Reviews roundup – Darren Hayes vs. The Trousers vs. Groanbox vs. Southern Fried Genocide vs. Big Rolling Wheel

Reviews roundup – Darren Hayes vs. The Trousers vs. Groanbox vs. Southern Fried Genocide vs. Big Rolling Wheel

A Big Night In WIth Darren HayesDARREN HAYES
A Big Night In WIth Darren Hayes – DVD
Powdered Sugar Productions

Here’s the latest installment of Darren Hayes (him out of Savage Garden) live DVDs.

Back in 2006, Mr Hayes put together a rather interesting live experience, combining pop music, theatre, reality television and stand up comedy into ” A Big Night In”.  In amongst the hits, women were invited on stage as potential dates for a bloke who’d been on stage for a makeover,  with two being voted off by the audience via live text voting. The winners were then served a candle lit dinner on stage, whilst Darren sang love ballads.  Madness.

But it went over well, and this DVD was filmed at Australia’s Sydney Opera House in July of 2006.  This enhanced package has the DVD, an audio CD of 8 live tracks from the concert and a reproduction of the original tour book, as are the other reissues.

The tour was undertaken to celebrate the release of Savage Garden’s 10th anniversary greatest hits album, so there are plenty of well known songs, which fans will take to, as he has rarely performed them since.  It’s filmed and recorded well, and will be welcomed with open arms by his fans.


Mother Of Illusion

Seventies guitar rock now, with a tinge of garage, all the way from Buda-Pest, Hungary.  Yes, indeed, we get around.

The distressingly named The Trousers comprise Zoltan Kovary  (vocals/guitar), Pete Locke (guitar), Adam Ilias (bass) and Zoltan Cs. Szabo (drums), and they certainly know how to kick out the jams.  It’s like the Stones and the MC5, but with a hint of scuzz and pop.  And it all works rather well.

It’s a fun album, which never takes itself too seriously, and when they stumble over a really good tune like ‘Gunslinger’, or ‘Break Your Mind’, then you can’t help but think that there is a place for them on a bigger stage.  Very enjoyable.



I think this one needs to get filed under interesting.  Ten years into their career of mixing up roots music from across the world, and that’s really the only word for it.

Recorded in Ontario in 2013 and New Orleans in 2015, this is the kind of thing that the inky music magazines will get very moist over.  With an open door policy to sounds from the Americas, Europe, Africa and beyond, there is rarely a moment where some clattering ethnic percussion isn’t going for laldy.

But even though I admired their musicology, I couldn’t help but wish for an actual song.  It’s very freeform, so regardless of the presence of a multitude of instrumentation, it just didn’t work for me.

I’m sure there is a black and white documentary somewhere screaming out for this, but I’ll just move along.


Electric Mayhem

Now that’s a proper name for a band and a proper name for an album.  So well played, Florida stoners Southern Fried Genocide.  But does the music live up to the billing?  Well, yes, actually.

It’s that grubby sort of sludge like stoner rock, which I’m rather partial to.  They’ve also got some harder rock influences there and a few cracking southern rock riffs.  Like a bluesy, doomy Nashville Pussy with too many Sabbath bootlegs in their collection.

If that sounds like your sort of thing (and it should), you’ll be wanting to check out tunes like ‘Blood On My Hands’ sooner rather than later.  Granted, the vocals may not be to everyones liking, but they kinda fit the vibe, which is rock to the max.


Big Rolling Wheel

We’re off to Portugal for our final listen of the day and, who knew?  The Portugese done got the blues.  I know I had when I worked on the docks in Oporto back in the eighties.  And by that I mean as a docker, nothing mucky.

Anyway, back in 2013, three Portugese fellas decided that what they really wanted to do was form a blues rock trio.  Fast forward two years, and here’s an album, which is rather good.  It’s very much in the KWS / Joe Bonamassa vein, but there is nothing wrong with that when it’s done well.

For sure, there are a few songs that don’t have much of an impact, but when they get their groove on, as they do on ‘Howling Dog’, ‘All The Misery’ and ‘Poison’, then Rui Vasconcelos, Daniel Matias and José Cordeiro can hold their heads high.



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