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A weeknight at Frankie’s Pizzeria brings out an odd amalgamation of punters. The backing track to the off-work coke-fiend businessmen and tattooed glam-rockers this week was none other than Sydney’s proudly owned Doc Holliday Takes The Shotgun. Finishing off their East Coast tour in a local dispensary of pizza, beer and debauchery, Doc Holliday were celebrating the release of newest banger Aokigahara.
I’ve seen this mismatched band of lovable weirdos play sets that shook foundations. I’ve seen death-pits, infrastructure climbing, beer spitting and crowd molestation. It’s always a wild ride when they’re at the wheel. Their Frankie’s set began on a more civilized note, though, which wasn’t surprising for a tour closing show.
Doc Holliday opened with new material, which moves away from moonshine touting punkabilly and into demonic surf rock. Less like a zombie hoe-down and more like a zombie luau. It’s a charming new side which was impressively executed in their tight live show, with lead breaks from guitarist Courtney Print that would have Link Wray rumblin’ in his grave.
After the third song Doc Holliday slipped into their backwater stylings with tracks from debut EP Boot Hill. It presented a slight culture clash but not an unwelcome one, like two different styles on a Tarantino soundtrack. Jack Booker’s villainous reverbed cackle and intimidating eye-contact spurred on the horde of loyal fans and off-duty suits.
The set highlight was undoubtedly Shipwrecked, with energy fit to burst, inflated by killer rhythm guitar, a bass plucking build and a washed-out lead break. As my phone notes dictate; two emoji thumbs-up.
Doc Holliday sound like the illegitimate hate children of The Gun Club and Los Saicos. Theirs is a live set that’s demonic, charismatic, rollicking and rolling. They are Sydney’s best of badass times rock and roll.