That same year I penned an impassioned cover story in the Time Off street press publication for what was mooted as potentially the final ever Screamfeeder gig – Dean was heading overseas again, and the future was uncertain – and was present when the ‘Feeder, Violent Soho and Tape/Off tore Fortitude Valley venue Woodlands a new one in a bittersweet display of Brisbane bonhomie.
Of course it was Bob Mould who drew them out of retirement two years later: who else was going to support the veteran as he revisited his Hüsker Dü and Sugar catalogues throiughout Australia? It was like the full turning of the circle, and seemed entirely appropriate. By this stage Tim and Kellie both had other productive projects at their disposal, but Dean was back in town and the chemistry was intact and they all just seemed to have so much fun when they played together, their songs still rife with that timeless appeal.
From here it was no surprise that new music eventuated in the form of 2017’s Pop Guilt, nor was it a shock that the album’s songs were alive and vital and up there with anything they’d concocted over the entire journey. Upon its release they played a career-retrospective instore at my new record shop, which I got to witness vicariously through the fresh eyes of one of my old Melbourne mates from before my move northwards, who was blown away by both the performance and depth of the catalogue on offer (thus in a weird way completing my own full circle).
Anyway, that’s just my Screamfeeder story, but as the great Paul Kelly is prone to say, “let the part tell the whole”. I’m proud to have been a fan, proud to be a friend, and proud to have been there for just a part of the amazing musical adventure that was and is Screamfeeder.
It didn’t matter whether you saw them sharing a stage with outfits like Pavement, Swervedriver, Sonic Youth, Rollins Band, Ride, Sleater-Kinney or The Breeders, or on any of the massive festival stages they rocked – or indeed on any of their sojourns to America, Europe, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand or basically any stage in Australia known to host rock bands – they were always resolutely their own band, and always a defiantly Brisbane institution. They did things their own way and constantly stayed true to themselves, and everyone involved was richer for the magic that inevitably ensued.
They don’t just represent the old guard of Brisbane’s amazing music scene but they’re our standard bearers, a rock-hewn bridge between disparate eras that’s been trodden by generations of ensuing bands who’ve looked up to Screamfeeder for guidance both musical and spiritual, a beacon of kinship and integrity.
I hope you enjoy Patterns Form for both the great music it contains and the lifetime of toil and inspiration that it represents, and let us never take this wonderful band for granted,