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Rose Tattoo - 'Tatts: Live In Brunswick 1982' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e3/d1/64/rose-tattoo-live-in-brunswick-1982-26-1522181778.jpg Hot

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If you own only one of their albums, make it this one.

Some bands were meant to spend weeks in the studio fretting over a single vocal line or in search of the ultimate hi-hat sound. Others were always a more organic beast. Australia's Bar-room bruisers Rose Tattoo were undoubtedly the latter, a confident and brutally chest-beating act on vinyl, their true identity was revealed on stage where they turned the threat levels up way beyond maximum and dominated all before them. Having already triumphed at 1981's Reading Festival where they performed a set packed with razor sharp offerings from their first two albums ('Rose Tattoo' and 'Assault And Battery'), a band that seemed destined for greatness wasted little time and – after ditching guitarist Mick Cocks for Robin Riley – destroyed the studio with their third offering 'Scarred For Life'. 'Tatts: Live From Brunswick 1982' comes from not long after that, this home country show as aggressive and uncompromising as legend leads us to believe.

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With 'Scarred...' cuts featuring heavily, this fist-to-the-face was The Tatts at their best, ripping out working man Rock in righteous fashion and defiantly dismissing any non-believers. Treated more as an enemy to be conquered than adoring fans, singer Angry Anderson set about berating the paying punters and challenging them to look beyond the radio, media "and the fucking TV" when they dare give the then new single 'We Can't Be Beaten' a more rousing reception than the other songs in the set... and when he incites the crowd to take to the streets and overthrow the authorities during the song itself, it certainly doesn't arrive as an idle suggestion. In truth, it was masterful stage craft as both the singer come rabble-rouser and the likes of 'Assault And Battery', 'Rock And Roll Is King' and 'Branded' whip the crowd into a frenzy.

Crucially the band themselves – Riley, Peter Wells (bass), Dallas "Digger" Royall (drums) and Geordie Leach (guitar) – combined all this with an understated tightness that only a lengthy time in this environment could provide. You may have left this band's gigs talking revolution, but you'd sure as hell be singing their songs as you did so. This 1982 night in Brunswick found Rose Tattoo right at the top of their game and exactly where they were most at home – on stage. If you own only one of their albums, make it this one.

Steven Reid

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