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

Budgie Live

at the Charles Hotel
Perth, Australia
11th November 2009



Panzer Division Destroyed
Dead men don’t talk / Melt the ice away
Turn to stone
In for the kill / Lesly
Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman / 2000m
Napoleon Bona Part 1&2
Breadfan /Whiskey River

Budgie’s songs have been covered by Metallica; Iron Maiden; Van Halen and Soundgarden amongst others. Their long and varied career has seen a number of line-up changes but Budgie 2009 is one of their best incarnations.

The Charles is a great venue to see a live band. It’s big enough to pack in a few hundred but small enough to still feel intimate. There’s plenty of great viewing positions and a well-stocked bar too. Acoustically the venue is pretty balanced and tonight the sound is particularly good.

It’s great to see Budgie back in Perth only 18 months after their first and last visit (they left it a bit late to come and see us in this their 42nd year in existence). It’s cool that they got such a great reception last time that they are playing two dates in the west this tour. Tonight is the first leg of the Australia tour and hopes are high.

It’s also great to see a good mix in to see them, despite being around so long there are a good proportion of younger people in the crowd, but it’s the older crowd that know what they are in for.

It’s hard to relate how good Budgie is as a live band. For me this is where they come alive and as you can probably imagine some of the band’s earlier output especially can sound a bit dated if you pull out the CD or the vinyl. Live it’s all brought up to date and far heavier.

Kicking off with the Powerful Panzer Division Destroyed is a great move and from then on the pace rarely let’s up. Steve Williams is solid behind the drum stool and Burke and Craig Goldy seem to be having a ball. As today is Remembrance day there’s a short thought for all those lost in battle from Burke which is a nice touch.

Despite his slight frame Burke Shelley rules the stage. The crowd is loving it and the night is still young. There are kids to my right absolutely lapping it up and 50 year old men mouthing the words to each song, almost reduced to tears.

‘Dead Men Don’t Talk’ has always been a favourite of mine and it’s honed to perfection and segues nicely into ‘Melt the Ice Away’. ‘Justice’ from their latest CD is a strong enough song to stand on it’s own too amongst the classics.

‘Parents’ to me is Budgie’s ‘Stairway to heaven’ and live it’s awesome. As soon as the first notes go out there is almost a complete hush in the crowd. After that it is a master class in great rock and roll including my all time favourite in ‘Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman’.

The closing stanza of ‘Napoleon Bona Part 1&2’; ‘Breadfan’ and ‘Whiskey River’ has everyone in the place including some of the bar staff spellbound. Two kids with Metallica T-shirts on exchange knowing looks, which says it all really.

On a final note I must say that it was great to meet Burke and Craig after the gig and have a bit of a chat. You really couldn’t meet a nicer bunch of guys!

If you get the chance to see Budgie you absolutely must because ‘you don’t know what you’re missing’ is truer of this band than almost any other. Budgie never had the publicity they deserved and believe me you will hear where many of the bigger names ‘borrowed’ it all from!