooey about the man than ever before.

So how did he pull this off? A combination of rock theatricality, good naturedness and just being generally piss-funny as well as bursts of rock'n'roll brilliance from the band. There was a sense that at any moment that whole stage could just totter into complete chaos, only to come back from the brink at the last moment - as a show it was compelling.

The hand gestures and showmanship, the running gags about how "tight" the band was and the seeming fascination with doing that tip the mic stand with your foot and bring it back (which the man is clearly a guru at) kind of brings to mind the Drunken Master kung-fu style.

I guess the ultimate measure of how good a show was is that I bought two tshirts - which I don't think I've ever done at a gig before.

(and all this with them not even playing Chase the Dragon - which members of the crowd had called out for all night. My thoughts at the time were - look guys, it's their big number, it'll have to be the final encore song, just relax - but then it never came. I was left with a feeling like the end of the final episode of The Sopranos - is it brilliance or is it wrong. Brilliance came out trumps)