GONERFEST by Andrew Tolley (NZ)


“How do you even start trying to describe/encapsulate the feels, vibes, sights & sounds of the Memphis magic that be GonerFest? No wonder it’s rambled on to its twentieth edition. Tis a thing unlike any other gathering. It’s a heavenly hot mess of hip shakers, sound spell casters, mountain shifters, & top shelf misfits. It is a grande convergence of love & affection in houses of cool ass stylistic directions. Hosted, helmed, hustled & lovingly harangued by thee finest of beings, Eric, Zac, Cole, Alik, Madison, Sara et al….I have no doubt left out a swag of other indispensable essential peeps responsible fer GFest doings…

Me meself have witnessed & waded in person through three 4-day buzzfests. Not easy listing highlights cuz it all ruled, all the time, every time. But to name a few fond memories…

  • NOLA posse TRAMPOLINE TEAM nailing a whip crack version of Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law” at the Hi-Tone
  • Aussie amalgam of MICHAEL BEACH & core parts of THIGH MASTER shakin’ down supreme Velvets/Stones/Triffids action at Murphy’s
  • Wee hours people writhing, possessed band craziness, swamp psych punk stomp & snarl by tour mates BRAIN BAGZ in 2017 at DKDC
  • LA leathered poundin’ primal Dangerhouse styled jerk punk roll combo DIE GROUP at the Hi-Tone. Ain’t a GonerFest w/o power couple Eric & Stacey.
  • Original REIGNING SOUND line-up relentlessly showering us with their sublime gut & heart felt trad roknrol hit after hit. 
  • GOLDEN PELICANS pullin’ all parts of what is the hardest in the fields of rock together in an unmatched chugganaut. Rose Tattoo meets Negative Approach meets raw NWOBHM. Never seen so much beer thrown at a band in sheer untethered adoration & admiration.
  • Catching the best people Elijah & Laura in BLOODY SHOW. Whatever these cats do is crafted with spit, sass, passion, luv & care. Took such good care of us meandering NZ fools in Ohio, and was jus a blessing to catch them lay down that Midwest weird & wonderful rok at GonerFest only the Midwest can provide.

Could mumble, stumble & bumble endlessly ‘bout all the insanely great folk I’ve met & made friends with, played with, been ecstatically entertained by, & all the ace food that’s disappeared down my gullet, & the wild, weird & wacky wax I nabbed at the Goner shop. It’s GonerFest folks. A fix on life you’ll fizz on fer days afterwards, and haveta deal with the severe withdrawal symptoms a week later. It. Is. That. Good.”

Lotsa luv

Feel sad every time a GFest passes now that I didn’t/couldn’t get to!

Next year I hope!


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