Words by Tracey Moyle.
Photos by Luke Sangiorgio – Full gallery HERE.
On Saturday night Melbourne-based heavy hitting rock powerhouse Electric Mary played the final gig of their Gimme Love Tour at The Zoo in Brisbane. You can tell a lot about a band by the dedicated fan base. These guys are known for their reinvention and resurrection of classic rock, which they do like they are channelling some of the greats of old.
The first support for the night were local Brisbane lads, Gutterfire. Opening with For Hela their powerful riffs and heavy bass combined with a dirty rock sound punches you awake and brings the punters, there for the main act, up front almost immediately. Next their new single Jaws Of The Universe took it up to a higher octane, and Proton Jon with his raw, gravelly vocals gave the performance a very Motorhead feel. A sound I imagine this crowd would be familiar with. We were treated to catchy riffs and great bass lines with Shitbag, rapid drums, awesome guitar licks and high energy with This Is Fine and a good solid track with Rhythm For The End Of Days and finally Quantum Bacterium opening with a slow heavy bass and pleading vocals. A brilliant opening act for Electric Mary. Can’t wait to see more from these guys in the future.
With the second opener we had more brilliant local talent with Smoking Martha. Who doesn’t love a female lead who rocks and Tasha certainly does this with her own flair and brilliance. Opening with Open and Free Tasha owned the stage and her strong vocals stood out with a beautiful tone. They went straight into So Lonely, and with catchy riffs from Mick and the Chrissy Amphlett-esque aura of Tasha we were treated to a good steady beat with a light vs heavy feel. It’s A Lie began with only the powerful vocals of their lead starting off slow and building into a brilliant, old school heavy rock track, with highly versatile vocals and some great riffs. Heavy bass feels from Matty and Jordy belting away at drums gave us 1 Night. I Tried set a good solid beat to start with and the crowd by this stage were completely won over by now and taken on the ride with Tasha’s strong voice into a climatic ending. The vocal energy continued with Ghost, a slower more hypnotic feel with Liquid Sunshine only to be ramped up 1000 rpm with new song Cool Aide. The band kept it together earning respect from all present. Taking a breather with Say You’re Mine leading us on an emotionally driven journey and ending with the dark and heavy In The Shadows, we had been treated to special. A rock band with a unique and brilliant sound proving once again that the talent hiding in our suburbs needs to be shouted out about.
Time for a drink and a breather and then quickly finding your place up front. At 10 pm Electric Mary hit the stage to a rowdy, enthusiastic welcome, something often reserved for much larger rock shows. After a brilliant welcome to stage from their greatest fan Knuckles Nelson who travelled all the way from Boston Massachusetts, to see them in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, it began. The gods of classic rock riffs were finally on stage and set the crowd off with yells of adoration from the fans, just as we expected from a band with such a strong following. Opening with Let Me Out off their 2009 ‘Down to the Bone’ album there was a massive response from the crowd with hands thrown in the air, heads bouncing and everyone singing as loud as f**k.
Next song, the hook started and the rhythm was almost hypnotic. Lead Rusty’s perfectly raw rock vocals rang out and Gimme Love began. This song may be off their most recent 2019 album Mother but it was pretty evident everyone in that room already owned a copy. A great 70’s style rock sound with Pete Robinson on lead guitar taking control midway giving us a brilliant solo with a psychedelic rock feel. This song has a classic Bad Company Live for the Music but heavier, feel to it. Classic rock brilliance. No-one Does It Better Than Me next with Paul ‘Spyder’ Marrett drumming a frantic beat setting an high energy level for the band to keep up with. This has a familiar Aussie rock sound. Imagine if the angels and (70’s) AC/DC had a love child and she was Electric and they called her Mary.
Hold on to what you’ve got next and again more brilliant classic sounds with heavier influences. Brilliantly dominant bass throughout this song. Although I hate to compare too much, I can’t get Bad Company out of my head. These guys keep a tight beat and Rusty knows how to make a crowd smile. By the looks on the faces here tonight, average age I would say, 70’s rock was their musical prime and you’d think they were back in their 20’s at a (insert classic band name here) concert. Music brings people back to life and tonight Electric Mary are proving why they have so many dedicated fans. Gasoline and Guns opened it up to heavy and hard, with Sabbath style riffs carrying it, Rusty owned the stage showing his brilliant ‘born to rock’ vocal skills with Bruce Dickinson like wails and the fans love him for it, joining in. Marrett hammers out the beat and hearts are pumping along in time. Chanting ‘Gasoline and Guns’ is mandatory.
Slowing it down in pace but keeping that iconic sound another recent song, Sorry Baby, takes a break from the intensity but not the power that this rock ballad has, showcasing not only Rusty’s versatility but a musical light and shade that was so integral to the most brilliant rock ballads written in the 70’s. I have strong praise for the band’s musicianship and song-writing ability. Brilliantly bluesy guitar intro from Robinson and Brett Wood throws over to bass player Alex Raunjak showing us some sweet harmonica sounds bringing them into Sweet Mary C the quintessential sing-a-long rock track and one of my many favourites of their ‘The Last Great Hope’ EP. Woman keeps the rock coming, again from ‘Mother’, proving Electric Mary just keep getting better with time.
Already Gone and back to a slow and heavy, almost dark track telling a story of heartbreak. Rusty’s vocals have a resigned sadness in the lyrics “Don’t worry baby, you’ve already lost me I’m gone”. This songs rings out into your musical soul with drums like a slow heartbeat and brilliant barrage of guitars with solos from both Robinson and Wood along with Raunjak’s bass keeping the melancholic mood of the song. Definitely the highlight of the night for me. Rock n Roll brilliance.
The music just kept belting out until the end with The Way You Make Me Feel, again off ‘Mother’ (seriously go buy this album), ramping it up with a fast paced track staying true to their sound but keeping it fresh with a nod more akin to Motley Crue days. Ending the set perfectly with the Aussie pub style sing along anthem My Best Friend taking everyone out with many happy feels.
The encore was a frenzied ending with OIC, a barrage of electric sounds, frantic beats and belting bass and Electric Mary ending of a night of absolutely brilliant rock, setting the bar high for Australian rock bands. How these guys aren’t selling out major venues I have no idea. These guys rock on a colossal scale and if you EVER get the chance to see them live, Do Not Hesitate.