WHY REGURGITATOR ARE PLAYING DRESS-UPS AHEAD OF THEIR GOLD COAST GIG
When Regurgitator take the stage at the EB Games Expo on the Gold Coast in a couple of weeks, it won’t just be the attendees who’ll be stoked.
A 12-year-old Ben Ely, who has no idea of the rock-star life that awaits him, will be pretty pumped as well.
“When I was a young teenager, when the Atari console came out in the early ’80s it was like ‘oh wow’,” Ben says.
“It’d just be like Pong or something super simple but it was mind-blowing.
“So if someone told me when I was 12, ‘You’ll play your music at the equivalent of an Atari convention one day,’ I’d probably do a backflip even though I couldn’t do backflips.”
The group, affectionately known as the ’Gurge, will also be celebrating 20 years since Unit, their groundbreaking album from where they decided to make their previously punk, rock, alternative, grungy music a little more female friendly.
Polyester Girl! (The Song Formerly Known As), Black Bugs, Modern Life – they all came from the triple-platinum album.
“We had a lot of guys coming to our gigs, back in the days when people could stage dive,” Ben says.
“There was a lot of dude energy at gigs, so we made a decision consciously to make it more poppy, stuff for boys and girls.”
A video game convention conjures up a certain mental image, and there aren’t many footy players in that crowd. But that’s why the ’Gurge are the perfect group to perform – they’ve always made it OK to be a little (or a lot) weird, to do things differently and not blend in with the crowd.
Their costumes, which range from full space suits to pink and leopard print onesies, have always perfectly represented their delightful weirdness.
“Our manager keeps all our costumes in a vault and he pulled out costumes from the 1997 Unit tour,” Ben says.
“These shiny, silver oneone piece suits. They still fit but they’re pretty embarrassing.
“My guitar seems to cover my genitalia, so that’s good.”
Now they’re not actively making music anymore, Ben’s got a side project that you’ll want to get around.
“I’ve kind of been working on a kids’ punk rock show – it’s actually really fun,” he says. “Like the other day I was driving down the road with my daughter.
“We saw this typical Lycra clad cyclist and his Lycra was falling down and you could see his butt. My daughter yells out ‘Pull your pants up, Mr Butt!’ and I thought it sounded pretty cool so I’ve made it into a Kriss Kross Jump style song.” Regurgitator will play at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday, October 6. For tickets go to ticketek.com.au
Regurgitator are planning on pulling out some old costumes for their Gold Coast show.