ROSE TATTOO at Waves, Wollongong, 1993

Published on October 13th, 2016

Gig review: ROSE TATTOO at Waves, Wollongong, January 26 1993


THE NIGHT before he was awarded an Order Of Australia Medal for services to street-kids, Angry Anderson rejoined his old gang. He’s now known in Australia more as a talk show host than as an impish fiend who once liked to mutilate himself onstage with a band of ugly bike rockers.


A flickering white strobe signalled the stirring resurrection. of Rose Tattoo. Angry Anderson, Pete Wells, Mick Cocks, Geordie Leech and Paul Demarco took up their instruments. Against the backdrop of camouflage meshing, it was the giant Wells who inspired most awe. Crouching paternally over his slide, balancing a fag between ringed fingers, his cool transcended both his age and that of his audience. During ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Outlaw’, his extended solo was the work of a genius. But, oh, so loud…

The Tatts went from zero to 100mph in a fraction of a second, and accelerated as the night wore on and they thundered through ‘Assault and Battery’, ‘Bad Boy For Love’ and ‘Nice Boys (Don’t Play Rock ‘N’ Roll)’.

They were certainly not nice. They spat, they swore, they sweated and they grabbed each others’ balls. And when they stabbed in the gut with ‘The Butcher And Fast Eddy’, a new generation of eyes glazed over.

Angry teetered on the edge of the stage, an expression of true genetic evil haunting his face as he slammed his head against the out-stretched microphone stand, slumping backwards onto the stage. The band played on, and eventually left, with Angry remaining motionless and reverb echoing for what seemed like an eternity.

Even after roadies hauled him off, the long-time disciples and new converts pressed themselves against the stage awaiting more. They believe in rebirth. Or, at least, they do now.

This review first appeared in KERRANG MAGAZINE in February 1993



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