Hardcore Superstar + Smoking Martha and Snakebite Whisky– Woolly Mammoth Brisbane 16/06/2018

Full disclosure here, I’m a massive Hardcore Superstar (HCSS) fan, have been since I heard “Someone Special” from the “Bad Sneakers and a Pina Colada” album back in the late 90’s. They are (were) one of the last bands on my list of bands to see before I die that I had not yet seen. There were a few close calls, (cancelled Soundwave appearance, missing them by a week in London, and also missing their last tour down here (due to being over seas at the time). But now …. FINALLY! I get to see the guys I’d been listening to for over 20 years!


Arriving a little too late to catch Snakebite Whisky we bought a few drinks and took our places in a (worryingly) sparse Woolly Mammoth for the start of local Brisbane band Smoking Martha’s set. These guys have been kicking around the scene for a few years and always put on a tight show. Now a 4 peace, they present a more stripped back no bullshit bluesy rock show. By the time front woman Tash says goodbye there is a respectable crowd picking up what they are putting down, a typically great show from the guys!

After an extended wait (and time for the room to fill a little more) HCSS hit the stage and proceed to destroy!

From the opening tones of “kick on the upper class” you can tell these guys are true veterans who really know how to treat a crowd and don’t we all love it! From start to finish I haven’t seen a crowd react like that for a VERY long time. Seeing as there was no crash barrier stage invasions were par for the course, within the first song we had our first stage diver and by song three people started downing shoey’s.

Front man Jockie COMMANDS the stage, the man loves what he does, as does the entire band. For a fan, this was almost a greatest hits set, covering the band’s entire catalogue and including new tracks “Baboon” and “Have Mercy on Me” but also including classics like “Liberation” and an acoustic version of “Someone Special”. The obligatory “Last Call for Alcohol” saw the stage filled with fans and Jockie being hoisted aloft (about the only time I saw him a little uneasy)

The set came to a climax with the classic “We don’t celebrate Sundays” which saw guitarist Vic standing on top of a very poorly stacked set of fold backs (held in place by a very dedicated fan).

I don’t think there was one person in the audience that didn’t have a smile on their face by the end of the set. HCSS are a fun band, a catchy band and to top it off they are the greatest rock band you have never heard. I often describe HCSS as what Guns N Roses would have been if they had stayed a club band.

Although there wasn’t a full house tonight, I don’t think it will take them 10 years to come back next time after the reaction they got tonight. Lets hope they come out after the new album is released …. I for one will be in the front row!

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