Recorded at Melbourne’s Bombay Bicycle Club in 1982 on the Never Too Loud tour, Tatts:… finds Angry Anderson and company captured in their natural environment, deafening punters in a sweaty club with nary a thought for the consequences. Rose Tattoo fans are going to love it.
In fact even if you’re not much of a Tatts fan there’s still an awful lot to enjoy about this performance. The sound quality is superb, the live tracks remastered to a crisp but not overly clean finish which means your neighbours will be able to enjoy every nuance of this superb live exposition.
Anderson is in fine, bellicose form, obviously – the man was in his vocal prime in 1982, after all – but he’s joined in the spotlight by some quite superb guitar playing from Peter Wells, whose slide playing throughout is exemplary.
Assault and Battery is an early highlight, played fast and heavy, with Dallas ‘Digger’ Royal assaulting and indeed battering the kit like his life depended on it, and Wells honking away in blistering fashion. It’s genuinely exciting to listen to, even thirty five years after the fact.
An extended Butcher and Fast Eddie, prefaced by an Anderson rant about the general shitness of society, displays a band confident enough to drop the pace mid set and indulge in a bit of bluesy storytelling; Lesser bands may have destroyed all the early momentum they’d built up by doing this, but not these blokes, who turn the slightly plodding album track into a blustery, squalling extravaganza, all agony and loss and packing enough power to take even a lounge room-bound bystander along for the ride.
Branded is another standout, but to be honest there aren’t too many duff moments here to worry about. If you’re a fan, you’ll love this in all it’s unvarnished glory. And if you are wondering what all the fuss was about this band, this is as good a place as any to start finding out. Excellent stuff.
Rose Tattoo’s Tatts: Live in Brunswick 1982 is out on November 24 on Golden Robot Records