A Punk rock Legend once sang “London is drowning, and I live by the river”, and it’s a line on rare occasion that does come to mind, as for the time being, it is and I do. The Thames, snaking its way through London like a dirty drain, is enjoying a brief moment of fulfilment as the banks rise in celebration of one of the wettest summers in memory (my memory, that is). Umbrellas arc the air as the rains fall, washing down the filthy streets, framing the mood and forcing you indoors. It’s drinking weather, but in England this phrase has no meaning. Happy hour is dictated by you, enforced by you, and in regular rock and roll parlance, the question of “what time is it?” is quickly answered with “time for a drink”. This is where I happen to find my old friends, hung-over and holding court in a North London boozer, looking as surly as shit and up for a scrap, the Australian band appropriately known as The Scare.
Boredom can give you the inspiration to create and youthful abandon the wings to take you anywhere, and it took these five angry young men from Brisbane no time at all to realise that continually touring Australia playing to the same audiences is a slow and painful death for a band. There aren’t enough venues and towns to sustain a decent tour and the distances between states, the roads travelled, and the time taken will rarely match the money spent to get there. In American and England, a tour is something that will last at minimum a month and will take you around the country.
In Australia, a tour can be over in a week and you’ll be playing to people who don’t know who you are, nor could care less. There are those out there who are happy to play it safe, hoping to build on turning a few heads along the way, working within what they know, never leaving the country. Then there are the scarce few willing to take a chance outside of the home comforts. For better of worse, The Scare chose the latter, moving to the UK in mid-2006, ignoring the magnetic musical pull of London for Birmingham, the hometown of the mighty Black Sabbath, for the better part of a year while they wrote, toured, drank, and hopefully lived to tell the tale. Formed in Brisbane in 2004, The Scare not so much deliver but thrust blade-first, a raucous, volatile noise, in the tradition of Australian bands of old like The Birthday Party and The Scientists, forging their own dark punk rock sound that marks them an anomaly within their own country but outside of which, inherently Australian.