As a rabid Machine Gun Fellatio fan I was extremely sad when they disbanded. I’d seen them several times, first at chaotic free performances upstairs at 78 Records in Perth, one an acoustic promo event and another a full band warm-up a day before the Big Day Out, then in Mebourne at increasingly bigger and louder gigs at the Espy and Corner hotels.
Pinky was usually the one who kept the songs on track amid the anarchy that was an MGF show. Once the Widow Jones left at the end of 2004, the band was never the same, and their final 2005 shows lacked their previous magic.
The magic is now back with Pinky and his new band The White Russians, at least in terms of his relaxed manner on stage during the first gig of the band’s tour to promote their EP and forthcoming album at the East Brunswick Club Hotel on Wednesday 11 June 2008.
The band played for about an hour, including songs from the EP and album and some MGF covers. They opened with a new song ‘Real Good Time’ (apologies for the poor audio in the videos below). It’s more traditional guitar rock than MGF.
Pinky was chatty and extremely funny in his song introductions, such as in the above video, and joked about performing a cover of a song he wrote himself (before playing a hard and fast version of MGF’s ‘Unsent Letter’).
He is charming when telling jokes, and excused himself for any inconvenience caused for having the pedals for his keyboard backwards for half the gig. My first impression of the new songs is that they contain his characteristic melodic sense, which makes them seem familiar even when hearing them for the first time.
Song lyrics and banter covered shoplifting magazines containing pictures of Scarlett Johansson, Phillip Glass jokes, a description of disco producer Giorgio Moroder as a fine country and western songwriter before covering Blondie’s ‘Call Me‘ (cowritten by Moroder and Debbie Harry) and many more humerous asides than I can recall. He blamed goths and emo kids for unspecified crimes but I can’t remember why he started on that rant.
It looked like there was good chemistry between the band, and in particular between Pinky and guitarist Nick Stewart (formerly of George) who, despite the above photo, looked very clean and did not smell at all.
The best new tracks are not on the EP unfortunately, but demo versions are available on Pinky’s blog. The complete album is due out in August, and hopefully he will be back to play another Melbourne show then. The happy audience at the EBC will be expecting it.