Kim Salmon Charmed The Wine Cellar: Concert Review June 29, 2021

Kim Salmon

There’s no punk like an old punk…proven last night at Auckland’s Wine Cellar as 64 year old Kim Salmon gave us a broad overview of his varied and much respected career, both as a solo artist, and member of any number of Aussie bands including Beasts Of Bourbon, The Scientists, The Surrealists and Antenna.

Kim SalmonFor this very cold Tuesday night in Auckland, Kim was on his own…just an electric guitar, some pedals, a tambourine attached to his foot and 40+ years of songs. There was no opening act to be seen (or heard) with Salmon taking the stage just before 9pm…somewhat a bit tentatively at first.

“Welcome to the Q&A”, he addressed the seated audience, “you don’t know what to expect and neither do I”.

Anyone who has followed Salmon’s career, dating back to 1976 when he formed Perth’s first punk band, will know to expect something edgy, something loud and something that always is rock & roll.

We begin the 90 minute set with Frantic Romantic, a Scientists tune dating back to 1979. “The first thing I ever recorded,” he reveals.

But along with punk, Kim loves a good pop song and so out came an obscure Bacharach/David tune, recorded by the late, great B.J. Thomas back in 1970 called Everybody’s Out Of Town. Salmon remembered it fondly from his childhood and dressed the song (Thomas’ follow-up to Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head) with some curly guitar licks.

Things then got noisy with The Low Road, a grungy tune from the Beasts, written by Salmon with drummer Tony Pola (RIP).

The 20-song set bounced all over the place, from the brooding Desensitized to the stomping Self Replicator…soon to be released as a 7”.

Salmon’s love of Nancy and Lee remains strong and we heard Sugar Town and You Only Live Twice.

King SalmonTributes were sung to those who have fallen along the way including Kiwi rocker Spencer P. Jones (The Johnnys/Beasts Of Bourbon)…we heard Loose End, a co-write from their 2013 Runaways album.

By this time Kim had taken a shine to his loop pedal and the sound was getting bigger and more “band-like”.

After a couple of goodies from his 2016 album, My Script, the race was on to the end with Come On Spring, Drop Out and Swamp Land.

Kim was rocking and there were those in the audience dancing.

When contemplating his choice for an encore he told us that the dancing, “puts pressure on me, now I’ve got to do something danceable!”

The solution? Last year’s single, Let’s All Get Destroyed, followed by  a very loud, very intense We Had Love, with plenty of throbbing anger to send us back out into the cold.

Thanks Kim! Come back soon.

Marty Duda

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Kim Salmon Set list:
  1. Frantic Romantic
  2. Everybody’s Out Of Town
  3. The Low Road
  4. Desensitized
  5. Put Your Trust In Me
  6. Sugar Town
  7. You Only Live Twice
  8. Cool Fire
  9. Self Replicator
  10. Your Viscious Omnipresence
  11. Sea Anemone
  12. You Know Me Better Than That
  13. Loose Ends
  14. You’re Safe With Me
  15. Making Me Better
  16. Come On Spring
  17. Drop Out
  18. Swamp Land
  19. Let’s All Get Destroyed
  20. We Had Love
Marty Duda
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