Gig review – SCREAMING JETS at The Entrance Leagues Club, March 10 2017
By STEVE MASCORD
BIG Mouth is back
Three quarters of the way through this outrageously uplifting Screaming Jets show at The Entrance Leagues Club, a roadie runs out with black masking tape and puts it over singer David Gleeson’s gob.
The man who riled audiences in both hemispheres in the 1990s with between-song banter that frankly wouldn’t pass ideological muster today was regaling the packed room with his thoughts on everything from homelessness to Anthony Mundine.
“A Nielsen survey has found eighty per cent of homeless people couldn’t give a fuck about marriage equality,” he had deadpanned, in an introduction to “No Place No Home”.
“They just want somewhere to sleep and something to fucking eat.”
On boxer Mundine: “He says he’s going to stop fighting. Stop fucking talking.”
When Gleeson stops talking and starts singing, this is the gig of the year. What’s more, it probably still will be when the ball drops in December.
Nearing the end of the Chrome-O-Zone Tour celebrating Hot Metal’s album of 2016, Chrome, the Jets are as tight as a New Delhi bus. They rightly play a big chunk of material from that excellent platter, starting with “Automatic Cowboy” and “The Grip”.
Over two hours and until well after midnight, Jimi Hocking and Scott Kingman reel off guitar lines you almost want to pluck out of the air and eat whole. The songcraft makes kneeling at the feet of Paul Woseen in genuflection seem a reasonable idea – this is deep, deep and quality-laden repertoire.
For those non-Australians who are unfamiliar, the Jets mix the sonic sledgehammer of compatriots like Airbourne and AC/DC with the poetic inclinations of Cold Chisel and the social awareness of Midnight Oil. They could play a completely different show and the level of songwriting would not discernibly wane. The hits flash by – “C’Mon”, “Shivers”, “Sad Song”, “October Grey” and the closer of the main set, “Better”.
The encore starts with – as has become customary – Woseen doing an acoustic version of “Friend Of Mine” and ends with a thunderous, spine tingling cover of “Rockin’ In The Free World”.
This reviewer has been attending Screaming Jets shows since 1991. Over the past six months I’ve been in the UK and US at dozens or rock shows by the biggest names in the genre.
I can’t recall a better line-up of the Jets or a better display of what rock’n’roll can and should be