Live Gigs: The Drones & Gareth Liddiard @ Fremantle Festival

Well, both The Drones and Gareth Liddiard played shows at the Fremantle Festival this year. Yes, that’s pretty much the same artist but one gig he played solo and the other one with his long time band. I’ve never seen him perform both shows like these with only a day in-between, it’s always the band and/or solo shows/tours. It’s a pity they didn’t book three gigs with that side-project called MK-Ultra which is him on electric guitar with a drum machine and Dan and Steve on keyboards playing Drones songs but I don’t know if anyone else want to see that, they did it was a support spot for the Band Of Horses two Aussie shows so I should have just gone to Melbourne/Sydney again.

Anyway if you never seen shows before the difference is The Drones is a four/five pierce rock band with Gareth Liddiard as the front man/singer, he’s the songwriter and then he just plays his acoustic guitar all by his lonesome for his show. The Drones played Fremantle Town Hall on the Thursday night and then Gareth Liddiard played St. John’s Anglican Church around the corner on the Saturday night.

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Gaz and Bon in Freo

So as a pretext to these shows on all social media website’s The Drones have say these are the last shows for a while, I don’t know how long a while is? Do you? So it could be few months or years or what?  So above is photo they use to tell everyone to come along to see them, Liddiard in a Rambo jacket standing with his back to the camera flipping the bird next the Bon Scott statue in Fremantle. I never take any photos at gigs so that’s going have to do and I guess it’s sort-of saying bye for a while, it’s funny too.

The Drones show and setlist was pretty much kind-off a greatest hits and few numbers from Feelin Kinda Free the new album from earlier this year. So it was something like Private Execution, Taman Shud, Boredom, Then They Came For Me and Shut Down SETI with The Minotaur, This Time, Shark Fin Blues, Six Ways To Sunday, I See Seaweed thrown in-between the newer tracks and then encore was The Miller’s Daughter. It was all rocky number with alot of extra total noise/feedback also thrown in-between songs because maybe it’s the last gigs from a while so they might as well make a hell of a racket plus he’s doing his solo more mellow thing in a couple of nights. I do miss seeing them like half a dozen times in a year but I do have to make the most of it and if they ever did put out some kind-of comp album of songs from all the old albums like a greatest hits/best of it would have to be something like that’s night setlist, it was such a fuckin’ great night.

So after flying of to Queensland for one night he’s was back for last night playing next door in a church but I got to ask why put him in one? Because only a few songs in he’s says “I realized how inappropriate my songs are to play in church” also starting the show by saying “I’ve never played a church before” and finishing the night with “I’ll see you all here again next Sunday” then laughs as he’s leaving.

This is the right order of the songs he played. Opening with Strange Tourist, Blondin Makes An Omelette, I Am The Supercargo, Oh My. Then the first of two covers of the night Townes Van Zandt‘s Lungs track then Highplains Mailman and then second cover of the Warren Zevon‘s My Shit’s Fucked Up song. Then Sixteen Straws and then finishing up with Shark Fin Blues and Taman Shud. Two the band did a couple of nights earlier but not bad to get only two doubles and it’s like 20 songs in just a few days. Those two covers, which is a first time in a very long time I’ve seen him do something like at his own show I can’t remember the last he’s done that? I guess he was at the Patti Smith show last year, he played Lost Animal’s Lose The Baby at those MK shows and I heard he done Lou Reed’s Oh Jim cover at some of his solo shows but not the ones I’ve been too. He’s always way more talky at his solo gigs saying Perth loves cover bands because we do have way more venues with them than original bands so right then playing two covers himself. Also talking so much about Supercargo song too, about John Frum and the cargo cults that the song was inspired by and what it would have been like to be John himself, even saying after the following song he’s just remember getting an email from researcher type guy saying he’s even play that song to some of those remaining tribes/cults and they really did love your song which Liddiard goes on to say “which is good know if from my next holiday I go to Papua New Guinea” laughs or something along those lines. It’s was a great idea of Freo having both of the shows together like this and so enjoyed them, loved both of them off course, couldn’t pick which was the best, both where great shows for different reasons.

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I like fishes on bicycles, should be more of it, hey?

So what’s going be next for him/them? Well, in a couple of new interviews in the past week or so Gaz has been talking about a side-project with Fi plus someone else unnamed, who’s not a member of The Drones so it’s going to be a three piece line-up. So The Drones really are going to have a rest for a while but this new project sounding like it’s going to explore more synths and electronic with this yet unnamed side-project. It does sounds kind-off like want he did with Drones’ Steve and Dan in MK-Ultra but off course it’s all going to be new songs and he’s saying it’s going to be for next year too which is a pretty quick turn around, I can’t wait. The last two new albums by them have been three year waits but I guess it might just be another three years for the next and eighth The Drones album if they’re now going to do a side-project for next year.

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