Tumbleweed, the original kings of Aussie grunge, have reformed for this year’s Homebake, but as a preview Wollongong was treated to a special one-off homecoming performance at Waves. This was the original line-up featuring Richard Lewis (vocals), Paul Hausmeister (guitar/vocals), Lenny Curley (guitar/vocals), Jay Curley (bass) and Stephen O’Brien (drums). They even managed to sell out the 1500 capacity room, proving that fans have not gone anywhere since Tumbleweed’s peak in the 90s, touring with Nirvana and getting considerable airplay.
It is fair to say there was a reasonable amount of nostalgia wafting through the venue, as Tumbleweed put on a tight, slick performance – they’ve still got what it takes. The bulk of the set was made up of songs from their first 2 albums – 1992’s Tumbleweed and 1995’s Galactaphonic.
A highlight of the night was the back-to-back performance of the stone cold Oz rock classics Sundial and Acid Rain, responsible for catapulting Tumbleweed into the national music scene. And what about the heavy hitting crunch of Daddy Long Legs – jeez, that was just something magical. The epic prog rock dirge of Ocean had us all spilling our drinks in a messy mosh, as did everybody’s favourite slacker anthem Hang Around.
Tumbleweed are still as fresh as they were back in the day – look no further than the pummelling Gyroscope, its twisting guitars and ultra cool vocals beat the shit out of half the music we’re currently listening to on the radio. Tumbleweed were relentless as they dished out their top-shelf material like Atomic, God, Carousel, and the upbeat boogie of Stoned. Special mention must be awarded to the wail of TV Genocide, where has that sound been this decade? Also Nothing To Do With The Weather was just, well, fucking lovely. However there was a sour note: despite the constant requests for fan favourite Silver Lizard, it was not forthcoming – Tumbleweed you bastards, how can you tease us like that? Next stop Homebake, and more chanting for Silver Lizard!
Who knows where this reunion is going after Homebake – a national tour, new album? Such a hugely influential band would be more than welcome with young fans and bands everywhere. Tumbleweed are a great reminder of the 90s when bands like Magic Dirt, Powderfinger, Custard, Spiderbait and Regurgitator were finding their feet. Be sure to catch Tumbleweed at Homebake, and relive some of those grunge classics – or experience it all for the first time.