What you are about to read is not
a definitive history of the band featured
in the bio below. It is a very subjective snap shot of a specific moment
time. It just so happens that I was "there" in that moment
and the snapshot
was taken from my point of view. These are my memories and any scholar
can tell you that memory and history, though related, are not the same
thing. I hope any and all readers who can offer a different perspective,
alternative point of reference or personal insights will add them to
the page. I would love to know what was going on in other peoples heads
at the time....these bios are a way for me to assess what was going
on in mine. To anyone who feels in any way misrepresented I feel compelled
apologise...however...keep in mind...my memory of you from that moment
in time may be very different to your own. Just for starters...I'm color
God bless you and all who sail in her...MAC
Intoxicated by the process / success
of fronting The Glam Gods and the
experience of playing original music to an eager and receptive audience
in the last few bands I'd been in (Mega Boys, Witchdoctors, Raiding
Party) I set about putting a band together to play my own songs. Ronnie
Bult was somehow coerced into playing drums with me again, (he's a glutton
for punishment), and somewhere in the audition process we found Nick
"Mate" Rosetti and Mark Black.
The band was doing lots of gigs, I was honing my song writing with Tinno
as well as collaborating with Ronnie & Nick Mate. Then, as happens
so often, the band kinda lost focus momentarily and Marcus The Black
and Nick Mate were gone. Ronnie & I recruited Ngariki in a beer
back yard jam and we went looking for a bass player. Cyd turned up to
a Glam Gods Xmas Show in a snakeskin leotard and leather- man cap. If
he was interested he was definitely freaky enough!!!
The definitive line-up was in place.
Ngariki brought not only a strong & unique guitar style to the band
he also brought a swag of songs which were incorporated into the set.
Cyd also had a few quirky little tunes songs which fitted the developing
Freak Shop style wonderfully.
By the time this line-up was consolidated I was in a re-hab program
at James Fletcher and had been prescribed Lithium & Prozac which
seemed to be doing the trick. I was focused, far less eratic and seemingly
The Freaks as we were affectionately known had taken up where the Glam
Gods had left off. Our shows were Dadaist experiments in sight and
sound. I realise that sounds like arty wank bullshit but if you saw
our shows I think you'd have to agree there werent many better ways
to explain what we were doing. It was kinda like a Heavy Rock Circ de
Soleil for bi-polar pyromaniacs.
The music was at turns brutal and abrasive, gently melodic, joyous and
celebratory or cynical and brooding. When our debut album was released
in 1994 the Rolling Stone reviewer called it an "eclectic mish
mash". Hot Metal claimed it was "big, loud & ugly"
while at the same time congratulating us for "Edge Of the World"
which they pronounced "Ballad Of The Month".
As I began to feel inadequate in my ability to push the band to the
highest levels of popularity I returned to self medicating. Booze, pot,
powders and pills started becoming part of my diet again and the cocktail
of prescribed and elicit drugs was affecting my judgement. My anger
and frustration was
turned outward at venue owners, promoters and lethargic audience members
and inwardly on myself. The shows began to lose much of the fun and
joy which balanced out the angst and pain portrayed at other times and
performances regularly included self mutilation and aggression towards
audience members and band members alike. (I especially owe Ronnie Bult
a huge apology...I publicly treated him with undeserved contempt on
It was becoming dangerous to be in a room inhabited by Freak Shop.
Xmas Eve 1994 was the straw that broke the camel's back. We made front
page news world wide when our / my fire breathing act went horribly
wrong and set the Star Hotel on fire. I had mixed feelings about the
incident. On one hand I felt dreadful that I had endangered the lives
of not only my
band mates but everyone in attendance that night. On the other hand
excited by the prospect that this could be the event in Freak Shop's
history that changed our lives forever.
I've mentioned before the comparison to Ozzy biting the head off the
bat or Alice throwing a chicken into the audience. I also had a bizarre
sense of pride in the thought that Guns & Roses, Motley Crue or
Pantera all layed claim to being "the most dangerous band in the
world" but the little ol' Freaks from Newcastle were giving them
a viable run for their money.
The band members (which now included Darren Brollo on drums...more apologies)
were understandably shaken by the event and demanded I get my shit together.
This was like throwing petrol on a fire. I went nuts.
Fire became my obsession. Every gig became an orgy of incendiary delights.We
had fire breathing, fire drumming, trays full of gun powder, flash
pots...anything we could light we did it.
Eventually of course it got out of control..as if it wasnt already!?!?
The fire drumming involved me dousing a bunch of drums with accelerant
and lighting it while the entire band jammed on this industrial / jungle
groove. The flames would go10 maybe 15 feet into the air. It was awesome..a
wall of fire.
I tripped while doing this at Cariff Workers (Panthers) and spilt accelerant
everywhere. Any normal thinking human being would have curtailed the
act at the point. Not me. I could see the expectant look in the faces
of the punters pressed up against the front of the stage.
They wanted the fire as much as I did. Whoosh. Drums were ablaze. The
stage was ablaze. This time fortunately I at least had a fire extinguisher
But it was too late.
Once again we were being pulled off stage before our set had finished.
People were running for exits. Girls were crying. The place stank of
burnt carpet and fire extinguisher powder. Management was screaming
at me. The other bands on the bill were pissed off and my own band of
Freaks were laying down ultimatums.
Even they had finally had enough.
As I stood there in my leopard skin lycra skirt and my steelcap boots,
eye liner and lip stick smeared garishly across my face I caught a glimpse
of myself in the band room mirror, the centre of all this negative
attention, surrounded by chaos, panic and fear, and I couldn't help
It had been a Hell of a ride.