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Dig It Up!


Thu 25 Apr 2013, 8:00pm

Where: Palace Theatre, 20-30 Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD, Victoria

Restrictions: 18+

Dig it Up! was a gas. Everybody said so. The multi-band / multi venue Invitational hosted by the Hoodoo Gurus in celebration of their thirty year recording history, took flight in April 2012 and never looked back. Bands, punters, the venues everyone was thrilled with their respective days begging the question, should we do it again? Chief Guru Dave Faulkner decides...

"Last year's Dig It Up! was such an incredible event that our only concern was what could we possibly do to match it? We had no intention of doing anything unless we could maintain the same standard, with that standard being rock 'n' roll perfection. Well, I can confidently state that this year's line-up will live up to everyone's high expectations. There were a lot of people kicking themselves afterwards for not going last year because everyone who went said it was the gig of the year. I confidently predict Dig It Up! 2013 will be the gig of the year THIS year."

The Hoodoo Gurus are once again at the helm of Dig it Up! and this time they have elected to perform their second album Mars Needs Guitars, in it's entirety. In addition the Gurus will also perform a selection of smash hits.

With special guests Blue Oyster Cult, Flamin’ Groovies, Buzzcocks, Peter Case Band, The Stems and loads more.

Between 1972 and 1978, San Francisco’s Flamin' Groovies – featuring core members Cyril Jordan (guitar/vocals), Chris Wilson (vocals/guitar) and George Alexander (bass/vocals) – produced some of the decade’s most vital recordings, including the classic singles Shake Some Action and Slow Death. The band’s 1976 masterpiece album (also titled Shake Some Action) combined the early pop and R&B leanings of both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones with the focused energy of the emerging US and UK alternative rock scenes, landing the band god-head-status for a new generation of music fans looking for the sort of kicks not heard of since the high of the mid-sixties. Sire Records label-mates the Ramones’ 1976 London debut was in support of the Flamin' Groovies while Australia's Radio Birdman were the support act to the Groovies for their one and only European tour in early 1978. Dig It Up! will be the first time since 1981 that the Jordan/Wilson/Alexander line-up of the Flamin’ Groovies have appeared anywhere in the world.

Blue Oyster Cult may be the ultimate ‘cult’ band. Revered by punks, metal heads, sci-fi geeks and horror movie fans alike, B.O.C. have carved out a 40-year career via a string of complex hard rock albums and killer live shows. The author Steven King adores them and so does Dave Graney. Their best known track Don’t Fear The Reaper, was a U.S. top twenty hit in 1976 and the album it came from, Agents Of Fortune (featuring a collaboration with songstress Patti Smith) achieved platinum status while the overall catalogue sales are in excess of 24 million. They also provided Radio Birdman with the album title Radios Appear, a lyric taken from the track Dominance and Submission. This will be the first-ever Australian tour for Blue Oyster Cult and it’s all thanks to Hoodoo Gurus.

UK punk pioneers Buzzcocks are no strangers to Australian shores and it’s not hard to see why. Their trademark mix of hi-energy guitars and pop smarts resulted in some of the greatest songs of the punk-era: Ever Fallen in Love, What Do I Get, Love You More, timeless tracks that resonate over and over with younger generations. A key influence on Australian acts as disparate as Hoodoo Gurus, Hard-Ons and The Mark Of Cain, their trademark sound has also provided the blueprint for every wanna be punk band since 1976 and their live show is always top shelf. Original ‘Cocks Shelley & Diggle will lead their band of merry pranksters through Dig it Up! Sydney and Melbourne and for headline appearances in most capital cities.

Peter Case made a name for himself in the late seventies via power-pop pioneers The Nerves. That band only ever released one EP in their time but it featured the original version of the Blondie hit, Hanging On the Telephone. Case then moved onto eighties combo The Plimsouls and provided us with a string of alternate-hits including the all-time garage-pop classic A Million Miles Away. Fast-forward to the nineties and Peter Case has been nominated at the Grammys for both best song and best production via his skills on debut solo album Old Blue Car. Move into the noughties and it’s another Grammy nomination, this time for best traditional folk album. For Dig it Up! though, Peter Case has assembled a crack-band to perform those Nerves and Plimsouls classics as well as solo material. It’s another first not just for Dig It Up! but for the world.

Had it not been for all of the above The Stems may not have happened. Heir apparent to the Hoodoo Gurus in the early eighties, The Stems produced a stunning run of garage inspired pop-singles and EP’s (Make You Mine, Love Will Grow, At First Sight, For Always) and one great album (the gold selling At First Sight, Violets Are Blue) before leaving us in 1987 to ponder what could have been. Reforming due to demand in the early noughties The Stems would perform in the U.S at Little Steven’s prestigious Underground Garage Festival and tour Europe before releasing their long awaited second album Heads Up in 2007. The Stems then toured Europe and Australia before again disbanding for good in 2009. However, in 2013, the call went out, Ladies & Gentlemen: The Stems. Dig it Up!

Local lineup:
- The Moodists: A post-punk super-group of nobodies who became somebodies. Welcome back Dave (Graney), Clare (Moore), Steve (Miller), Chris (Walsh) and Mick (Turner).
- Ron S.Peno & The Superstitions: rambunctious country-soul from the Died Pretty frontman - an essential element in the mix.
- Super Wild Horses: see above.
- The Straight Arrows: What? These punks again! Bring a raincoat.
- Bored Nothing: Not (as the name would suggest) nihilistic-punks but rather, forward thinking songsmiths. Special.
- Chris Russell's Chicken Walk is the real deal - northern Mississippi style. Let’s get funky!