I went and saw the Detonators the other night. I was in Melbourne less than twenty four hours, spending time with a family member who lives there, and we went out to dinner, but then she had a party she had to go to at 9:00. She invited me of course, and of course I declined, as we both knew I would. So that’s why 9:30 found me in an uber heading all the way from Brunswick to the Elsternwick Hotel. Melbourne is a big place when you cross it like that on a Thursday night. No wonder they have culture there.
It’s been six years since I saw the Detonators. They supported Cold Chisel at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, one of the shows we played there in 2011. They blew the roof off that night, as I knew they would. All my mates went out the front to see them, and they charged up about ten thousand people who probably never saw rock and roll before, no matter how many festivals they’d been to.
When I got to the Elsternwick Dave Philpots was sitting outside having a smoke with Eddie Fury and Michael McDonald. Dave introduced me to the other two. Eddie is drumming now with the Detonators. Michael I know is a mutual friend of a couple of old friends of mine, but we’d never met. Inside, the bar had maybe too much room and the lights were maybe higher than you’d expect for band as good as the Detonators, but I bought a quiet beer and I wasn’t complaining.
And they were good. They were everything you’d need to justify the journey. Pauly Bignall is playing a Gretsch with spangly red duco. Pauly is a superb rock and roll musician. They all are. James is singing great. The harmonica is thick. Dave pumps. Eddie knows exactly what and what not to do. The songs make you wonder why you’d ever write any other kind.
I had another motive for going down there. Years ago I bought a Detonators t-shirt at a show they did in Adelaide. It’s the only t-shirt I wore as an adult with something written on it. I believe that if someone wants to advertise on me, they should pay, but the Detonators are different. Their logo, the one with the chrome wings out the side, makes your chest look bigger. Anyway, I wore that t-shirt out and I had to throw it away recently, and I wanted to buy a replacement, a white one. They didn’t have that particular model available at the Elsternwick, so I have to message Dave, who is a friend of mine on “facebook”, and order one online. “Facebook” is useful sometimes.