When: Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney, April 22,1995
If you ever read a positive comment about a band with all female personnel, in the mainstream media at least, it will invariably be at the expense of another all girl (or predominantly female) band. Whether it’s the lazy cliché designed to fill a few more lines of copy, or a sign that in the eyes of Joe Nobody, Rock Critic, women playing guitars and drums to the sound of their own songs and voices can still be no more than a novel curio, I don’t know. “Girlschool vs Runaways”, “Bangles rule, Go Go’s suck”, “Belly is better than Throwing Muses”….you know what I mean. Some of the more nauseating examples – “Red Aunts rock the shit out of any other girl band on the planet” (I’m sure this genius knows his Bratmobile, 7 Year Bitch, Cat Food, Gravelrash et al – not) and, brilliant Melbourne outfit Sourpuss dubbed “embarrassingly Hole-like”. But the real doozy was the effort of one semi-retarded street press columnist who declared “Nitocris will WIPE the stage with L7” when referring to the Alternative Nation line up. I guess it never occured to this imbocile that Nitocris would more likely WIPE the stage with lame, syphilitic winers like Faith No More or Nine Inch Nails, rather than the god-like L7. (Note: This was the same right-on dude who bought us the ‘scoop’ (his word) that Jennifer Finch had quit L7 to join Hole). Anyway chump, nobody but nobody wipes any floor with L7. They call the shots. The debacle that was Alternative Nation had but one positive. It meant that Donita, Suzi, Jen and dee would add a Selina’s date to their festival itinerary.
And so, to the strains of a Ren and Stimpy theme, sporting matching, luminous devil horns, L7 grace the Coogee beer hall they so convincingly blew the nuts off some three years (too long) earlier. They warm to their task immediately, hurling forth ‘Everglade’, ‘Questioning My Sanity’ and a stinging ‘Deathwish’, which shows they aren’t completely neglecting their pre ‘Bricks’ material. The punk metal carol ‘Shitlist’ really gets the punters stirring before they launch into a bracket of numbers from ‘Hungry For Stink’. ‘Can I Run’, dedicated to “all the sisters in the house” and ‘Riding With A Movie Star’ (renamed tonight after the guitar technician, who also adds bonus jive factor on bongo’s) are my picks of the bunch. Obligatory versions of ‘Shove’ and ‘Pretend We’re Dead’ follow, before they finish the set with ‘Fast and Frightening’ from the classic and always state of the art ‘Smell The Magic’. The kids want more so out comes the Wheel Of Encore, a typically L7 take on the time honoured gig ritual. They rip through ‘Andres’, as pleasurably punishing live as on disc, and leave the mob well beaten and satisfied. Tribal elders of Riot Grrrl, or simply the most rocking institution on legs, they’re L7 – artistes le splendid.