Roky Erickson: Live at Barrio, Adelaide, Australia. It was pretty shambolic. The sound was a mess and, especially, the crashing waves of multiple guitars consistently drowned out Roky’s voice. They butchered ‘You’re gonna miss me’ and never got around to ‘I walked with a zombie’ (although that might have been the fault of the little bloke who appeared out of nowhere to demand they leave the stage so they could come back on for their encore all before 9.30pm when the venue went from paid-only to free, but why they couldn’t have just played for another half an hour regardless if they felt like it is anybody’s guess) (or maybe they just didn’t feel like playing ‘I walked with a zombie’ but I sure felt like hearing it).
But, anyway, ignore all of the above. I loved every second of it. It’s the best dodgy concert I’ve seen since The Pogues in … maybe 1990.
On the evidence of this show, it’s hard to know how Roky Erickson’s voice is holding up. But it’s only a couple of years since he released his wonderful album, True Love Cast Out All Evil. The older songs – whether 13th Floor Elevators or solo stuff – are seminal but True Love Cast Out All Evil is as good as anything he’s ever done.
My latest ‘Sort of but not exactly’ column in The Melbourne Review is an open letter to Roky Erickson. You can read it here.