Salad Boys – Thirsty Dog February 2, 2018

Christchurch trio Salad Boys celebrated the release of their second long-player, This Is Glue, with a scorching set at Auckland’s Thirsty Dog.

The evening began with the New Existentialists getting things started. The band, led by George D. Henderson (The Puddle, The Spies), gave it their best shot, but there really wasn’t much of a crowd for them to play to and, to be honest, they may have overstayed their welcome  by just a song or two.

The crowd filled out by the time the Salad Boys took the stage, but I was surprised that the place wasn’t packed. This Is Glue has been getting excellent reviews and, as it turns out, their songs sound even better when played live. Perhaps the Stranglers’ show at The Powerstation had something to do with it, or perhaps fans were spending time while they can at The Kings Arms and Golden Dawn. When those two venues close up shop, hopefully crowds will start forming at Thirsty Dog.

Salad Boys are led by guitarist/vocalist Joe Sampson and it is his guitar playing that defines the band’s sound, a sound that owes a huge debt to Flying Nun bands of the 1980s.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with that and Sampson along with bass player Ben Dodd and drummer Ben Woods dove right into the new album, whipping up a fine noise as they opened with three new songs in a row beginning with the chugging rhythm of Blown Away, then right into the punkier Psych Slasher (think Ramones meet The Clean) and then the jangly Under The Bed.

The band paused to catch their collective breath, thanks those in attendance for coming along and then picked a few choice nuggets from their 2015 debut album, Metalmania.

Dream Date was a distinct highlight, giving Sampson an opportunity to show off his chops.

After a couple more new tunes, the trio brought the set to an end with more from Metalmania culminating with No Task Bomber, a performance that found the band really digging in and jamming, resulting in a truly exhilarating set closer.

But they weren’t getting off that easily as an encore was demanded. The band was happy to oblige, playing a request called out by an audience member (unfortunately I couldn’t discern the song title) and then finally wrapping things up with a version of the Modern Lovers’ Old World.

By this time, Sampson had broken strings on several guitars thanks to his inspired playing and there was nothing else to do but head out into the cool of the evening.

Marty Duda

Note: Salad Boys will be performing this afternoon at Southbound Records.

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Rachel Webb:

Salad Boys set list:

  1. Blown Up
  2. Psych Slasher
  3. Under The Bed
  4. Daytime Television
  5. Dream Date
  6. In Heaven
  7. Choking Sick
  8. Better Pickups
  9. I’m A Mountain
  10. My Decay
  11. No Task Bomber
  12. Unknown
  13. Old World