So if you told me one year ago that THIS IS SERIOUS MUM aka TISM would reform and play six concerts, I would have laughed at your face, exclaiming "NO FUCKEN WAY!". What a wild ride the last month has been. There I was at the Barwon Club Hotel, photographing a two day music festival when all of sudden, the notifications on my iPhone started to ring like a Mr Whippy van. HOLY FUCKAROLI! TISM are playing a secret warm up gig! It's happening in a few hours!! I had already photographed four or five bands but suddenly I found myself apologising to the organisers of River Rocks in Geelong before crankin' up the ol' TURBO and driving like a maniac back to Melbourne. Not only was my name on the door at the Croxton Bandroom but I also had secured a photographer pass. I had to pinch myself that this was actually happening. TISM were my all time favourite band and back in the day. I attended around 80-90% of all of their Melbourne gigs. When I started photographing bands professionally in 2008, they had already been broken up four years previously after their Earthcore performance.
As it came to pass, there was three secret gigs by TISM as a warm up to their appearance at Good Things. I am so proud to have attended all three secret shows and photographed them to the best of my ability. Check out my three TISM photo galleries here on GigBill.
Today was THE BIG DAY! It did remind me of the two times I saw TISM play at the BIG DAY OUT many years ago. It was a hot sunny Friday, playing a metal music festival called GOOD THINGS FESTIVAL at Flemington Racecourse. The funny thing is that when I received via email the first press release of GOOD THINGS, TISM didn't even get a mention. HILARIOUS! Everybody that I knew that was attending today, where there for one reason only and that was the official return by TISM. There were fellow TISM TRAGICS flying in from Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane to attend. In fact I help out in supplying a graphic for a TISM TOUR T-SHIRT for this event. See the last photograph of this photo gallery. It was great to see so many lovely TISM fans wearing this T-Shirt on the day.
I was only able to attend this festival because some angel gave me her ticket. I had no photographer pass, even though I sent numerous emails. In fact it was a blessing in disguise. I knew I could bring my crappy old ten year old compact camera and shoot the whole TISM set from the barrier rather than put up the usual "3 song no flash" marlarky. I gave up the choice of getting up front and centre because I could gauge the crowd were a bit rambunctious during the Sabaton and The Amity Affliction sets. So I staked my claim on the barrier to the far left of the stage in a safer place where I could still get some nice photographs and hopefully not catch COVID.
TISM brought their A game! With the "Herb Albert & The Tijuana Brass" banner featuring a cheese grater design, you could sense this was not going to be any ordinary concert. As the banner started to fall down and you could see enormous silver alien like structures moving backstage.
As soon as the banner dropped, Jon St. Peenis (II) displayed the ACCA/DACCA inspired "For Those About To Rock" banner he had shown at previous secret warm up shows. The band stood still in the blazing sun in their new getup. Here's the Goonbags of Rock! They were wearing sparkling sequin silver suits with it's massive helium headgear. What a sight to behold. I almost shed a tear with excitement! The Herb Albert "Spanish Flea" Cheese Grater backing track was played while the band stood still. Ron Hitler-Barassi stormed off the stage to rile up the crowd with The Art-Income Dialectic. I did notice that "Broady" aka Broadmeadowns got replace by "Pakenham". He did a similar thing the following two days by saying Mount Druid in Sydney and some other suburb in BrisVegas.
Then it was on for young TISM fans and old, as they ripped into "I Drive A Truck". The set list didn't alter from all three of the secret warm up shows. What did change was the awesome cement mixer solo during the Tradies Gets The Ladies diatribe. The mixer was expertly microphoned up by legendary sound engineer, Danny Olesh. It was nice to see a tradie called YURI TARDED holding up a GREG lollypop during Greg!! The Stop Sign. The tradies like most signwriters, mispelt the TISM sign they were erecting at the back of that stage. Maybe TISN was meant to be a homage to The White Albun. It was such a joy to see the crowd singing along to the TISM songs and even crowdsurfing on top of those big white styrofoam letters, when they were finally tossed into the crowd. It was so lovely to see TISM back and the amount of times I saw hooded band members beaming with joy and laughter, totally made my day. I have a few photos here of Ron Hitler-Barassi grinning from ear to ear.
Welcome back TISM. Please, let's not make it another 18 years for the next one.
CREDIT: iPhone fan footage from Lachlan Bell
Words and Photography by CarbieWarbie