A look back at the 1979 time reel has Mad Max at the flicks, St George and Carlton claiming the footy silverware and kids hitting pinnie parlours to fight off Space Invaders. It was also the time that a young garage outfit from western Sydney called The Lime Spiders made their live debut.
Throughout the 1980’s, the band toured hard – from inner-city pubs to regional clubs, forging a reputation as one of Australia’s best live outfits. They carried that on-stage prowess into the studio, cutting several (now iconic) singles along the way. Songs like ‘Slave Girl’ and ‘Weirdo Libido’ both copped heavy rotation and enabled the band to tour North America and Europe, to an ever-growing legion of fans.
Although 1987’s ‘The Cave Comes Alive’ and the follow-up ‘Volatile’ are both long-time fan favorites, it is the criminally ignored ‘Beethoven’s Fist’ album from 1990 which many consider their pièce de résistance. This record stands as one of the most complete rock n roll albums to come out of Australia in recent times.
After a lengthy period of inactivity, founding member Mick Blood has assembled a new Lime Spiders line-up that are set to hit Australian stages in December. It is an opportunity for fans to celebrate the 40th anniversary with shows locked in for Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne. For Blood though, it is a personal triumph to even set foot on a stage again and do what he does so well. Life has dealt Mick Blood some bad hands in recent years: hospitalized in 2014 with a brain injury after a vicious and random assault, he was then diagnosed with prostate cancer. Not surprisingly, Blood then battled severe depression and attempted suicide. Yet his great love of rock n roll, which is a saviour to so many of us – has provided him with the courage and perseverance to move forward.
“I’m finally well enough to return to the stage with my band for a tour in December. I’m rightfully proud of myself for being strong enough to survive this incredibly tough personal journey and embrace every day I’m above the ground” said Blood
Besides this run of shows in December, there is much activity in the Lime Spiders camp planned for the next twelve months – including the release of an album containing many Spiders rarities. “The album’s gonna be called LSD”, said Blood “there are twenty or thirty songs – previously unreleased tracks, high-quality demos, some that should’ve made it to albums that didn’t. I’ve written some new songs and ideally, I’d like to record and include them on the (LSD) album”.
Mick Blood’s long-awaited book ‘Limelight’ – which chronicles his life in rock n roll and that of his band, is also close to completion. “Over the course of a few years, I focused on writing a definitive story on the history of my band The Lime Spiders, systematically documenting a successful international band which has spanned four decades. This proved to be very therapeutic, the memories and discipline of writing helping to resolve any deficits from my brain injury and it shapes as a good read. There’s eighteen chapters – all edited, though there’s another couple of chapters more to this story. It’s not finished yet as our story as a band is not finished yet”.
Joining the Spiders on three of these upcoming gigs will be The Naked Lunch (fellow sparring partners on the 80’s underground rock circuit) who’ve recently reunited and have a new album under their belts. The Naked Lunch are: Tony Gibson, Tony Robertson, Murray Shepherd, and Steve Beves. “Our pedigree follows similar lines” recalls Blood “Naked Lunch were a very underrated band back in the day and it’s great to see them back. Murray Shepherd the drummer – he actually did a tour with us at one stage, at one point he was a Spider. He was a part of our line up, and filled in for (ex-drummer) Richard Lawson, who had health problems which prevented him from touring”.
As a fan of their ‘Beethoven’s Fist’ album, I just had to ask Blood if the Lime Spiders will be including any material from that record on these upcoming shows ? “Yeah, we’re doing a couple of songs off it. ‘I Get Off At The Next Stop’ (that slow bluesy number) and we’re doing ‘Nine Miles High’ – they’re the picks we’re doing off the album – they’re both sounding fantastic with this line-up. The way we’re playing at the moment leading up to this tour – we’re just finetuning the setlist now and getting it as tight as possible. I don’t go out on a stage with a band that’s not ready to perform. The band’s sounding great, I don’t settle for second best”.
LIME SPIDERS DECEMBER 2019 TOUR
Saturday December 7 – Goleby’s Basement Ipswich (warm-up show) –
Friday December 13 – Crowbar Brisbane – tickets
Saturday December 14 – Sound Lounge Currumbin – tickets
Friday December 20 – Crowbar Sydney – tickets
Saturday December 21 – The Croxton Bandroom Melbourne – tickets