So it was once again that time of year for the Melbourne (or should I say Hellbourne?) Ian Stuart Donaldson Memorial Concert. I think everyone was counting down the days for it. With such a great line up, this was certainly not one to be missed.
Me and a rag-tag bunch of QLD-ers arrived early Thursday afternoon to the cold, grey skies of Avalon Airport and embarked to Melbourne to see what the accommodation was like for this year ... From the reports of last years accommodation, I was hoping it would be a step up. Believe me, it wasn't that bad (good on you, J!). There were no used needles or hookers outside the premises, Remarkable!
Friday brought more cold, dingy weather, however a chance to meet our International Guests. We loaded up and went to a Wildlife park where we met the band members of Blue Eyed Devils and White Knuckle Driver. The guys had come a long way from home and were keen to see some good Aussie animals. You know, the kind of animals I'd see if I looked out of my backdoor in Hicksville, QLD ... So we trundled around the park for a few hours, which was a very interesting experience, indeed! Some of our guests decided they would (ahem) get acquainted with pelicans ... And those pelicans were certainly not in the mood for them! We eventually got onto Kangaroos and one of our guests told us that he was dared to go stroke a kanga'. So he hopped the fence, and the roo got up, but he bricked it and wouldn't even go near it. Dear, oh dear!
Any-who, we wrapped it up at the sanctuary and headed back to the hotel. It turns out all the interstate folks and the rest of the Victorians had rocked up while we were gone. It was a great feeling catching up with a few new faces and old friends. So, once we had caught up with everyone and had a few drinks (so to speak) we shipped out down town to a beer-cafe where we would enjoy the ISD Dinner. Personally, I don't think the pub was ready for a group of ravenous Skinheads walking through the door, Not that it mattered. We all got some grub (eventually), a few drinks and some photos to go with it. The drink was flowing for a good few hours and once everyone had enjoyed a bit of tipple we decided to call it quits and head back to the hotel (while stopping at the bottle shop for some more drinks).
We got back to the hotel and ram-raided Briza's room and decided to have our own little gig in there ... Fortress & Bully Boys DVD cranked up full blast. Everyone got into full-swing. some people even got a bit of moshy bashin' going, A very funny sight. The party continued well into the early hours of the morning before people turned in. I bet the Untermensch downstairs loved us.
With a few sore heads and some desirable weather the next morning, we all got prepared for the gig. Everyone, and I mean everyone was pumped for this gig. With a hugely anticipated line up of White Knuckle Driver, Blue Eyed Devils, Open Season and Deaths Head, you'd be crazy not to be pumped.
The gig started without a hitch with White Knuckle Driver gracing the stage with a total bombardment of great songs (I won't bore you with song listings). I must say, it was a blinder of a set. They even covered a charming little ditty by German band, Landser, 88 Rock 'n' Roll Band. The totally sober crowd all sang their hearts out to these classics. A fantastic job done by the American guests! Aggressive and fast, just the way we like it.
Next up was the notorious, politically-incorrect stylings of Australian National Socialists; Open Season.
Those who know the band know that they belt out a great set and are a real crowd pleaser. Our ears were even graced with some of Open Season's newest songs, which have been in recording for a new album hopefully coming out soon.
Things heated up a bit during their set, people decided to start a mosh-pit and a fair few people got knocked around a bit in there. We even had a couple of the young lads from Geelong get on stage to sing Frontline Fighters.
A great effort by them, hats off, lads. There's no doubt that Open Season got the crowd going hook, line and sinker. A great job done by the OS lads.
After Open Season was the infamous Deaths Head; one of the better known Skinhead-metal bands out there today. This was who I was looking forward to seeing the most and they certainly did not disappoint. J got his ego boosted by the 872 lads (Handsome Geelong Boys) chanting his name before they kicked off.
An absolute blinder of a set, I couldn't have of asked for anything better. It was their first full set in 5 years and they did an immense job. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.
They dedicated The Reaper to the Geelong lads and it sent chills down my spine. Definitely one of my favourite Deaths Head songs.
Their set wrapped up with the song Swastika in which J got a swastika flag and held it high for all to see. Oh, and once again, J rocked so hard that the pants flew off again (Inside joke).
Maybe we could have some photos of him gallivanting round with them? The set was more enjoyable than watching a bus full of crack-heads roll off a cliff.
Last, but certainly not least, was the awesome Blue Eyed Devils. If people hadn't gotten stuck into it by now, then they certainly did during their set. Even some of the older guys got mucked into the mosh-pit, which was great to see. The vocalists for Open Season and Deaths Head even got on stage with the band and belted out the all time Skrewdriver classics Street Fight and Tomorrow Belongs to Me in tribute to Ian Stuart.
The night wrapped up with grins from ear to ear from all present. Everything went smoothly and there was no problems at all. Everyone chucked-in to help tidy-up, which was done in no time.
To sum-up the night in one word would be; unforgettable.
I'd like to thank the Victorians for organising such an impressive gig and a big thank you for all the inter-states folks from WA, QLD, SA, NSW and the Kiwis from across the Ditch for making it. Also a big thank you to our International Guests for coming all the way out here to grace our shores with their music. It was great to see some new faces too, I'm sure they will stick around.
A hearty thanks to Blood & Honour Australia and the Southern Cross Hammerskins for co-presenting the gig, manning the doors, merchandising and ticket sales and all their hard work in setting up the show. It's very much appreciated.
For Ian Stuart.
For Blood, Honour, Faith and Folk.