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Live Review: Twelve Foot Ninja

It's all become too much for one punter who strips off all of his clothes and spends the rest of the set moshing in his undies. As I look over the crowd I spy what appears to be a couple fornicating. What? Time and place people! Averting eyes!!

Artist: Twelve Foot Ninja
Where: Shark Bar, Miami – Gold Coast
Reviewer: Carlie Tanithskye
Photographer: Carlie Tanithskye Photography

The massive storms tonight have done nothing to dampen the spirits of the punters tonight, as we line up in the rain outside the infamous Miami Shark Bar.The air-conditioning is inoperable at the venue, and as the wet bodies continue to pile in, the air is thick and Oxygen becomes something I only read about once in Science class.
But I digress…

First up on tonight’s bill is Gold Coast heavy rock 5 piece Second Circle. It’s really good to see so many people out early to catch the support acts, as they cram themselves into a line on the tiny stage. A short but sweet set list including ‘Watch the World’, ‘Forever to Never’ and Soul Awake, we were not left disappointed.

Now I had never heard of Voyager until a couple of days ago (under a rock,I know!), but there has been some hype! Coming off the back of Download shows in both Sydney and Melbourne, I can’t help but expect good things from this Perth Prog Rock 5 piece. ‘What a Wonderful Day’ opens the set, and it’s clear Voyager have some fans here. This song has a poppy vibe to it which is infectious, and you can’t help but move your body. As they move through their set list including the likes of ‘Misery is The Only Company’, ‘Hyperventilating’ and ‘Ascension’ the crowd goes on the journey with them. To my sheer delight ‘Lost’ breaks into a rendition of The Prodigy’s “Breathe” and i may have lost it just a little, screaming the lyrics like a banshee. What I notice about this band apart from Daniel Estrins soaring vocals, is guitarist Simone Dow. I cannot take take my eyes off her as she plays that guitar with a fervor of someone demonically possessed. It’s pure joy to behold! Their set is perfectly rounded off with ‘Meaning of I’ to screaming and rapturous applause. These guys are ones to watch!

Twelve Foot Ninja have been busier than a 1 legged man in an arse kicking competition! For those of you who have never experienced ‘The Ninja’, they are a heavy hitting 5-Piece Metal Fusion act with a twist. With a sound that has your face melting off one second, and dancing to Funk/Jazz/Reggae the next, these guys switch genres brilliantly within songs, and it’s quite amazing! I first encountered ‘TFN’ 8 years ago and have watched them ascend to dizzying heights, recently playing Download in Sydney and Melbourne to amazing reviews. The floor of the Shark Bar is now covered in sweat, and the temperature is almost unbearable. It’s hard to breathe as I chat to punter ‘Dane’ who despite just getting out of hospital and now rocking a wheelchair, is super keen to see the Ninja Lads in all their glory. Shout out to you brother for your dedication!

The lights go down and the anticipation in palpable. As drummer Shane ‘Russ’ Russell takes to his kit, the crowd erupts ; they know what is coming. As they smash into their opening song ‘One Hand Killing’ with an energy far superior to the small stage that holds them, the crowd jumps in unison. It’s beautiful to witness. Followed by ‘Coming for you’ Nick ‘Kin’ belts out “Be ready I’m coming for you” and the mosh pit is just a mass of writhing, smashing bodies. With his “Patton-esque” vocals, Nick commands the stage like the “Pied Freaking Piper” and we all want to follow!

Known to be random and hilarious, as well as a guitar genius, Steve ‘Stevic’ McKay takes to mic between songs to give us a random fact about Lamington’s originating in Brisbane and addresses the temperature issue being “like a Dutch oven without the farts”. Nailed it Stevic!
‘Sick’ was up next, and if you haven’t watched the clip to this, then go on to YouTube now!! Stevic and Rohan , the bands guitarists alternate flawlessly between heavy riffs to reggae and jazz rhythms, sometimes all within the one song. Stevic is a technical genius. At one point Damon McKinnon hit the bass line so hard I had to step back from the shock wave. What I like about these guys is that they look like they enjoy what they’re doing, we are not just another city, and they are not just going through the motions. It’s all become too much for one punter who strips off all of his clothes and spends the rest of the set moshing in his undies. As I look over the crowd I spy what appears to be a couple fornicating. What? Time and place people! Averting eyes!!

We are treated to a new track ‘Insecticide’ tonight and from the crowd reaction it looks like it goes over nicely. As they plough through their set with the likes of ‘Oxygen’, ‘Kingdom’, ‘Dig for Bones’ , ‘Collateral’ and ‘Mother Sky’ respectively,  Stevic announces that they were going to do ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, but will now do ‘Invincible’ because “someone wanted to farkin hear it, so it’s for you.”

We’ve been kept whipped in a frenzy all night so when the show ends and we show our appreciation for the Mighty Ninja, we shuffle out zombie fashion, wet, exhausted, and Oxygen starved into the cool night air. Every band on this bill did a stellar job and i for one loved this show and found some new music to listen to. Props to the bands and the staff for their professionalism in the difficult conditions and the punters who do it for the love! Twelve Foot Ninja head to Adelaide on March 23rd then do a string of European Festival dates in June.

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