Live Gigs: Big Day Out 1996 @ Perth Oval

Flashback show yet again today!

This just might be my all-time BDO year or was the first one? I don’t know, anyway order of seen acts of this year was by my bad/good memory: Shihad, Ammonia, The Jesus Lizard, Dirty Three, Magic Dirt, Regurgitator, Spiderbait, Elastica, TISM, Rage Against the Machine, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Porno for Pyros and The Prodigy.

The Prodigy were not yet the main headliners but played on side stage which back then played later than the main stages and amazing it was Porno’s as the headlining act. So going backwards in order of the night and day, this was the best The Prodigy gig I’ve been too but did miss the start. Porno for Pyros were great, I remember for the Sex Drive song was co-sung with Martina Topley‐Bird who was singing will Tricky at the time but Tricky didn’t play a set in Perth, you know? Mountain Song and Chip Away both were Jane’s Addiction covers, Perry Farrell’s older and more well-know band.

A VHS doco entitled Ritual Habitual was made this year with Nick Cave himself filming stuff like a very belief interview with his then guitar player Blixa, he did leave The Bad Seeds in 2003 but didn’t joined The Cure.

Here’s The Mercy Seat filmed live at the Perth leg of the tour, it’s not the best sound but I had to included here.

Nick Cave & Bad Seeds‘ BDO Perth setlist was:

Stagger Lee
Do You Love Me?
From Her to Eternity
City of Refuge
Red Right Hand
Into My Arms
The Willow Garden
The Weeping Song
Jack the Ripper
The Mercy Seat

This was only my second Bad Seeds show at this point, I did write about a lot of them and pick out two or three fave shows on this post linked here but they have never had a bad show really. Remember the date of this was Sunday, February 4, 1996 so pre-dates the Murder Ballads album release by a week or so this would be the very first time hearing Stagger Lee which I was like WTF! But The Willow Garden was B-side to the hit single released at the tail end of 1995. But even better than that was hearing Into My Arms a full year before The Boatman’s Call was release too! I was asking everyone at the time what hell was that song was but no one knew or cared much!

Before that was Rage Against the Machine, never seen that much blood noses in a mosh pit before/after. That was filmed at Perth Oval, the opening RATM song. Elastica and TISM were both my they’re OK bands on the day which does sound crazy now.

Regurgitator and Spiderbait both were great Aussie main stage acts. Dirty Three and Magic Dirt on one of the side stages, Mike Watt joined Dirty Three to play bass on a couple of songs then joined Nick Cave and Perry Farrell watching them from side of stage. Dirty Three, Regurgitator and Spiderbait all played a gig the night before in what now is a strip club too, which that was totally insane show!

Opening the day was kiwi band Shihad who were so pleased some of us shown up so early to see them. Local heroes Ammonia played next who did us proud. Then the insane The Jesus Lizard set started, now this band wins the prize for an oversea band playing too early but just don’t care so stealing my heart that day. Lead singer David Yow did all of these things in what most likely 45 mins. set: he stage diving a lot, crowd surfed a lot, ran around screaming lyrics and at people having picnic lunch on the grass, bear hugged a security guy who was helping him back on stage but they just thrown him back into the crowd which lasted like one whole song he was sung at the same time bear hugging this poor bloke while the other security guards trying to putting him off. When he did get back on stage he put the microphone down his pants and did the silliest on stage dance ever, then try to climb the speaker stack on stage but was pull off it before he could. Personal note: got to write or blog more about this band!

The Big Day Out 1996 touring poster!

Some happy snaps I found from this year are:

Nick Cave & Perry Farrell backstage, photo by Tony Mott.
Nick and Kylie backstage, photo by Tony Mott again.
The two wild roses singing on stage over east somewhere?
Rage Against the Machine’s Zack de la Rocha stage driving!

So who remembers this year BDO? Or wished you where there?

Cheers 🙂


  1. To quote you William, ‘wicked line-up’! Great Bad Seeds set-list; I love the photo of Nick with his bottle of M & C (off the heroin by then but on the grog??)!

    Liked by 1 person

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