A Dallas Frasca gig always promises to be a celebration of raw music, and Friday night at Jive was no different, despite the band fighting jet-lag and tour fatigue.
Supporting Ugly Kid Joe through Europe, the three-piece had played nearly a gig per night for the past month before enduring the long-haul flight from Dublin to play for us in Adelaide. You could forgive them if they’d phoned this one in, but that’s just not in their DNA; for this band, live performance is everything.
With the a balmy Friday evening beckoning, the audience were ready for a night of sweaty rawk and the lineup at Jive was the perfect fit. Local outift Babes Are Wolves opened up: heavy on the volume yet sweet on the melody, and with some nicely polished tunes, it was a great way to kick things off. They are tight outfit who know how to engage an audience. So slick was the performance, you’d never have known that the lead guitarist was just filling in.
The second support act was Adelaide up-and-comers, Filthy Lucre. Having released their debut album at the start of the year, these guys are going from strength to strength. The two piece have a swag of great songs and perform with such energy that you can’t help but be swept up in it. In short time they have really honed their timeless mix of desert rock and blues riffs. It was great to hear a new tune among the numbers from this year’s Mara, leaving us hungry for some new releases from the duo.
Showcasing material from latest EP Dirt Buzz, the trio of Dallas Frasca, Jeff Curran and new drummer Chris Windley fought the fatigue to deliver an extraordinary performance. Dallas is amazing bandleader, with an ability to engage an audience in a way that few performers can. Entering into a pact with us early in the set, she explained what the band had been through to perform at this gig and beckoned the crowd to respond in kind. In characteristic style she moved into the audience and had us all kneeling on the Jive floor for a call and response sing-along. From that moment performer and audience were as one, creating a terrific energy.
And then there’s that voice: one of the most powerful and soulful in the country, it really takes you someplace else. In perfect balance to this is long time collaborator Jeff Curran on Flying V guitar, very much the source of the band’s unique riff-heavy sound, while new drummer, Windley, fits in very nicely.
Hitting an organic blues groove with their latest release, which marries the influence of previous tour-buddies, The Bellrays, with a distinctly Australian blues sensibility, songs like the searing ‘Wasting Time’, ‘Check Bang’, and the cheeky, sultry ‘Self Loving Is Free’ all sounded fantastic. These were sprinkled with a string of great tunes from previous releases including ‘Success is the Best Revenge’, ‘You Are Beautiful’ and ‘One Man Woman’. The set-list was testament to just how well this group can craft a song.
Capping things off with an all-in chorus of ‘All My Love’, Dallas invited the support acts and members of the recently retired Beards (who had been spotted in the audience) to join the trio on stage. It made for a joyous end to a highly enjoyable show.
A performance from Dallas Frasca is something to be experienced: you’ll always get 100% from the stage and go home reminded of the raw power of music. And isn’t this what all rock’n’roll should aspire to? We hope they come back to us soon.
Reviewed by Matthew Trainor
Picture by Libby Parker