I previously never was much of one for Rose Tattoo, though I have a couple of their LPs. Not sure why. Guess they never quite struck me where I live. Seemed like Vanda & Young kinda fell down on the production aspect, for one. This concert, however, is doing much to remedy that sentiment, presenting the group as a hi-energy blend of AC/DC, Status Quo, and Foghat with some early Faces. A lot of this is attributable to original slide guitarist Peter Wells returning to the fold and playing up a storm. Interestingly, though Rose Tattoo supported major acts like ZZ Top and Aerosmith, their true influence was on sleaze metal acts, especially the whole L.A. sleazoid underground faction, probably the most prolific in the country. That influence was both good and bad because, sweet Jesus!, was there ever a slew of really bad hair-sleaze-glam metal acts out here! This, however, we will not blame the Tattoo for, since they coulda beat the crap out of that segment on stage and off…and probably woulda (they do have a certain daunting reputation, after all).
This DVD's a companion to the Divinyls release (here) as that particular night's gig was a triumvirate of Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs ('n damn!, I wish MVD was releasing that as well, 'cause I've been hooked on Thorpe since his Children of the Sun), Rose Tattoo, and the Divinyls. The lads in Tattoo have always harbored a significant love for Thorpe, one of Australia's most beloved bands, and there was something about being hooked in with him and Chrissie Amphlett and the gang that appears to have provoked a hard-core competitive vibe in the gentz. Whatever the reason, they acquit themselves most honorably here. Angry Anderson is as loud and raucous as ever with Wells putting in some searing performances, Mick Cocks backing him nicely on rhythm while Geordie Leach slings bass and Paul DeMarco pounds drums in something of a Bonham time-keeping fashion.
Of all the acts that day, Rose Tattoo was the most appropriate for the environs, seeming at a glance to be parolees themselves, and headbanging was definitely the order on tap, thus the gritty bad boy atmosphere generated by the fivesome…and it fit like hand in glove, harking back to the old Slade Alive LP in many ways. That they closed out their set with one of rock's all-time great cuts, Don Nix's Going Down, didn't hurt either. Get this document not just to index in with the Divinyls DVD (n' that one's a must) but also because it's a needed source of musical roughage in your aesthetic diet. And then let's start a write-in campaign to MVD to get the Aztecs performance released…if, that is, it was even filmed.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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