Best Gigs The Rockbrat’s Seen ? Screaming Tribesmen (1995)

Tribesmen circa 1989

Who: Screaming Tribesmen  When: Britannia Hotel, Sydney, May 20, 1995

In the 1980’s when independent rock was just that, the Tribesmen could have commanded a gig anywhere in Sydney. However in 1995 they’re apparently not ‘alternative’ enough to get a gig at the Annandale, Feedback or the like – having to settle for venues like Springfield’s or the Britannia. That’s fine by me – cause as long as I can still see this rockin’ institution perform – I’m not really fussed where they play, and I always look forward to it. A leading light in the ’80’s as one of  Australia’s premier guitar based outfits, the Screaming Tribesmen have now taken a heavier approach to their songs in the ’90’s. At times they come across sounding like a full-on metal band, yet at the same time it’s melodic enough to groove to. The current line-up features main man Mick Medew on vocals and guitar, long time bass player Jeff Silver, and ex-Candy Harlots Tony Cardinal and Marc Lee De’ Hugar on drums and lead guitar respectively. The stage tonight is illuminated by burning candles, an effect that adds a  haunting feel to the set opener, long time favourite ‘Date With A Vampyre’ – surely one of the best songs ever penned. The majority of tonight’s show is comprised of tunes from the band’s last offering – 1993’s ‘Formaldehyde’. I’m still floored by the songwriting strength of Jeff Silver who wrote ‘Fatal Fascination’, ‘Day We Said Goodbye’ and ‘I Can Fly’ – three of the strongest tracks from this album, that are delivered this evening with white hot intensity. Lead guitarist Marc Lee De’ Hugar must be one of the fastest players around and is filling some big shoes before him (Chris ‘Klondike’ Masuak, Glen Morris and Brian Mann amongst others). He seems right at home with the Tribesmen, as does his old ‘Candys’ band mate Tony Cardinal, who thumps out the intro to ‘Ayla’. This tale of a wild blond cave lion girl coulda been a monster hit. If only….The groovy ‘Get To Know You’ is quickly followed by ‘Ice’ – a Tribesmen classic that still sounds great today. Mick Medew is as cool as ever, screaming in his unique style and churning out his beloved guitar-driven rock amidst a flurry of coloured flashing lights. In a climate that’s seen many from his era fall by the wayside, this man is a true survivor. A full house tonight convinces me of this very fact. They end  a scorching set with ‘Igloo’ – another Tribesmen mainstay, before encoring with the raucous Blue Oyster Cult number ‘Red And The Black’. The set is over and I’m left in a daze. A truly memorable display from the survivors of marsupial rock – the leaders still – of great Australian guitar etched rock n roll ! Nobody does it better. (originally published in Vicious Kitten fanzine in 1995)

2 thoughts on “Best Gigs The Rockbrat’s Seen ? Screaming Tribesmen (1995)

  1. Thanks for the kind words brother. I loved playing in the Tribesmen because I loved Chris’s playing and we had done so many shows together with The Tribesmen.. Its a shame I left that Line-up for other opportunities in Melbourne . My other band “Shock Therapy” was a joke. But The tour I did with The Tribesmen to Queensland and the shows in Sydney were fun I had to learn the set in like 3 days. haha.

    Mick Medew and the Rumors looks to be going places.. Mick Medew Is a very talented Guy and deserves all the success in the world. But Chris was one of my Child hood hero’s so it was a dream come true to try and fill his shoes.. haha he oddly said to a mutual friend that he thought I was one of the best guitarists he had ever seen.. I think he was drunk.. hahaha Muzuak Is the Best Tribesmen Guitarist period.

  2. I’ve seen a lot of Tribesmen gigs, but that night was kind of surreal. The room was full, Mick was on fire and it was great to have Marc and Tony belting it out. I agree with Marc, Mick deserves more accolades than most… He worked hard, wrote great songs and is a terrific bloke to boot.

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