23-years on from their 1998 debut, Melbourne art-punk and garage rock veterans Rocket Science are holding their first gig since 2020 at the Brunswick Ballroom.
It’s to showcase Rocket Science’s impressive fifth album, 2019’s Snake, their first in 10 years. A truly collaborative work, recorded by the band’s guitarist Paul Maybury, it has the same feeling of explosive improvisation and experimentation, somehow held in the balance by tight grooves and impressive musicianship.
They can certainly burn brightly live, our last review of their live show noting: “Rocket Science’s headline slot was filled with energy and fun. And plenty of nostalgia for me – having been a fixture in the city’s scene when a lot of the audience started going to their first bunch of gigs.
“Kit Warhurst’s drumming was as tight as ever and Dave Gray’s bass grooves locked in to give his bandmates plenty of space to create the unique Rocket Science layers. Roman Tucker’s vocals, keys, theremin and dancing was contagious with plenty of punters doing their version of the gyrating Tucker. The set included numbers from Welcome Aboard the 3C10, Contact High, and Eternal Holiday.”
What you need to know
- 8.30pm The Hot Blood
- 9.40pm Rocket Science
- 11pm – DJ Katy Skaty until 1am
Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.
A fixture of the Melbourne rock scene, the former two albums peaked inside the ARIA top 100, with tracks like ‘Being Followed’ earning an enduring fanbase in the following decade that left a lasting legacy. For a band with diverse influences, they’ve left a diverse wake, still heard in the pre-eminent bands of the moment like Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice.
But they haven’t always excelled live. Frontman Roman Tucker told Beat in an interview soon after the band’s reformation that after a sickening head clash put him in a coma, the band’s highly promising future derailed.
“I couldn’t remember my mother let alone the band,” Tucker told us. “In the hospital, people played our newly recorded album, and I asked them, ‘Who’s this then?’ When we decided to go on tour three months after my accident to support our new album Eternal Holiday I knew that I, and consequently we, were not as great as all the music mags were saying.
“I’d done all the right things – studied past interviews and watched myself on YouTube – but all the research in the world couldn’t replace the real thing. I wasn’t there. I was acting out the idea of Roman Tucker without being Roman Tucker. I was an imposter pretending to be me.”
Perhaps it’s that painful history that makes their new album feel so passionate. Now, they’re back with a new (in COVID terms) record and a new live album – Live 2020 – to match, showcasing the band’s confidence in a new era of live performances. The new recordings show Tucker’s vocals have lost none of their oomph, making their grand return to the Ballroom one definitely not to be missed.
Buy tickets here.