Conan and Weedeater at The Rosemount: Doom Comes Full Circle

Years and years and years ago, I regularly went to see a band called CEASE. They were the heaviest band I’d ever seen, and would continue to be the heaviest band I’d see for some time. It was not until Many Years Later that I realized what genre of music they fell in to; I just knew them as CEASE, the Loudest Band In Perth (to my limited knowledge), and eventually they became my buddies too.

Eventually I got a little more into and knowledgeable of these heavy genres, Doom Metal and Sludge and all that, heavy and satisfying riffage, massive drums, slow, chunky, aggressive, powerful--- during my time in Melbourne I was lucky enough to work at a few pubs that somewhat encouraged delving in to these styles, and I met plenty of people who shared this taste for brutality in music. I learnt to pull the claw. My ears and guts and bones were shaken by down tuned basses and fucking loud everything, and it was a good way to live life in a cold city, Electric Wizard blasting in my ears as I walked down the rainy streets.

Among these bands I grew to love, Conan are right up there among my favourites, so What A Bloody Treat it was to learn that they were embarking on an Australian tour with fellow Massive Heavy Weights Weedeater, and I went to that fucking show, and I knew it would be a fucking good heavy time, and it fucking was, fucking yeahhhhhh.

Peter and I arrived at the Rosemount, unfortunately not in time for the support acts, which is a bummer because I was really hoping to catch Territory. But, arrived with a belly full of food and a strong inkling I’d see some good old mates there.

I was not wrong. Shiny Joe and Ringham just got back from tour, and they were there at the table, smiling all big at me, and Steve S was there too, like I hoped he would be, and he and I chatted about how influential CEASE were in our appreciation of this genre we were about to immerse ourselves in...

…and then appeared Nick Odell and Andrew Britton, CEASE members right there in the flesh, lurching towards our table with excitement on their faces, and it felt like my life hit a funny little full-circle at that point, knowing I’d be standing in the audience of these bands blasting our fucking eardums with the very men who introduced me to Doom in the first place around 10 years ago… It had been a long time since we’d all been in a music venue, all of us together, all of us in the audience of CEASE gigs at the Hydey, when it was a gross punk venue, Back in the Day.

My guts were shaken, my bones shaken, eyebrows furrowed for moments of intense concentration on the movements of the music, absorbed in the wall of sound, cheeks hurting from bursts of massive smiles, wrapped in a black shawl feeling like some kind of dark princess, giddy from the realization of years-long-dreams of watching Conan live, and so happy that Weedeater lived up to the hype, the bassist chugging his Jack Daniels straight from the bottle, the drummer sitting real low at the real-low kit near the front of the stage, belting it so slowly and so powerfully, twirling the sticks and throwing them up in the air between WHACKS seemingly to keep his hands busy during the immense restraint it must take to do that kind of drumming when you’re such a fucking good drummer, water he poured to cool his face collecting on the drum skins then flying up around his head as he WHACKED them with such force, it was almost impossible for me to keep my camera away from my face throughout the first few songs, so enamored was I with this display of power and aesthetic consideration. MAN OH MAN WHAT A FEAST FOR THE SENSES.

But my heart still lies with Conan, they’re my faves. So slow. So heavy.

I did have a sense that, somewhere, somehow, both these bands would be more at home somewhere other than at the Rosemount; volume restrictions, equipment restrictions, size of venue and whatnot… what I wouldn’t give to see Conan in a smaller space, with a big sound… but it was a treat none-the-less.

Tahlia Palmer