It’s quite refreshing going to an unfamiliar concert venue. The smell, the sound, the sight; it’s a stimulating experience. This is how I felt when I walked into Frankie’s Pizza in Sydney for the first time on Sunday night to catch Canberra 2-piece Good Korpse Bad Korpse. The place was already bustling with music lovers, from young burnouts to middle aged Metalheads,eating pizza, drinking beer, the lights already dimmed ready for some live music. I found a nice perch above a booth seat and sipped my almost obligatory beer, taking in the high energy atmosphere.
It was an exciting moment when the curtains opened,and I got my first sight of the band. The female fronted Psychobilly band from Canberra consists of husband and wife, Rusty and Ginger. It was quite a special night for them, being only their second ever gig together, having played The Basement Canberra the previous night. The dynamic of the band was one I had never seen before; the lead vocalist, Ginger, was also the kickass drummer, and Rusty provided the driving sound with his upright bass. The pair were joined by guitarist Gerry Voodoo to accompany their punk rock jams.
The band kicked off the set with Our Kinda Heaven from their debut EP, Windchimes and Chainsaws, blowing me away with their hardcore psych rock sound and harsh vocals. Immediately, I was attempting to compare them to a more familiar band. The Living End, Spiderbait and The Creepshow came to mind, but I felt that Good Korpse Bad Korpse had a found a niche of their very own, which is difficult in this day and age. The harsh sound mixed with the energetic performance and the nightmarish lyrics casted a shocking but exciting vibe across the place.
As the set went on, people were getting more into the music, dancing and singing along. After a couple of original songs, the band kicked things up a notch with a cover of They All Fall Down by The Creepshow, inviting the metalheads in the room to the front of the stage for 3 minutes of neck-cramping thrashing. I was surprised when I heard the opening riff of the song, and immediately I felt a compulsive instinct to get up and dance.
The set continued with a mixture of solid punk songs and fun, engaging commentary by the band, again raising the overall vibe of the night to 11. Not being a regular to psychobilly gigs, I had no preconceptions and was generally thrilled with their show so far. My excitement reached a new level when they covered yet another classic song, preceded by their original song, Trailer Trash. They introduced this song as ‘something everyone should know’, hyping the crowd up for an epic singalong. There was a mix of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ as the crowd recognised the distinctive opening of Rebel Yell by Billy Idol. This song is a personal favourite of mine, so it was quite a surprise to see it with a punk spin, and I was very impressed.
It’s not often that I go and see a new band and am hooked from the get-go, but I must say, Good Korpse Bad Korpse have certainly achieved this. Rusty mentioned that the band’s overall goal was to bring back the Psychobilly scene in Australia, and any band who tries something new deserves respect. I was so impressed with their performance and their motivation, I bought their first and only EP, Windchimes and Chainsaws, on CD. If you’re into bikes, studded jackets and tattoos, you’ll enjoy Good Korpse Bad Korpse. If you’re a fan of high energy, crazy and unique gigs, you’ll enjoy Good Korpse Bad Korpse. Get down and see them when they’re in your town. Check out their music below!
Written by Alex Simpson