Fu Manchu + Black Cobra, Hi Fi Bar – 03/05/2012

Written by Shane Arnold on May 7, 2012

It’s been a long 10 years since Californians Fu Manchu toured Australia, so this was a most-anticipated event. And as a delightfully special bonus, they were bringing metal maestros Black Cobra along for the ride. The Hi Fi Bar may not have the same allure as the once-proud Forum, but it’s still a great little venue that earns a gold star for having a bar on either side of the room. Now that’s how to look after your customers!

Purveyors of doom/sludge/thrash metal, duo act Black Cobra brought an intense wall of sound, with scant regard for subtlety. A brutally shredding guitar combined with pounding drums was loud as fuck. Recalling the likes of the Melvins, Mastodon, and the White Stripes on acid, Black Cobra served up an almost non-stop attack of riffs and beats that was one of the heaviest and most savage gigs of the year. Talk about shock and awe, Black Cobra bombed the shit out of us.

Fu Manchu took the stage and spend the next 90 minutes giving a lesson in rock ‘n’ roll. It was party rock at its best and we all loved them for it. Whether it was the laid-back rock of California Crossing or the party anthem Squash That Fly, it was a definitive display of how best to play rock – it’s about girls, cars, vans, skateboarding, girls – you get it. It’s unpretentious and catchy as fuck, so what else is there to do but shake your arse?

Fu Manchu know their audience and delivered up all the faves such as Hell On Wheels, Boogie Van, and the riff-tastic King Of The Road. And special mention must be made of the ultra-groovy slacker rock of Ojo Rojo (“She wanted nothing… and I delivered!”), leading straight into the signature track Evil Eye, being topped off by the monstrous Mongoose – now that’ s a triumvirate of rock that’s difficult to beat. A standout highlight to what was a high-energy show, focused purely on a shared love of rock ‘n’ roll.

As Fu Manchu wrapped it all up with the sci-fi juggernaut that is Saturn III, it was a minute wait for the inevitable encore: the space aged Laserbl’ast and everyone’s favourite, Godzilla. The party was over – for now. Fu Manchu left us with the news they’ll be back next year – a summer festival tour perhaps?

Setlist;
Hell on Wheels
Eatin’ Dust
Bionic Astronautics
Boogie Van
Squash That Fly
Hung Out to Dry
California Crossing
Cyclone Launch
Ojo Rojo
Evil Eye
Mongoose
Regal Begal
King of the Road
Saturn III
Encore:
Laserbl’ast
Godzilla

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