Show Review: Midnight Oil 28.10.17

Published on, Oct 2017

Midnight Oil, Spiderbait

Perth Arena

Oct 28

“How fucking awesome is this shit?” yelled Spiderbait drummer/vocalist and all-round legend Kram to an arena nearing capacity.

Quirky undertones were delivered via the catchy Ol’ Man Sam which also showcased just how tight the three piece are as they broke out into massive bridges between calculated verses. Although admitting they were “nervous” to be supporting their musical idols, their relentless stage presence would have convinced anyone it was a headline gig.

With the band feeling sentimental, it was fitting that ‘80s throwback 99 Red Balloon made the setlist, bassist/vocalist Janet English’s voice on-point as she nailed the song in German. And if that wasn’t enough, English took over drum duties for set highlight Buy Me A Pony before they bid farewell in a whirlwind of overdriven guitar and booming drums for the classic Black Betty.

Messages of tolerance, protest and political poetry were broadcast via bright, blood red screens that paved a theatrical entrance for a band many in the audience thought they’d never witness in the flesh.

An upbeat, punk-fuelled onslaught kicked off proceedings with Redneck Wonderland and frontman Peter Garrett wasted no time in delivering his signature twitches between eerie and powerful vocals. If you were to tranquilize someone and then give them a shot of adrenaline, those are the sorts of movements you’d see.

Midnight Oil weren’t playing around and made clear within minutes that their flame burns as brightly as ever.

Keeping the Aussie rock flare in fine form, a cowbell drove the beat of Read About It, with uplifting backing vocals from bassist Bones Hillman and guitarist James Moginie.

Hearing song like Truganini and Sell My Soul live framed them in a new light, one that made them more powerful by allowing their brilliant intricacies to shine through, while others such as Hercules were taken to another level with an infectious, danceable energy. At the core of those mesmerising dynamics was drumming powerhouse Rob Hirst who didn’t miss a beat all night.

Garrett urged Acting Prime Minster Julie Bishop to sign the nuclear treaty, which was one of many (expected) political statements, and his political banter was delivered in a more easy-going, comical way as opposed to preachy, but anyone going to an Oils gig and not expecting politics is at the wrong show.

Short Memory pulled things back with keys and an acoustic bass, and the band in a line at the front of the stage; the format lasted for a handful of songs including Ships Of Freedom, which delivered a set highlight with a rousing trumpet solo from Jack Howard.

An upbeat tone was reignited with US Forces and the entire arena was bouncing and screaming the chorus back at Garrett and co, but things quickly came to an abrupt halt in Only The Strong when the frontman stopped the song to eject two unruly punters from the mosh.

When things got back into motion, nothing could stop them as they dished out mega hits The Dead HeartBeds Are Burning and Forgotten Years, all of which proved why Australia’s love for the band hasn’t faulted after all these years.


INTERVIEW: Chandler Riggs

Published on, Oct 2017

Why The Walking Dead’s Success Is Surprising

The Walking Dead has become one of the biggest TV shows of all time, but as Chandler Riggs, aka Carl Grimes, tells Daniel Cribb, he didn’t think the venture was a good idea at first.

“I’m just working on some music,” The Walking Dead star Chandler Riggs begins, revealing an EDM release in the works. “The past year I’ve been producing music with the help of one of my friends and I’m hoping to put out an EP towards the end of the year.”

Scheduled to appear at the world’s largest zombie, horror and sci-fi convention, Walker Stalker, in Sydney and Melbourne early next year, perhaps we’ll see the actor do some gigs, especially considering he turned 18 this year. “I’m trying to focus on getting a big enough following that the shows I play will actually bring out a crowd. You never know, [Australian shows] would be a lot of fun.”

In the US, he can fight zombies, but can’t drink yet. “It’s ridiculous,” he laughs. With The Walking Dead’s eighth season fast approaching, his arrival in Australia alongside other fan favourites Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon), Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene) and more couldn’t come at a better time. “Season eight is going to be more about the war and actually fighting back against Negan,” Riggs says.

The seventh season sent shockwaves throughout the Walking Dead community after killing off two integral characters in the premiere, and it sounds like, if the showrunners follow the trajectory of the comics, super-villain Negan – portrayed brilliantly by Jeffrey Dean Morgan – won’t be leaving the show anytime soon. “From the comics, there’s a lot of stuff that I’m stoked for. The whole Whisperers story arc I know is going to be a lot of fun and I really love the dynamic between Carl and Negan. In the comics, there’s a time jump of a couple of years and Carl and Negan have this friendship and it’s really, really cool. Hopefully we’ll get there in the show.”

The beginning of that relationship was spawned when Carl decided to sneak over to the Sanctuary and take down Negan himself; one of many bold and arguably idiotic decisions the character has made throughout the show that has earned him polarising fan opinions. “In seasons two and three, [Carl] was definitely not liked much at all,” he laughs. “Especially when he inadvertently got Dale killed, but I think a lot of [fans] have got to sympathise more with him in season seven, sharing the same view as him in wanting to kill Negan.”

Having played Carl for the past eight years, Riggs has grown up on the set of The Walking Dead, but he initially wasn’t expecting such a lengthy stint on the show. “[My family and I] never thought in a million years that I would be super lucky and get on this super successful show and a zombie show would even be successful,” he reveals.

“At the time, in 2010, it was all about werewolves and vampires and no one really liked or cared about zombies, so the thought of a zombie TV show, I didn’t think it was a very good idea in the first place, but I was down to try and I’m very, very glad that I had this opportunity.”