Despite a bitterly cold and inclement Friday night, they came out in droves to the Cambridge Hotel to witness one of THE icons of Aussie punk rock and roll – Radio Birdman.
It was also heartening to see opening act and Newy locals East Coast Low play to a decent crowd and their muscular brand of riff laden Oz rock quickly won over the ever expanding crowd.
Next up were Brisbane rockers Mick Medew and the Mesmerisers and the former Screaming Tribesman frontman and co whipped the crowd into a lather, thanks to a set of garage pop originals and a smattering of covers including T-Rex’s 20th Century Boy.
By the time Radio Birdman took to the stage, the venue was nearly fit to burst and what followed was a masterclass in rock and roll.
While the current lineup is without original rhythm guitarist Chris Mazuak, drummer Ron Keeley, and bass player Warwick Gilbert (replaced respectively by Dave Kettley, Nik Rieth and Jim Dickson) Birdman circa 2019 are still very much a force to be reckoned with.
The band effortlessly ran through a powerful set that was chock full of Birdman classics such as Do The Pop, What Gives, Aloha Steve and Danno, Anglo Girl Desire.
Definite standouts in this set though were their mesmeric rendition of Man In The Golden Helmet and a blistering rendition of 13th Floor Elevators (whose frontman Roky Erickson passed away on May 31). Girl, You’re Gonna Miss Me.
Much of the power and the passion from this set came from frontman Rob Younger who, clad entirely in black, held the crowd in the palm of his hand, his voice soaring.
Similarly, guitarist Deniz Tek gave a masterful performance, throwing himself into his guitar and those instantly recognisable riffs in a way that belied his age.
The thunderous engine room of Nik Rieth on drums and Jim Dickson on bass anchored the whole affair beautifully while the addition of Pip Hoyle’s snakey keyboard lines – especially in the aforementioned Man In The Golden Helmet was, as always, the icing on the cake.
This was Birdman in full flight. Turned up to eleven and giving the people what they want.