The D4, The Specimens, The Blacklist @ Ding Dong Lounge, 03/12/2004

Australia’s home of rock n roll hasn’t partied down with The D4 for over two years now; the band has been riding the success of their debut 6Twenty touring extensively in Europe, USA and Japan and I was itching to see what the NZ garage punk rock spectacular had in store for us after such a long absence.

The night kicked off with the pedal to the metal opening with a brutal axe assault from The Blacklist. These guys put on a stadium worthy show of sweat, spit and garage rock ‘n metal. Their vocalist is partial to a few beers on stage and I had to avoid the front of the stage in case I copped beer spray in the eye. Next on were The Specimens who had us shaking our booty to Get On Top and Head Straight both songs from their new album The Quick & The Deaf.

At last The D4 stepped on stage and Dion [guitar & vocals] reminded us “how lucky we are to have great rock bands like The Blacklist & The Specimens right on our door step” before launching into Savage, Trust and What I Want. The barrage of new material may have fallen flat with the older fans but for only a couple of songs. Their back to basics sound had the crowd shouting out lyrics like “I just wanna be rich” and jumping to their catchy fist-pumping tunes after only two songs. This is ultimate party music to the core. Peepshow grabs you with sleazy sludgy riffs and bad boy lines like “I’m in a peepshow/Watch me shakin’ tonight/I’m in a peepshow/Is it really right?” The band slipped in one more new song Stops Me Cold before revisiting older material Come On, Invader Ace (I swear they are singing Invade Her Ass) and Ladies Man with Dion playing slide guitar on Beaver’s [drums] high hat.

At last they played their current single release Sake Bomb; a party tale of getting plastered drunk in Tokyo on band’s so called invention – the Sake Bomb – a hot shot of Sake dropped into a glass of beer & sculled back in one hit (I will have you know I was drinking these in London’s Wagamama restaurants 5 years ago). And the tale of the trouble you get into drinking these babies, “What hit you was the SAKE BOMB!” – oh yeh!! At this moment Dion hit his wah pedal and Jimmy split kicked off the drum riser and into the crowd and walked amongst the audience playing his break down.

Two years of touring has made this band tighter than a pair of Bon Scott’s jeans and pauses between songs were short, aided by the luxury of a guitar tech. The band closed the night paying homage to the band that has been their greatest influence; the ‘70s NZ punk pioneers The Scavengers covering True Love. Unsatisfied with a cover closure, the audience demanded an encore. The band returned to the stage ripping into Rock n Roll Motherfucker leaving the fans riding that “Motherfucking Rock ‘n Roll Snake to Valhalla”!