The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world






23 APRIL 2011





Got Me Under Pressure
Waitin' for the Bus
Jesus Just Left Chicago
I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide
Future Blues (Willie Brown cover)
Rock Me Baby (B.B. King cover)
Cheap Sunglasses
My Heads In Mississippi (excerpt)
I Need You Tonight
Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
Brown Sugar
Party on the Patio
Just Got Paid
Gimme All Your Lovin'
Sharp Dressed Man


La Grange



I think Angry said it best at the end of the Tatt’s set “Next up on stage there’s some real Rock and Roll royalty”


But before we get to the ‘Top’ of the bill…



For the first time on a really big stage local band Joy Elevation do a credible job. Vocalist Mia is full of energy, which is kinda of cool as the rest of the guys look pretty much rooted to the spot, benefit of the doubt goes to nerves! There’s plenty of enthusiasm and some songs that look to be worth checking out if you get a chance to see them locally.



Datura is more straight-up blues and a nice fit for the bill. With plenty of covers including a slower version of Yardbirds staple ‘Train kept a rolling’ they get the crowd in the mood for the two main draws of the night.





A manic laugh from Angry Anderson opens Rose Tattoo’s set and resurfaces throughout. To call Rose Tattoo unsophisticated would pretty much sum up their music and disposition over the years and thankfully any trappings of refinement are far from this Aussie workingman’s pub rock band, so beloved by bands like Guns ‘n’ Roses.  



The truth is we wouldn’t have them any other way and their straight ahead bull-at-the-gate approach, interrupted only by Angry’s laugh or a witty aside or two (like when he holds up and closely examines a bottle of water before explaining that it obviously belongs to someone else) is the Tatts we love.





I don’t know about you all but surely the Tatts would have to run a close number two to those AC/DC boys in the Aussie Rock rankings? Or at least medallists?



With his familiar refrain of ‘Brothers and sisters’(he’s more of a union shop steward than a Woodstock hippy)  Angry seems to be on form tonight, both vocally and also in the humour stakes.



‘Who's got your cash’ and ‘Going down to Texas’ warm us up nicely and leaving us with a couple of classics: ‘Rock and roll outlaw’ and ‘We can’t be beaten’ is a great way to end, though we’d have love to have heard ‘Nice Boys’ on the spot that the Gunners played a few months ago…







ZZ Top takes the stage under cover of darkness and launch into my favourite track off Eliminator ‘Got me Under Pressure’ it is met with an immediate roar from the crowd who have been eagerly awaiting these Texan gentlemen to return to our shores for such a long time now. We were lucky enough to catch up with ZZ in the states a couple of years ago in support of Aerosmith; but before that it was all the way back in 1985 when Eliminator was still fresh at Donington Monsters of Rock.



It’s soon clear that there is nothing quite like seeing them as a headliner it suits them, and gives them a lot more room to breath musically.



The perfect blues of ‘Waitin' for the Bus’ and ‘Jesus Just Left Chicago’ follow and already the crowd is up and dancing-  something you don’t always see at a rock show but then you don’t often get music with such a dangerous groove as this either. It’s not just constrained to the women either, some pretty big men with pretty large beards are meandering about to steadied only by the desire not to spill too much of that Bundy or Jack…





Everything about ZZ Top is impressive: the 40 years in the industry; the combined beard lengths; but most impressive of all is the music, whether it’s the quirkiness and rock-out of ‘Cheap sunglasses’ or the impressive but oh so laid back way that Messrs Gibbons, Hill and Beard reinterpret the greats in: ‘Hey Joe’ (Jimi Hendrix); the essentials ‘Rock Me Baby’ (B.B. King) and the ones you really should check out ‘Future Blues’ (Willie Brown).  



Tonight’s all about fun and when Billy holds up a rather ‘generous’ bra on stage with a: “What do you say about that? That's just not right.” You know that this isn’t a Motley Crue show. In fact the crowd tonight is just here for one thing: to boogie and there’s not a trace of trouble in the air all night despite the quantities the bar is shipping to patrons. See people we can do it – a responsible rock and roll crowd!



It’s a shame that there’s only an extract of ‘My Head’s in Mississippi’ before we break into the delicate, slower, bluesier and more laid back version of ‘Need You Tonight’ but it gives Billy a chance to confirm that “My heads in Perth too”





‘Hey Joe’ is a great demonstration to guitarists out there that you don’t have to overplay Hendrix and I love the way that ZZ always play one of the great man’s tunes (last time we saw them it was a wonderful version of ‘Foxy Lady’).



After a blues ‘aside’ lesser known ZZ Top tunes showing a wonderful diversity: ‘Brown Sugar’ and the quirky Dusty Hill lead vocal on ‘Party on the Patio’ get an airing. Then it’s time for  Billy to break out the golden guitar for one of the real highlights for a vintage ZZ fan ‘Just got Paid’ with its extended workout and dirty guitar solo!



As a headliner ZZ is just a million times better than at a shortened festival show and it’s very noticeable what a great atmosphere there is tonight - everyone is having fun, there’s twenty year olds, there’s sixty year olds and most of them at the very least are shaking at least a few tail-feathers.




“Let's give the drummer just a little” announces Billy as the guys reach for the medley of sure-fire winners: ‘Gimme all your Loving’ and ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ the lights then go on stage but the boys don't miss a beat, and they are back on just as they move into the solo. The Eliminator medley concludes with ‘Legs’ and of course the arrival of the... you guessed it… yes the furry guitars.  



And then there are gone, but we know they will be back and there’s plenty ion the crowd that have waited all day for this encore! 



‘La Grange’ (according to Mark one of the finest songs of all time) sees ZZ at their ultimate peak of perfection as Billy invites us the that ‘funky BBQ’ mid song before breaking back into the song, I simply don’t think they allow people to do boogie like this no more!



“Is everybody having a good time tonight” is a question that doesn’t really need answering, you can hear it, smell it and taste it in the air and see it everywhere you look.



And then it’s ‘Tush’ just when you dong though it couldn’t get any better. A lot of young fans here tonight really have witnessed one of the greats, and a lot of us older fans have just had it reconfirmed that this particular branch of Rock and Roll royalty are worthy of their crowns. These Southern gentlemen were Kings of Perth tonight and are welcome back any time!




Words: Jo Rockpit & Mark Diggins
Images: Mark Diggins



Thanks to:


When you have a great night like this it’s always easy to forget about all the hard work that goes into putting on a show of this size and Peel Projects and Andrew McMannus should be congratulated for once again delivering the goods beautifully! Many thanks to Maria for looking after the Rockpit.







happy easter everyone!