Video: Primus performing My Name is Mud (St. Goarshausen, Germany, 1997)

I was a wee under-age teenager when I first saw Primus live in 1995. Les Claypool even looked young then. But he was still quirky looking which is why we were all drawn to him. Oh, and because of his insane skills on the bass!

It was at a festival called Alternative Nation. What a travesty. Such a bad name. They could only have called it ‘Flannel Nation‘ to make it any worse.

Plus the festival was held on the oval of a sports stadium! Regardless, I was quite fond of said oval as I was raised by a pack of wolves soccer fanatics during my childhood, and strangely it used to be our club’s homeground.

I used to love running around the athletics track at the end of match pretending I was Carl Lewis (it was before I knew about steroids, okay?). Sometimes *gasp* the athletics club would leave out their high jump mats and we would sneak in a high dive! Ah, the good ol’ days of physical activities.

Despite the stupid name, the festival was a bit of alright. No, I apologise it was fuck-off good.

Alternative Nation, Melbourne line-up:

  • Faith No More – The gig was famous for Mike Patton drinking Billy Gould’s piss from a shoe (or so he said!). Might not have been a shoe, I was miles away on that oval!
  • Nine Inch Nails – I remember NIN tearing up the main stage to preclude an encore. I’ve not seen them fuck shit up like this ever again, *sob*.
  • Primus – Blew my mind with their bass and their super coolness. My knees were sore from bouncing around so much.
  • Ween – Motherfucking security wouldn’t let us in to the Entertainment Centre to see Ween because it was too full! Ah, push the little daisies rage! I could have squashed someone to see Ween play!
  • Tool – The heavens pissed down up the festival and delayed their set… I missed their first visit to Melbourne because I was watching L7! I fucking loved Sober in 1993. Sweet lord why have you forsaken me?
  • Violent Femmes –  The guys were lots of fun. They felt like the oldest dudes of alternative at the time, and it was still a good period when they could still dance along to their own tunes while playing (even the drummer).
  • Ice-T –  New Jersey’s homeboy was out here before rappers visited Melbourne. Respect! No, I’m not sure either why Ice-T was ‘alternative’ for this festival.
  • Body Count – Imagine hearing Ice-T shouting ‘Bodycount in the house‘? This was da shit! The band risked their life to play in the crazy thunderstorm until their set was cut short. And didn’t the police come out in droves to see Cop Killer live?
  • The Prodigy – No, unfortunately I did not see them this time, it would be a year later (or 9 months to be exact) at the 1996 Big Day Out.
  • Pop Will Eat Itself – A year before my PWEI phase, so no I didn’t see them either [kicking myself in the shins].
  • The Tea Party – I wanted to see them, but I think they clashed with someone on the main stage.
  • The Flaming Lips – I’m sure I caught a bit of them as my friend loved She Don’t Use Jelly at the time.
  • Therapy? – Should of, could of, would of. Again before my interest in the band!
  • L7 – So much flannel, so dirgey, so good.
  • Cosmic Psychos – Melbourne’s own pub rock institution. Every kid in Melbourne had to see the Psychos at least once! I got my stamp.
  • Custard – Brisbane’s nerd rock took over the country at one point, this was a gig in the early days that I remember enjoying.
  • Regurgitator – I’m sure I saw them as I loved Track One, but I’ve seen them too many times to distinguish which gig is which. Bloody gig dementia! Who wants to fund the scientific research via Kickstarter?
  • Spiderbait – Again, it was obligatory to see Spiderbait live – I’m sure I did at this festival and many others.
  • Lou Reed – Oh my poor, poor ears! I used to like the song Take a Walk on the Wild Side until this festival! The prick was insulting the crowd for not applauding his pathetic drivel. This dude had to survive heroin?
  • Plus Suiciety, Live, Pennywise, Powerfinger, Insurge, Def FX, Supergroove, and Nitocris.

I have seen Primus a few more times since 1995. Once at the Palais Theatre when they supported the Melvins, no wait – it was the other way around!

I also saw Primus the very next day (perhaps with ears still ringing) at the Soundwave Festival a couple of years ago. The set was pretty similar to their own show but a whole lot shorter, which is a little bit of a shame. I like it when bands mix up the setlist from gig to gig.

Speaking of festivals, Primus are geared up to play the 2013 Harvest Festival across Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane this November. Don’t you remember, I told you only yesterday?

Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang is headlining the next Jam Cruise for 4-9 January 2014 (you know, like the Weezer Cruise). Can you imagine bumping into Les Claypool and Bootsy Collins at the all-you-can-eat buffet?

You’ll think someone has spiked your pina colada!

Too Many Puppies Live:

Further Exploration:

Previously on Sampling Station:


About noisynoodle

I am a noisy noodle hailing from Melbourne, Australia who loves listening to noise in all forms, but preferably in music, TV and film. I’ve moonlighted on community radio at SYN-FM many years ago when I was still a “youth”. My mission is to promote live music (get off your bum and see something!), highlight interesting TV shows that are ignored by the ratings, expose some cool films and to not go deaf trying!

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