A Day On The Green has delivered some of the biggest acts on the planet to Australian wineries over the years but Spiderbait were (to coin one of their own songs) “fucken awesome” at Mt Duneed outside Geelong.
The energy that these three people generate live is nuclear. Kram, Damian ‘Whit’ Whitty and Janet English created a unique sound from a unique town when they founded Spiderbait in the early 90s.
The town of Finley, New South Wales (on the Victoria border) boasts a population today of less than 2000 yet it managed to put these three together.
Spiderbait threated commercial radio in the day. Triple M didn’t know how to handle them. They had a sound that wouldn’t easily sandwich between Bryan Adams and Alanis Morissette so they were ignored. Triple J took the punt in 1995 and played ‘Monty’. It almost made the Top 40, peaking at no 44. Just as well it missed out or it would have forced FoxFM to play it as part of its countdown show Take 40 Australia.
The Triple J audience adopted Spiderbait immediately and in 1996 ‘Buy Me A Pony’ became the first Australian song to top the Triple J Hottest 100.
It would take another decade before Triple M had the balls to play a Spiderbait song and only then it was because the song was a cover. ‘Black Betty’ became their first no 1 hit and sold double platinum.
‘Black Betty’ also gave Spiderbait a US hit when it reached no 34 on the Billboard chart. The song was included on the soundtracks for Seth Green’s ‘Without A Paddle’, Sandra Bullock’s ‘Miss Congeniality 2’, Ashton Kutcher’s ‘Guess Who’ and episodes of ‘My Name Is Earl’ and ‘Malcolm In The Middle’.
Spiderbait also has another cover they are now doing live. Nena’s 1983 hit ’99 Luftballons’.
Spiderbait has done a lot of damage to bands in the naughties. The current crop of acts sound wimp when compared to them.
Drummer (and lead singer) Kram has developed into a showman. He knows how to work the crowd. There hasn’t been any new music for five years. No wonder, after their record label so badly fucked up the 2013 ‘Spiderbait’ record, what was then their first album in a decade.
Kram tells me there may be new music on the way. Lets hope so. These bands are getting older and new acts are not getting any better.
Spiderbait were the sub-headliner for this A Day On The Green, on before The Living End. Veruca Salt, The Lemonheads, Tumbleweed and The Fauves were on an A Day On The Green line-up that read like a Big Day Out reunion.
It is nearing the end of A Day On The Green season. This line-up was one of the good ones.