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

RAISE THE FLAG
Bon but not forgotten – for Bon Scott’s 65th birthday

 

Metropolis Fremantle
Friday 8 July, 2011

By Shane Pinnegar
Photos by Mark Diggins

 

Short of drafting in AC/DC themselves, RAISE THE FLAG have put together just about the best line-up imaginable for this glorious celebration of what would have been Bon Scott’s 65th birthday.

 

Roll Call reads like this:

 

Skenie from The Poor provides main vocals, rocking all the charisma, cheekiness and gravel-filtered whiskey tones of the great man himself.

 

 

Original AC/DC bassist Mark Evans assumes, in Skenie’s words “his own role” in the band, fresh from his ‘Tice & Evans’ tour with ex-Buffalo man Dave Tice. Evans played on the first four AC/DC album in the mid Seventies.

 

 

Simon Wright, the English drummer who played on AC/DC’s ‘Fly On The Wall’, ‘Who Made Who’ and ‘Blow Up Your Video’ albums during the Eighties.

 

 

James Morley, veteran of Perth bands The Rookies and Strawberry Blonde, as well as a lengthy stint as bassist of The Angels in the Eighties, took on the Malcolm Young rhythm guitar role tonight.

 

 

Mick Adkins, leader of the Rogue Sharks and long time collaborator with Morley, holds down the lead guitar with style.

 

 

Finally, recently announced second lead vocalist, Dave Gleeson of Screaming Jets and Whole Lotta Love fame.

 


 

Emerald City started proceedings, quickly warming the eager crowd up with a tight set of Motley Crue inspired sleaze glam gems, crowd favourites ‘She’s A Lover’, ‘Dare To Be Different’, ‘Not ready 4 Love’ and new single ‘Show & Tell’ all getting the crowd cranked up.

 

 

Sleeping Giant are less well known around the scene, but that should change quickly, such was their razor sharp performance. A slinky-hipped beast, all four members have extensive pedigrees and successfully combine post grunge and nineties alternarock with a strong sense of groove and power – they may not have been party-rock like the rest of the bill, but there is no denying the strength of songs ‘A Beautiful Mess’, ‘Sixteen Today’ and ‘Home’.

 

 

Skenie led the RAISE THE FLAG gang through some relative obscurities to start the main set (‘Live Wire’, ‘Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’) before Gleeson took over for ‘Dirty Deeds…’ and intro-ing ‘Rock n’ Roll Damnation’ with “If Elvis Presley was alive today HE’D be singing Bon Scott’s songs, and I think this it the one he might choose…”

 

 

Such is the love and fierce devotion inspired by the late lamented Bon Scott, the crowd worked as hard as the band throughout the night – fists pumped the air, feet stomped the boards, heads shook and most of all, lyrics were shouted and cheers roared!

 

 

Each of our singers did a couple of songs at a time, Gleeson almost missing his cue for ‘High Voltage’ before bounding on stage like a puppy and announcing that he was “taking a piss”!

 

 

Skenie takes centre stage and tells the story of a good friend and roadie of his and Bon’s band introducing him – “no word of a lie” – to the original Rosie, “A beautiful lady, but geez her eyes lit up when she heard I was in a band”.

 

 

The band are immaculate, as you’d expect from these seasoned professionals, doing Bon and AC/DC – and these fantastic and instantly recognisable songs - proud. It’s hard to believe that back in the day some of these songs were considered “heavy metal” – certainly not by today’s standards! This is hard rock n’ f’n roll, all the f’n way!

 

 

Skenie in particular holds the show together, embodying the spirit of Bon, hugging and lauding the performances of his rocking brothers, interacting with the crowd and generally being the garrulous bloke he is both on and off stage.

 

 

Gleeson’s no slouch either – bouncing from one side of the stage to the other like the madcap jester he is, pitching in with gems of wisdom like “Are these the greatest rock songs of all time OR WHAT?!” or “32 years after this guy died and here we all are, rocking to his songs!”.

 

 

 

Closing the night out with a happy birthday countdown and a blistering encore of ‘Rocker’ and ‘Let There Be Rock’, this was a fantastic celebration of a sadly lamented legend, and some of the best rock to ever pass these ears, and as the crooked smiling face of Bon Scott on the video screen cast it’s unseeing gaze over proceedings, you sense that Bon – the man, the muso, the legend – would be very happy, proud, and maybe a little shy about being so revered.

 

 

 

Live Wire
Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be
Problem Child
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap *
Rock n’ Roll Damnation *
Sin City
What’s Next to The Moon
High Voltage *
Ain’t No Fun Waiting Round To Be A Millionaire *
If You Want Blood
Whole Lotta Rosie
Up to My Neck In You
Jailbreak *
TNT
Highway to Hell
It’s A Long Way To The Top +

 

Rocker
Let There Be Rock +

 

Skenie on lead vocals except for * - Dave Gleeson on lead vocals
+ signifies both share the lead vocal duties