Best Gigs The Rockbrat’s Seen ? Divinyls (1995)

McEntee and Aphlett hit Canberra

Who: Divinyls  When: Labour Club, Canberra, July 8, 1995  

After having witnessed The Divinyls have their backsides well and truly smacked by Joan Jett and The Blackhearts several times on their recent tour together, I decided to give Chrissy and Mark another go. And I’m glad I did. I love The Divinyls, and have seen ’em on and off for over ten years now, but being paired with Joan Jett ? It was always gonna be a tough task to perform after the rock n roll tornado had hit, and they failed to pull it off. But Joan is now back home in NY, and The Divinyls are here in Canberra. Charging out dressed in a large floppy hat, Chrissie Amphlett belts straights into ‘Boys In Town’ – their first ever single, which still sounds quite fresh. The opening riff of ‘I Touch Myself’ gets the people moving, (although Ms Amphlett is distracted mid-song, harrassing a photographer for a photo pass ! I did seek permission. Thanks for making me feel like a prize knob Chrissie. I’ll just let the readers know you once sang back-up vocals on a John St Peeters lp and we’ll call it even !) ‘Only Lonely’ and ‘Lay Your Body Down’ follow, feeding the appetites of this hungry crowd with their tough, hard edged rock n roll. ‘Good Die Young’ from the ‘What A Life’ album has been in their set for yonks, and you can see why. It really is a great track. Ms Amphlett gets intimate with those in the front row, whilst easing into the current single ‘I’m Jealous’. Another crowd fave, that doubly satisfies The Melrose Place viewers (as it’s included on the soundtrack). ‘Make Out Alright’ sees Mark McEntee (the blonde Keef ?) display some nice harmonies, whilst his partner in crime teases the boys with a quick flick of her skirt. Chrissie still flaunts plenty of sex appeal, and is just as visually exciting as ever. Bass player Jerome Smith begins the intro to the beautiful Elsie, and is following a string of top knotch players that this band’ve had (Jim Hilbun, Tim Millikan and Rick Grossman spring to mind). What truth to the rumour that Mick Jagger desperately chased him to replace Bill Wyman in the Stones ? His rhythm partner on the skins is Charlie Drayton, a superb hitter who’s been a Divinyl for some time now, as has rhythm guitarist Charlie Owen – he of Tex, Don and Charlie fame (not to mention a guest stint on Sherry Rich’s debut EP !) The Easybeats classic ‘Make You Happy’ cuts sharply through the air, although in my opinion they should still be opening with this still killer song. ‘Bless My Soul (it’s rock n roll)’ and ‘Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore’ close a hot, and at times blistering set. Crowd response ensures an encore, and ‘Need A Lover’ is gratefully recieved. Fingers crossed…yes ‘Guillotine Day’ is hurled forth. Crunching guitars and a great hook – a classic ! A mellow version of ‘Pleasure And Pain’ is the last encore, and closes a set that leaves many punters drained and exhausted – but smiling all the way home.  (originally published in Vicious Kitten fanzine in 1995)

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