TISM, Punter's Club Hotel, 31/01/02

This was a short-notice (not secret) gig to "celebrate" the impending closure of one of Melbourne's legendary live venues, the Punter's Club Hotel. While I haven't been a regular Punter in ages, owing to a lack of cash and a tendency for the Punters to feature shitty JJJ bands, nevertheless the Punters has been the site of many of my all-time favourite gigs... and this was one of them.

Jeremy Fantl and Mark RosenbergA bunch of craplisters caught up before the gig to compare recording equipment and get a head start on alcohol poisoning. Unfortunately it turned out that Jezza's videorecording didn't capture any sound, although apparently the T&A (todger and arse) are all intact. Pictured: Jezza, Mark Rosenberg.

The Fat Thing used to play the Punters a lot in the early 90s. I never bothered to see them because they play generic heavy rock, but their TISM support was solidly entertaining, mainly because of the singer's stage presence and audience interaction (at one point he knelt down and sloppily licked my neck, later going into the audience and picking up craplister Kim, who had made the mistake up trying to look up his dress...).

The Fat Thing garbage bag cossie The Fat Thing nightie. Kim looks on as the Fat Thing gets down

The Fat Thing were surprisingly well received - normally TISM fans are rabid hoons who will tear apart any band foolish enough to delay them from seeing their favourite masked thugs - but no-one was in any delusion about what we were there for, and when TISM took the stage from the main bar entrance (ie by walking through the audience), the screams and wet knickers equalled any Robbie Williams concert.

Les Miserables TOKIIIIIIIIIIIN!!!!!!!!!!! Humph and radio mike Ron craves attention - pity they're all boys You are on Channel Turd

The set was opened, as usual recently, with I Drive A Truck, then into Channel Turd. I have to admit I don't particularly like Channel Turd on CD, but live it's really great. I, sitting on the stage in the hope of good photo-ops, got squished like a bug while classic rock such as Greg the Stop Sign, Whatareya? and Saturday Night Palsy caused the crowd to surge forward, although that could be just be because they all wanted to get into Ron's pants.

If those were my hands you could guess what would be going on here, but I think she's trying to push Ron away.

Traditional mid-set diatribe was a verse tribute to the Punters, and a lament for the demise of rockism to be replaced by latte sipping cliches. It was utterly predictable, but still funny and well pleased the audience who had all bussed in from Dandenong just for the occasion.

After my personal fave from De Rigueurmortis, Thou Shalt Not Britney Spear - I sing along and know all the words, and it sounds pretty painful when I do it (apologies to those of you who have the Laundry video by Peter Aylward, where you can clearly hear me singing) - the band launched into Death Death Death Amway Amway Amway, after which the whole show degenerated as Ron ripped off his Calvins and then proceeded to dack Jon St Peenis.

At this point that's the result of someone else trying to dack Ron, but evidently this was inspiring...

I have an argument going with a fellow craplister over whether Jon St Peenis, pictured above, is "chunky". If he's a "larger bloke" then the rest of us must be veritable Santa Clauses. It's this kind of sizeism that causes anorexia, you know.

Here's the full setlist for the gig. After Mystery of the Artist Explained, with its obligatory swipe at Phillip Ruddock - dull, but unfortunately true - they disappeared for two seconds, then did an "encore" (I'm sorry, but I don't think it's really an encore when it's planned!) of Defecate On My Face and I'll 'Ave Ya. The words at the bottom of the setlist read "TISM - at your cervix". I wish.

These lovely ladies were friends of The Fat Thing. The woman on the right wears a t-shirt that says "VAGINAMITE" and a similar badge on her hat that reads "VEGETATE". The girl with the impressive cleavage is Welsh and owns a cigarette case with hologrammatic bikini girls on it with a lighter on the top. Thanks for the Stuyvie, girlfriend!

Craplister Brent Edwards with Mick Molloy. Both are well over .05, as is the photographer. Just before this photo was taken, Mark Rosenberg had phoned Owen Brown to skite about how great the gig was, so we all took it in turns to grab the phone and scream "FUCKING AWESOME GIG YOU DIPPED OUT SUCK SHIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!!"


Honour Blackman mention: occasional craplister Jason Hecker also took digital photos on a mission from Eggy. Unfortunately his camera wasn't behaving itself, but nevertheless he got some great shots, if perhaps not quite what he was after.

A particularly good shot of Ron and Les Miserables.

Hark back to the days of the Cleo centrefold, when all manner of self-conscious and awkward props were used to cover men's floppy bits. Admittedly, those props didn't generally involve rock fan's heads.

Nor did they generally involve my elbow. I am a fig leaf!

This is the shot Hecker was TRYING to get, but perhaps without the parallax error. Personally, I think the fact that I've cut Ron's head off in this shot indicates to a certainty that I'm a desperate old maid who should go and do push-ups in the cucumber patch. Nice tan lines there.



This is the Punter's Club roof after the gig.
In all, a fitting tribute to one of Melbourne's great venues.

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