Each Wednesday in March, Melbourne underground rock'n'roll heavy weights face-off in the ring for Tote'L'Rumble Rock'n'Roll Wrestling at The Tote. You can expect mighty rounds of heavy riffs as the bands duke it out to see who will become Rock'n'Roll Wrestling Champs of the 'Wood! I catch up with event organiser and rock'n'roll wrestling mastermind Andre Fazio to find out more.
This is fantastic. What gave you the idea?
Thanks. This idea is really just a whole lot of other ideas rolled into one. It’s Later … With Jools Holland meets Celebrity Deathmatch. I was a fan of wrestling growing up and have always felt that playing in a band is a lot like playing on a basketball team ... combining sport and rock’n’roll was a natural progression.
A few years ago, I saw a band called the Swinging Nutsacks, who managed to squeeze two bands worth of people onto this tiny stage. I thought that the over-crowded set-up looked cool and the image of two drummers in front of a wall of guitars created a bit of a visual spectacle.
Then I was at the Retreat many years later, taking in the honky tonk decor and trying to think of a good excuse to play a show with Tankerville. The cow skull hanging above the stage reminded me of the “Rawhide” scene from The Blues Brothers. Suddenly, all of these memories collided and I had a vision of my band [Mod Vigil] and Tankerville surrounded by wrestling-ring rope, battling against each other on stage ...
The idea just kind of snowballed from there. A special thank you to Tim Wold, Richard Stanley and Snoop Mitchell for making it happen.
How does it work?
Basically, two bands set up facing one another on the floor of The Tote Bandroom and take it in turns to play songs. At the end of each set, the winner is decided by who ever gets the loudest applause. There are three shows over three weeks and they’re all free entry. Winners from the first two weeks get a free jug of beer on top of their rider and have to battle against each other in the third and final week to become the ultimate Tote'L'Rumble champion.
The line-ups are sick. How’d you go getting the bands on board?
I just pitched the idea to bands through Facebook. Pretty much everyone involved is either an old friend of mine, or has become a new friend through agreeing to be a part of this ridiculous event. Originally, it was going to be every Wednesday in March, but it turned out to be a lot harder to organise than what I thought ... But I agree, the line-ups are sick and I’m really stoked to have all the bands on board.
What can we expect at the finals?
Blood, sweat, tears, broken strings, Don Bosco, Cosmic Kahuna, more of our fantastic host Gene "Mean" Ulmer and some surprise guests.
Wednesday 2 March
Cosmic Kahuna vs Pale Trip
Don Bosco vs High Finance
Wednesday 9 March
Spacejunk vs Los Dos
Tankerville vs Mod Vigil
Wednesday 16 March
Tote'L'Rumble Rock'n'Roll Wrestling
The Tote Hotel, Collingwood
Doors at 8PM – FREE ENTRY
For more info go to the Facebook EVENT PAGE.
COSMIC KAHUNA – Facebook | Bandcamp
PALE TRIP – Facebook
DON BOSCO – Facebook
HIGH FINANCE – Facebook
SPACEJUNK – Facebook | Bandcamp
LOS DOS – Facebook | Bandcamp
TANKERVILLE – Facebook | Bandcamp
MOD VIGIL – Facebook | Bandcamp
365 Day Project
Photos from this event are part of the Zo Damage 365 day live music photography project where Zo has committed to photographing one band [or more] a day for, you guessed it, 365 days. The project kicked off on 25 February 2016 and is going strong. View the galleries and join the journey! It's a trip.