Gig Review – BRANT BJORK at The Bald Faced Stag, Sydney, May 10 2017
By PERRY GRAYSON
Photos by TANYA CATELLI
KICKING off the evening’s proceedings were Melbourne garage stoner rock quartet Don Fernando. Though a bit on the simplistic side, they gave the crowd an appetiser for what was to come later.
Second up were Sydneysiders Los Hombres Del Diablo. They laid down some solid stoner grooves. Singer Sean’s raspy and powerful vocals propelled Los Hombres to new heights in a scene which is largely dominated by cookie monster growls. The dynamic dual axe team of Mal Lloyd and Matt Allen kept things straight and to the point. No bullshit here! Mal held down the rhythm fort while Matt weaved in and out of bluesy solos. Skinsman Nathan Millett provided the perfect back beat for the Sabbath-infused offerings. (continued below)
Looking like a refugee from a Cheech and Chong flick, Brant Bjork hit the stage with his trusty old red Gibson SG for a down-tuned, fuzzy set in support of his latest effort, Tao of the Devil. Bjork and company ran through driving, trance-inducing tracks such as “Buddah Time”, “Humble Pie”, “Stackt”, “Dave’s War” “Let the Truth Be Known”, and “Low Desert Punk”. Lead guitarist Bubba DuPree, a dead ringer for Jimi Hendrix, spiced up Bjork’s rhythms with sparse lead bursts. Sonically speaking, Bjork’s monolithic riffs owe much to both Blue Oyster Cult and Iggy and the Stooges. Weed lord Bjork, well known as one of the originators of California desert rock, having been a member of Kyuss and Fu Manchu, was joined by punky charlatan singer Sean Wheeler on a few songs. Wheeler, heavily tatted like Ray Bradbury’s Illustrated Man, made his wardrobe changes on stage, much to the amusement of the audience. He even donned a Buckethead-like mask and mimed his way through a tune.