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
BOB MOULD The Rosemount Perth March 2013





16 MARCH 2013


The Act We Act (Sugar) | A Good Idea (Sugar) | Changes (Sugar) | Helpless (Sugar) | Hoover Dam (Sugar) | Star Machine | The Descent |Round The City Square |Steam Of Hercules | Come Around (Sugar) | Your Favorite Thing (Sugar) | Could You Be The One? (Hüsker Dü) | I Apologize (Hüsker Dü) | Chartered Trips (Hüsker Dü) | Keep Believing

Encore: If I Can't Change Your Mind (Sugar) | Egoverride | Celebrated Summer (Hüsker Dü)

Encore 2: Flip Your Wig (Hüsker Dü) | Hate Paper Doll (Hüsker Dü) | Makes No Sense At All (Hüsker Dü)



Some nights are priceless, and seeing Bob Mould for the first time – the Godfather of Grunge – the man who inspired Nirvana and The Foos – the man behind Hüsker Dü and Sugar – is definitely one of those nights!


Walking straight through the door and taking the stage without a word, and without breaking stride strapping on his powder blue Fender (offered to him by the outstretched arm of his roadie) Bob is straight down to business bursting into ‘The Act We Act’ a three minute slab of power pop and noisy guitar by his early nineties band Sugar.


It will be a good few songs before we get to hear Bob speak rather than sing. Never a man for onstage banter, there is something very real and honest about the approach that of course was pretty much what his inspiration the Ramones did – cut the small talk entirely (well without Joey’s 1,2,3,4 count ins that is).  It’s still a little strange these days though that a performer doesn’t at least try to ‘make friends’ with their audience, but then again we all know what we are here for and if that means we get an extra song at the expense of an anecdote then I will take that any day of the week.


Whizzing through a number of Sugar classics – the singles ‘Good Idea’ and ‘Helpless’ and the foot to the floor power of crowd favourite ‘Hoover Dam’ the room is instantly revved up. Then we then cut to the material from Bob’s latest – ‘Silver Age’.


A brief ‘how you doing on the last date of the tour’ and affectionate introduction to the band acts as the preamble to ‘Star Machine’ and latest single ‘Descent’ there is no discernible let up. In fact I’d be prepared to hazard that almost everyone in the room is familiar with Silver Age.


But otherwise Bob is all about leaning into riffs and bending strings and creating some volume and mayhem.




After a few more choice cuts from Sugar we get into the meat of the evening and judging by the number of Hüsker Dü  t-shirts out there what most have come to witness – as Bob said when we interviewed him a couple of weeks ago – some ‘loud guitar pop’ from his first band - Hüsker Dü. The trio of ‘Could You Be The One?’ ‘I Apologize’ and ‘Chartered Trips’ seem to do the trick perfectly before the set proper closes with another new one – ‘Keep Believing’.


As a set goes it’s tight as a drum, breakneck fast and packed with hook after hook without let up. Listening to someone like Bob you often overlook their prowess as a guitarist as the furthest thing from their mind will be a guitar solo, but Bob has the moves and the riffs and occasionally a deftness of touch that underlines that he has also mastered the instrument, not in the way a Vai or Satriani has, but he knows the fret-board as well as anyone and knows what a guitar can do.  




During the encores there are also a few wry smiles from beneath Bob’s beard, but whether that’s the joy of the music or the fact that this is the end of the tour I’m still not entirely sure…


It’s not until it’s over that I realise that not only has Bob not played any of my favourite Hüsker Dü (there was nothing from Candy Apple Grey in the set) he’s not even played the three songs I loved most off Silver Age – ‘Angels Rearrange’; ‘Fugue State’ or ‘First Time Joy’ and that I guess perversely is what makes the night and the man all the more remarkable.



words and images by Mark Diggins