Video: The Avalanches performing Run DNA / Rock City Live On Recovery
You won’t believe it but the gods of the sampling desk The Avalanches were once one of my favourite local bands! They were crazy live and heaps of fun to watch back in 1997. The Avalanches used to jump around and sing all at a mad pace, kinda like the early era of the Beastie Boys (that could explain why I loved them so much).
They managed to score a support slot for the frenetic Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at the former Palace in St Kilda in September 1997. It was only their 5th gig but they tore up the stage that night almost as much as Jon Spencer!
I was lucky enough to also see The Avalanches play at the much loved Punters Club (but now exclusively for bimbos) which may have been the launch of the Rock City 7″ (don’t quote me on that!). Soon after they also supported the legendary Public Enemy and so they began their feverishly quick journey to stardom.
I remember one year attending a friends’ textile exhibition for uni at the Collingwood Town Hall, and I was surprised to see a few members of the band rock up to support one of their girlfriends. Freak out – that’s an Avalanche in that corner! They were just casually playing basketball outside until the exhibition started.
Another time I was heading home and who should be waiting for the Frankston train at the Flinders Street Station platform but Darren Seltmann himself? He was just happily working on his Apple laptop until I rudely interrupted him (apologies if he was putting the finishes touches onto Since I Left You!). Darren was so lovely to chat to, I asked him about their upcoming live shows but unfortunately there was nothing on the cards in terms of shows.
I was blown away when I listened to the first single Frontier Pyschiatrist from Since I Left You. I knew The Avalanches were good, but I didn’t realise they were that good! Featuring 3,500 samples taken from all the vinyl the guys sourced over the years, they created a clever video clip to boot and *ka-pow* instant fame across the world!
A few years after Since I Left You they became more reclusive and rarely played live as The Avalanches (they would still play DJ only sets), which was such a pity as it denied their fans their intense live energy. I for one would just love to see them play live again and I’m equally sure that their next album does not have to surpass Since I Left You (let’s afford them with the licence to do anything!).
Everyone is wondering when they will release a follow-up to one of the best Australian albums of all time.
If I happen to bump into them again I’ll ask them that pertinent question. They might however tell me to fuck off.
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