5 SHOTS: Australian X and A-Frames

X (Australia) rip through the Hemlock in SF, 2010, photo by <a href=
X (Australia) rip through the Hemlock in SF, 2010, photo by Canderson
posted Wednesday Jun 16th, 2010

So X (Australia) and A-Frames did a partial U.S. tour recently, and I was lucky enough to catch two of the shows. The first was at the Hemlock in San Francisco with Hank IV, who I only caught the end of, and didn't get any shots. Sorry too, 'cuz Bob has gotta be one of the most photogenic front men out there. I hadn't seen the A-Frames in years and had no idea what to expect. I remember when I got their first record I put it on my mini disc player and it was probably the only thing I listened to for quite some time. I had forgotten that until they hit the first note. It all came slamming back to my brain how friggin' great they really are. I didn't know what to expect from X.

X from Australia

I never know what to expect from "reunion" shows, and typically I'm expecting the worst. I hadn't even listened to them in a really long time and sorta forgot what their songs were. Then once again, not unlike the A-Frames, their first notes hit and it slammed me like a flash flood. Oh yeah, that's right, I love these songs and know all the damned words for some reason! Amazing. Tons of energy from the maniac bass player (Kim Volkman), who may not have been an original member but took up the position like a champ and then some. Steve Lucas has the single most amazing rock and roll scream I've ever seen/heard in my damned life. It's almost guttural and comes from the deepest part of his core. And I swear it's not like he strains himself to get it out either like most rock and roll singers. I can't imagine where it comes from. Perhaps he sold his soul to some aboriginal witch doctor or something but it's out of this world. I really think he could start classes just teaching wannabes how to do it; however, I don't reckon anyone else actually could.

Little Queenie
Little Queenie

About a week later we headed over to the Stork Club in Oakland to see 'em again. Made sure to get there early enough to see the debut of my friend and fellow photographer "Icki's" new band Little Queenie. Joined by Bean and Oscar Michel, both on bass. Huh? Yep, two bass players. One was a bit more distorted than the the other and managed to almost sound like a guitar, but not really. A deep and dirty Wire-sorta sound came outta them, and If you didn't know better you'd have thought they'd been playing for years. Great stuff, can't wait to see and hear more.

Airfix Kits
Airfix Kits

Airfix Kits really sounded like the better songs that the Fall had to offer. I'd figured they weren't a local band, what with the singer's Cockney accent, but they are Bay Area dudes, though the singer's gotta be from the old country, for sure. Please let me take this moment to remind you all that I in no way, shape or form pretend to be a rock and roll journalist or writer of any sorts, just a fella that likes seeing great rock and roll bands and shooting some good photos of said great rock and roll bands. I'm sorta terrible at keeping up with all the best stuff, whether it's up and coming or even stuff that's right around me, but nonetheless love the feeling of being pleasantly surprised when I see and hear a new band that I really like.


And then came the A-Frames again, who were just as powerful as, if not more than, the week before. The kids loved 'em and even some folks who I hardly ever see up front, weren't gonna miss this one. They didn't disappoint. If you don't own their shit yet then yeah, go get it. And speaking of owning shit, X killed it yet again. The Hemlock show was a bit better but this one was excellent too. Thanks, fellas!

I hope you like the photos, even if you're the guy at the Hemlock who pushed me outta the way because I'm sure he figured the band didn't want anyone writing about them or shooting pix or giving them any
publicity whatsoever. If there's one thing I've learned in my close to twenty years of shooting is that bands hate it when somebody shoots good photos of them and then uses them to help publicize the band in a positive manner with links to where you can buy their records and see them play. Yep, I'm the asshole.

Check out a slideshow of Canderson's photos , right HERE: