23 09 2013

I have been asked to write a review of Saturday night’s performance by Steve Kilbey and the Sydney University Symphoney Orchestra. So here it is:

The venue selected for Saturday’s performance was only appropriate for such a show. The architecture of the Great Hall at Sydney University was to take a trip to a place that a lot of will have seen in movies, but may never have been to for ourselves. There were stain-glass windows (“you should’ve seen them during the day”, lighting man Trevor said), a tall ceiling, busts made out of sandstone, marble statues, angels in the woodwork and an awe inspiring organ above your head as you enter the hall. If Harry Potter had gone to school in Sydney, this is where he would’ve come.

The show, as a concept, was really enjoyable; an orchestra, just under 80 piece big, conducted by George Ellis, playing reinterpretations of songs by Steve Kilbey. All the orchestral arrangements (barring ‘Tear It All Away’) were done by Ellis and included the likes of ‘Grind’, ‘Myrrh’, ‘Everyone’ and (unsurprisingly) ‘Under The Milky Way’, with ‘Space Saviour’ as the encore.


The orchestra entered the stage via a doorway at the back, as did George after a warm welcome from presenter Scott Bevan. So naturally then, you’d be expecting Steve to make a similar entrance, right? I know I was, which is why it was good to see Steve walking down the aisle of the hall to take his place on stage.

After more than 30 years of performing to live audiences, I don’t know if Steve still gets nervous before or during shows, but for the first half of the night, he didn’t appear comfortable up on stage, he seemed a bit unsettled about something; at least that was the vibe sitting in the front row.

SK (l), George Ellis (c) and guest vocalist Lisa Gibbs (r)

SK (l), George Ellis (c) and guest vocalist Lisa Gibbs (r)

It would be interesting to know what was going through Steve’s mind when he wasn’t singing though, as he didn’t have his bass with him, he didn’t have much room to move. Wearing a suit would’ve made any kind of interpretive dance hard to pull off too, and as a result, Steve just stood there kind of awkwardly and at over times very stiffly. After the intermission though, Steve seemed more relaxed and it was just a shame that the night was over before you knew it.

Due to advertising restrictions in place by Sydney University, the crowd wasn’t large as it could’ve, and should’ve, been, which was the biggest let down of the night. But those who did turn up were treated to a unique show that will not be forgotten any time soon.

*Pictures courtesy of Sharon Daniels


That’s Not Gone Well

14 02 2013

As you may have read in the previous post, I was asked to write some reviews. And I have. But only one has been posted (annoyingly). Oh well, what can you do?

(Not long enough – ed.)

Fine, so what I’ll do instead is just post here what I wrote. Admittedly, I don’t have the best experience with writing reviews, so some may have appeared disjointed and scrambled at times, but everybody has to start somewhere right?

Admittedly though, the most annoying thing is that 1 review got published, but it wasn’t even the one that received 4+ stars, so I can’t figure out what doing. To top it all off, I’m not getting any replies to my concerns; and trust me, I have a few contacts where it counts (and he’s not just talking about at the optometrists either – ed.)

Water Rites (’95)


Water Rites was released in ’95 and is a fantastically atmospheric album. Some of the sounds that emanate from the speakers will leave you spellbound, but it’s at this point that I ask you to turn away if you are a big fan of either this album or Koppes.

Be it a combination of Peter’s singing style and the production techniques used, some of the lyrics are hard to decipher without the assistance of the lyrics sheet in front of you. About the only reason that I can think of why it may have been released in such a way is to add an element of mystic to the songs (which in the company that Peter’s kept over the years, is highly likely).

Once you get over this slight hic-cup though, some of the songs are quite catchy, particularly ‘Finest Hour’ and ‘House Afire’.

‘Arabia’ and ‘Spirit March’ have an almost militaristic feel to them with a constant driving beat from the start that doesn’t let up at any time.

The cover art is very obscure. The image appears to be that of an underground sewer of sorts, going along with the images of the band name and album title, but the band’s name is presented on what is looks to be a tile mosaic that is brightly coloured, contradicting the nature of the picture.

This album also sees Richard Ploog filling the drummers stool once again, after his departure from the Church in 1990. Anthony Smith who played on Icehouse’s debut album in 1980 also contributes with keyboards and backing vocals.

Over all the album is decent, but it is far from what could be called great. It is however one of those albums that grows on you with time. If I had written this after just one listen, I’d have given it 2 stars, but it’s worked its way into my head and heart enough to earn it that extra star.

Untitled #23 (’09)


Untitled #23 is one of the best albums The Church has put out in their 30 year existence.

I don’t know what the cover image is representative of, but the fact that it adds a touch of enigma to what lies within is always a good thing.

The guitar work that is present on tracks like ‘ Cobalt Blue’, ‘Pangaea’, ‘Sunken Suns’ and ‘Anchorage’, while not the most flashy of works ever recorded but the group, certainly is the most graceful. Once you get to know the aforementioned songs, you will enjoy the instrumentation as much as you will the lyrics.

‘On Angel Street’ is a standout track on this album for its simplicity. There is not much other than a few changing chords and the occasional sprawling guitar to be heard, be Steve’s vocal is what nails this song to your brain and will have you craving for more.

‘On Angel Street’ is also the first in what I believe to be the best trifecta of songs on a Church album. This teamed with ‘Sunken Suns’ and ‘Anchorage’ is perfection.

‘OAS’ sees the protagonist talk in a melancholic fashion about loss and seeing an ex lover.

‘SS’ is a laid back slice of heaven. It is a song that has the persona longing for freedom and escape. They do eventually get away, as witnessed in the lyric “I ripped up my return ticket/ And hurled it into the sky”.

Finally, ‘Anchorage’ sees a return to the melancholic talking about what could be read as a lust for a former lover.  “Strength of a lamb/ The shape of a cloud/ The eyes of the star/ Cruelty of a crowd”.

After returning from their holiday in ‘SS’, the protagonist realises that no matter how they try to get away or change, they will always have feelings for that one person. “Darkness returning/ My torch keeps on burning for you/ In the life you keep on spurning/ Everything is hurting me”.

These three songs back to back sound like they could be the catalyst for a heart stings tugging movie. Follow this with ‘Lunar’ and ‘Operetta’ and you have the finest second half to an album you could possibly get.

Live From The Other Side (’03)


Live From The Other Side is a live recording from 2003, so ten years ago now. Recorded at the Sandringham Hotel in Newtown, it is just Marty Willson-Piper and his guitar performing a full acoustic show.

Contained on the cd are 22 tracks from his solo career and some from The Church’s back catalogue. Interestingly, there are also two poems that Marty reads out; one by Alexander Blok and another by Federico Garcia Lorca.

One thing that the listener can note is Marty’s time keeping by vocal output between lines, particularly on tracks ‘Chromium’, ‘My Museum’ and ‘You Whisper’. By doing this, it adds a childish vibe to the performance, as it seems slightly unprofessional; but in all honesty, it gives a bit of character to the show as he doesn’t do it often enough for it to be described as ‘overkill’.

Interaction with the audience is very minimal here, but to take The Church ethos, he lets the music do the talking.

During the performance of ‘Can’t Ever Risk an Openness with You’, the singing drops right off and becomes hard to hear. This is only annoying because of the hard playing that immediately ensues.

‘She’s King’ has arguably the best vocal performance of all, especially towards the ends of the track, with Marty seemingly leaving nothing in the tank.

Because it is just Marty with his guitar, the album has a very warm feeling to it; it would be good company in front of a fire on a cold winter’s night. The 70 minutes fly by and before you know it, you find yourself calling out for an encore.

As much as Marty’s work with the Church is enjoyable, this is the best way to listen to him, on his own with no background noise. If you aren’t already acquainted with the works of Marty Willson-Piper, this album will serve as the best possible introduction.

Honey Mink Forever (’11)


Honey Mink Forever is the 2011 collaboration between Dare Mason and Marty Willson-Piper. It is also an amazing album.

The cover art looks as though it could be a piece of contemporary art within itself; and I suppose it is just that. It has two decorative skulls with sunken eyes as the main focus. Despite how unlikely this sounds, it has an eternal warmth to it which perfectly embodies the music that is to come.

I’m afraid to say that I don’t think I got the best possible experience out of the opening track ‘False Flag’; but that’s only because my stereo is nearly 15 years old and because of my living conditions, I’m not allowed to turn it up (neighbours, parents; usual deal). ‘False Flag’ sounds like only a surround sound system turned up high will do it justice. It absolutely exudes power from start to finish. It is very much driven by the guitars and piano that lay the perfect platform for which the heavy vocals come on.

‘Better Hope You’re Not Alone’ sounds as though it wouldn’t be out of place on commercial radio. The riff is as sharp as a knife and the singing chilling. The riff will crawl its way into your head and will take up residency there for quite some time.

‘Cry’ is a slow moving ballad that shows a soft side that has the ability to melt even the coldest of hearts. You can easily amuse yourself with this song by trying to imagine a bearded Marty sitting at his grand piano singing this just for that special someone. This really is a track that is better suited to a Michael Buble or Harry Conick Jr.; but Marty nails it. He doesn’t hit any unbelievably high notes, but the delivery is just sublime and is topped off with some smooth guitar work. This track shows Marty’s development and maturity as a singer. While his trademark song might be ‘Spark’, this shows just how capable he is. Some of the guitar work also sounds as though it wouldn’t be out of place in a Rod Stewart song.

‘Bad Dreams’ opens with the beauty of Marty’s vocal almost unaccompanied except for a few choice strummed guitar chords. It can also make you feel quite guilty if you are in the right situation. The final four verses will have you tapping your foot every time despite the theme of missed opportunity and regret. It really does sound as though it would do well on commercial radio; but it’s sung by a 50 y.o. that not many people remember, not Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty (Thomas is one person who could pulls this type of song off well).

‘Tora Tora Tora’ was a bit cheesy for my liking; it’s about the only down point on the entire album. There is, however one unpredictable element in it which might peak your attention on the first few listens. Although, in saying that, it is annoyingly catchy. I want to dislike this song, but I keep singing it.

Because of his Rock ‘n’ Roll roots, it’s not surprising that Marty takes on another hard rocking song before the final curtain falls on this album. ‘Mao Tse Tung Kiss’ is exactly that rock piece. The disappointing thing, for the sake of the album at least, is that the song isn’t required. It doesn’t belong here, and that’s why it falls down and ruins what could otherwise have been a perfect album.

‘The New Scientist’ is another instrumental that closes the album. It’s an interesting closer for no other reason than because it attempts to merge both jazz and rock influences into the one song; thus making intriguing.

Overall, Honey Mink Forever is a wonderful album that could one day be used as a tribute of both Willson-Piper and Mason and their imprint on the music world. Quite a few of the songs sound as though they could fall into the hands of other artist like a gift from above. But because Noctorum doesn’t have the mainstream appeal of say a Stewart or Matchbox Twenty, it will remain forever anonymous except to those in the know.

Uninvited, Like The Clouds (’06)

P.S. I did write more reviews than just this lot, but because I wrote them on spur of the moment, I didn’t write them out in word beforehand, thus I have no proof until the time that they get published (and you’re just too lazy to write a new one out for all the nice people here – ed.)

Stiff Knees: A Small Price To Pay

22 12 2012

I just purchased a ticket to go and see Mental As Anything on New Year’s Eve (well actually, I got a friend to pick it up for me and I just paid him back). So that’ll make 8 bands in the last 11 weeks (I’m making quite a hobby of this aren’t I?)

For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why I was going to purchase the damn thing. I don’t have any of their albums, have no intention of buying any and I can only name a few of their songs of the top of my head. But today, I remembered.

The guy who bought the tickets is a pretty big Mentals fan and that fanaticism can be infectious. The tickets were reasonably cheap too (only $30 for non-members of the club) and I live only a stone’s throw away from the joint, so I can walk there in plenty of time, have a meal and still make the start of the show.

Regurgitating old photos: that's th way - ed.

Regurgitating old photos: that’s the way – ed.

When I got my ticket off George, I asked him what time he was going and if he was having a meal. He told me he was just going to have something at home, because that was one of two things that he couldn’t do; he can’t have a meal and then go and see a show. If he has a big meal and wants to listen to music, then he must sit at home and just veg out to something.

The other thing that he can’t do is go to a show and sit there, it doesn’t feel nature apparently. It was this that got me thinking about all my other live show experiences and how I felt about the issue. And, well, I totally agree with him. Going to a show and not standing is like buying a remote control car and not using it, a waste of money.

Told you I was a long way from the stage

Told you I was a long way from the stage

I remember my first show, The Church’s ‘Future, Past, Perfect’ show last year. They played three albums in their entirety, but for the first two, I was seated (admittedly quite close), but for the third album, I was up by the stage and it was freaking awesome. You really got a sense of the energy required by the band members to do the show. I remember during ‘Hotel Womb’ just seeing the sweat just dripping of Steve’s face, it was something that I’ll never forget.

Then with Icehouse a few months back, front and slightly off centre, there I was; totally worth it. Got some good photos out of it and the experience was awesome. Despite not being my favourite band, the atmosphere was way better than that of The Church (to be honest though, Icehouse are a much more commercially successful band than The Church, so people know who they are without needing an explanation).

Best photo I've taken yet

Best photo I’ve taken yet

My next show was the INXS/Matchbox Twenty show at the Win Entertainment Centre (WEC). Because I didn’t know much about the new lead singer of INXS, Ciaran Gribben, I wasn’t sure what the show would be like. And Matchbox Twenty, despite being my favourite band growing up as a kid, don’t really rate that high on my list any more. But I did felt like I owed them one for past memories, and their song ‘She’s So Mean’ actually meant something to me. So this show was more a case of ‘I’m going just to be able to say that I’ve seen them live’. As a result, I may have skimped on the ticket and didn’t go all out like I had done previously. The ticket still cost a cool $129 though. The seat was up high and off to the extreme right of stage. Initially it was bearable, but looking at the crowd build up below played on my nerves and made me regret not spending the $160. Later in the show I really did regret it, because I actually yawned mid-song. So if anyone from Matchbox Twenty is reading this, I didn’t mean it as an offence, I just didn’t feel the magic. So when I was asked about it, I was honest and said that I didn’t feel anything, but didn’t know if it was the venue or my seat.

Then just last week, I was able to tell; it was just my seat. Seeing The Church, DEVO and Simple Minds but right in front of the stage was awesome. Admittedly I risked getting kicked out (on more than one occasion) but it was well worth it. Despite not knowing some of the DEVO or Simple Minds songs, the atmosphere was truly memorable.

This one's quite cool though

This one’s quite cool though

With the Matchbox Twenty show though, there were no seats down on ground level, it really was just standing space. With the Church, DEVO, Simple Minds gig, you could tell that the main audience members were of an older age demographic; as there were seats on ground level that went pretty close to the stage. Despite this though, I don’t think anyone used them, I didn’t. Even Amanda, who had cancer and a raft of other health issues had the energy to stand up for the full 3 and a bit hours (that’s dedication – ed.).

So I think it quite definitive then; standing up is far superior to sitting down when seeing live music. About the only circumstance that might be good to sit down is an outdoor concert. Even then, it would only be cool if it was on a grassy hill, not got seating outside. I’ve not been to one as yet, but there’s still time.

Simply Mind Blowing

13 12 2012

Good News. The Win Entertainment Center (WEC) iks a good venue to see live music; if you’re in the right place. After my previous venture to the WEC to see Matchbox Twenty and INXS, I was left disappointed with the venue, but not so after last night.

My mum purchased the ticket for me and the only critera that I gave her was make it the $150 job. She did and I was happy; until I saw my seat. It was situated close to the stage alright, no problems with proximity, but I was right on the side, not a good place to be when your favourite band is on first and only have six songs to play. To save the situation, I risked getting kicked out (and I did it again later in the show, which I shall explain) by jumping the fence in front of me and making my way to where the mosh pit would have been. Basically, smack bang center.

Told you I was in the center

Told you I was in the center

While waiting for the doors to open, I met a lovely women by the name of Amanda and her daughter Amber. To make an understatment, they were there for the main act of Simple Minds. They had come all the way from Sydney to see the show, but not because they liked the WEC as a venue, but because they were massive fans and had already seen the Sydney show on this tour.

Without going into great detail for privacy reasons, I found out that Amanda had led a tough life and the one continual light in her life was Simple Minds. I can’t remember how she originally met Jim Kerr (the lead singer), but she has known him personally for 30 years now, as well as most of the band. She told of how whenever they toured she would always go to the hotal to catch up with the guys, and they were really supportive of both her and her daughter. She even recounted a time when she was standing in the front row and was dragged on stage because Jim saw her in the crowd. She even believed, and I wouldn’t be surpised if it were true, that some lyrics were written about her. The bit that blew me away was that by the second song in their set, Jim had found her, given her a wave, a wink and blew a kiss.

The show itself was good though, The Church only got 1/2 an hour to play (shame if you ask me) and their songs were: Metropolis, Almost With You, Sealine, Reptile, Under The Milky Way and Block. Me being who I am knew that they were going to play UTMW before the first chord was strummed. Not only is it a stapple of their gigs, Marty has a unique ‘patchwork’ guitar that he uses specifically for that song.

The best shot I got of Marty

The best shot I got of Marty

I didn’t get many good photos (again, camera or lighting, I don’t know what caused it), but I got some footage, so I was happy. After their little stint, Marty came out to sign autographs (that now takes my total to 3 from him). It was a little disappointing because the sign before said The Church would be signing, not just Marty. But he did say “you’re as mad as me” because of what I got him to sign. Being cunning and thoughtful, I knew he would sing alot of shirts, cds, posters and conventional merchendice, so I got him to sign a ticket for a meal for Chicko’s. You’re probably thinking ‘What?!’, but the order number was 0408. Geddit?

Best shot of Steve

Best shot of Steve

I had been warned by Amanda that the DEVO portion of the show contanied a lot of sexual innuendo; and she wasn’t kidding. Initiallly there was a lot, but as time went on, it petered out. Due to the fact that I was there for the Church, I didn’t recognise all of the songs played. What I did recognise though were: Don’t Shoot, Peek-A-Boo, What We Do, Fresh, That’s Good, Girl U Want, Whip It, Uncontrollable Urge, Mongoloid, Jocko Homo, Gates Of Steel, Freedom Of Choice. To wrap up the show, they launched into a song that I didn’t know. It was good though, and seemed to go on for a long time (just as I like them). They wore the iconic buckets in blue, and during the last song, Mark Mothersbaugh come out with a bucket that light up blue and green. Because there are five member in the band, 5 red buckets were thrown to that crowd, one was caught buy a woman only two meters away from me. I tried valiently to get one (my uncle’s a fan) but missed because I was too close to the stage. Later I found out that they were selling them at the merchandise stand, but all had gone by that stage. So, naturally, I stooped to the low of trying to buy one off a punter in the audience. I found a guy, but he was a huge fan and had just got it signed, so that was a no hoper.

The bucket evolves

The bucket evolves

Simple Minds. Scotish. Stadium rockers. They owned that stage, it was awesome. Again, not being a massive fan, I didn’t recognise all the songs they played, and because I was going deaf, I couldn’t ask Amanda. They were really good. Kerr was really charismatic and you could just see that he was having fun. They played alot of extended versions of their songs and had the audience joining in, particularly with some of the vocal riff. I remember during Don’t You Forget About Me (which wasn’t the closer much to my suprise), he had the crowd going nuts with the vocal riff. He said “Just like a chorus of Angels….. This is a really hard song to sing….. Now in Italian….. Now German….. Japanese….. French….. and just good ol’ fashion Aussie….. You’re so good… we should be paying you… but we’re Scottish”. They were really good, and I mean that. They started the show with Waterfront, in which you really could believe that Jim had had 5 coffees 30 miutes before coming on. Lovesong, The American, See The Lights, Sanctify Yourslef, Don’t You Forget About Me, Someone, Somewhere, Alive and Kicking (my favourite song by them) and Gloria. There were at least 5 songs that I didn’t know. Charlie Burchill used many guitars, of which the white one was my favourite. The bass player, Ged Grimes, I thought bore a resemblance to Racing legend Micheal Schumacher.

Jim Kerr

Jim Kerr

At the end of the show, becaue Amanda and Amber knew the band personally, Charlie came over and threw one of their guitar picks in their direction, but another member of the crowd took a swipe at it and missed knocking it to the ground in the sanctioned off area. Because they were so nice to me, I jumped the fence and grabbed the pick for Amber. I had been standing up for the last three and a bit hours, so my knees were killing me, which made what should have been an easy fence to climb more like a mountain. But I got it. In exchange, Amber gave me the DEVO drumstick that she had caught earlier knowing my uncle was a fan. Just as we were about to leave though, a security guard came up to me and gave me a guitar pick. Having just seen Simple Minds I assumed it was one of theirs, so passed it to Amber with out thinking. She returned it to me because upon reading it, it said “DEVO BOB1”. So I may not have got a bucket hat, but I got a drumstick and a pick. I also got a poster.

What I believe to be the best guitar.

What I believe to be the best guitar.

All in all, it was a good night, and a great experiance.

INXS of Matchbox Twenty

7 11 2012

Hmm? What? Did you say something? I’ve only been deaf a few hours, I haven’t got this lip reading thing down yet.

Yes, it was fantastically loud, but I didn’t feel the magic like I have done on previous occasions. Of course, I’m talking about the INXS and Matchbox Twenty concert I went to last night.

The variety of songs was good, the crowd interaction was good, the crowd response and behaviour was also good, but I didn’t feel the magic; it just wasn’t there. It may have been my seat, or it may have been the venue, I don’t know. It was my first time seeing a live show at the WEC (Win Entertainment Centre). I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy it, I’m really glad I went, because I’ve now fulfilled a childhood dream, but I just wasn’t pumped the whole show like I have been previously. Not only that, because I don’t have the best camera in the world, and also because of the lighting and seating position, I don’t have many photos to share, and the clips that I captured are a bit below par if I’m honest.

The night started out alright. I was able to get there pretty early and finding my seat once they let us in was a breeze. INXS started the night and it was the first opportunity I got to hear new lead singer Ciaran Gribbin. From the get go, it seemed like it was going to be a bit of a disappointment because he only had so many moves. One of them was to thrust his hips back and forth in an exaggerated way, and grew old fast. The track listing was awesome. I knew pretty much all of the songs that they played, and the ones that I didn’t recognise they told us what were; so that was good.

At one stage, Kirk (Pengilly) was even in the audience to play a saxophone solo; and he was right near where I was sat, on the opposite side. That was a shame really, because if I’m honest, Kirk is my favourite member; a sax player in a rock band, doesn’t get much better than that.

Their set list was: Suicide Blonde, Original Sin, What You Need, Sugar, Disappear, Kiss The Dirt, Beautiful Girl, Need You Tonight, Mediate, Mystify, Kick, Devil Inside, New Sensation, Never Tear Us Apart and Don’t Change.

They dedicated Never Tear Us Apart to Michael (Hutchence), as you could say was expected I guess. The coolest part of their performance of this song though was what they did in the silent part after the chorus. They all stopped dead; absolutely froze on the spot, all of them. They held it for a good 30 odd seconds to, which was a blow out.

Then something peculiar happened, Ciaran jumped off stage and started shoving his tongue down some girls’ throats. The thing was though, he was still singing; “how is that possible?” my mind boggled. The first and disappointing thought that I had was that he was lip-syncing.

Once they wrapped up there was a 40 minute intermission before Matchbox Twenty came on. It was a long break because INXS had their own drum kit with a ‘Kick’ skin on the bass drum to celebrate the 25th anniversary of that album. They also had a massive block that the kit sat on that said INXS in massive chrome lettering, so all that had to be moved, naturally.

I’ll tell you what though, I’m glad my seat was close to the toilet though. As soon as INXS were off stage I darted there to try and avoid the long line up, but the line was already out the door when I got there, and it only got longer.

Before Matchbox Twenty came out, there was a short clip in black and white of a male tap dancer singing and introducing the band. Then the curtains pulled back and they were straight into it.

I know the tour is it promote their new album North, but I was kind of hoping that they would play all their other stuff, because North is their only album I don’t own yet. As it turned out though, they did play a lot of their classics, so I was chuffed at that. Unlike INXS though, if they played a song that was new, they did tell us what it was called and told up what type of song it was, but Rob (Thomas) was a bit hard to make out, he came through a bit muffled; and a few people are me agreed, so I can’t say for sure I know what all the tracks they played were called, but I know most of them so it’s all good.

They didn’t disappoint with the stuff they played either, their set list covered all their albums, both hits and fan favourites. There were a few I didn’t know, so bear with me while I try and nut it out. They opened with Parade, Bent, Disease, She’s So Mean, How Far We’ve Come, 3 A.M., Real World, Radio, If You’re Gone, Overjoyed, All Your Reasons, Long Day, Back To GoodI Will, Unwell, So Lonely, one I don’t know, but I think was Over The Years (I think), The Way (sung by Kyle Cook), Bright Lights, Sleeping At The Wheel, Put Your Hands Up, Girl Like That, You’re So Real and Push. So there was a plethora of songs both old and new.

One thing that I did notice though, was they had a wondering bass player. First Brian (Yale) would be over here, and then there; he really wasn’t in the same place for two songs in a row.

The stage set up that they had was quite interesting. It involved a series of stairs and different levels. On one level you had the drummer, on another you had keyboards, on the opposite side to which you had a grand piano and right up the top you had a small platform that was empty. This was utilised by both Rob and Kyle at different stages throughout the night.

The other guitarist, Paul (Doucette) had two big drums bought out to him for different songs and gave them a good old bashing. He was also good at strumming chords really, really fast that I wondered how many times he had broken strings from playing that hard.

Unlike Ciaran though, there was no doubt that Rob wasn’t lip-syncing. You could pick up all the little changes that he made compared to the cd and not only that you could see the physical strain on his face.

So overall, it was a good night and I glad I went despite not feeling the magic, but this may have been the seat. I reckon it was because with the other two gigs I’ve been to; I was inches away from the stage and it was a much smaller venue. Seeing the crowd swell up in front of the stage, I instantly regretted not buying a ticket for the ground level. Rob did his best to get the whole crowd into the mood, but it just wasn’t the same.

I will be able to tell you if it was the venue or the seat in a few weeks time though as I am returning to the WEC to see Simple Minds, DEVO and The Church and I have a ticket for ground level.

For all you Church anoraks out there, I will be on Peter’s side of the stage.

Probably the weirdest thing about last night though is that I woke up with Disappear in my head.

P.S. – I am having trouble uploading pictures at the moment, but will try and get round to it at a later date. Please bear with me. As I said though, they are not of the best quality.

Hey Little Girl, this is Crazy but Can We Get Together in the Street Cafe on the Boulevard? It’s Nothing Too Serious

11 10 2012

Something amazing happened last night; I was wrong (has is that amazing? It happens all the time. – ed.) Let me finish. I was wrong in assuming what Icehouse was going to play; but I don’t care.

It was billed as the ‘Primitive Colours’ tour in celebration of ‘Primitive Man’ and ‘Man of Colours’ albums, and would have been easy for one to assume that these were what we were going to hear. Even the die-hards I met said the same thing. So before the show had started I was slightly depressed that I wasn’t going to get to hear the likes of ‘We Can Get Together’ and ‘Can’t Help Myself’. This is where I was wrong.

Iva Davies

As it turned out, the show was essentially a best of; so they didn’t stick to what everyone assumed. So we got to hear what we wanted! Oh yeah, what a good feeling that was.

Because I misinterpreted the time on the ticket (it said 7:30 so I assumed that was when the show started. It was actually when the doors opened and Iva and co. didn’t start until just after 9) I was there super early, which mean I was first in the line, which means I got first choice at where I wanted to stand. So naturally I chose right up the front, not even an arms span from the stage. And that’s where I stayed all night.

Iva with Bass player Steve (who’s set list I kept looking at. He got a good laugh out of it)

The track listing was as follows:


Hey Little Girl

We Can Get Together


Electric Blue

Street Cafe

Icehouse (I’ll explain in a minute)

Man Of Colours

(Duelling instrumentals)

Iva with guitarist Paul (who’s favourite letter is ‘o’)

Love In Motion

My Obsession (sung by Mick Paynter)

Cross The Boarder


Can’t Help Myself

Great Southern Land

Heartbreak Kid (sung by Iva with no band)

Nothing Too Serious

Now you’re probably thinking, “the band is called Icehouse and they have a song called Icehouse. What?!” Well, that song is from the album ‘Icehouse’ (bear with me) when they were known as ‘Flowers’. It was their debut album in 1980 and was just a local release. After having huge success with it, they decided to try and make it in America (as you do – ed.). When they got over there though, there was already a band having success by the name of ‘Flowers’. So I don’t think I need to explain the name change.

The crowd was massive. I thought that because it was at the same place that I saw the Church, it was going to be the same set up. I was wrong (again –ed.). When I first got in the door, I had a quick glance at the merchandise stand, noticed much of it was over priced and headed down close to the stage. There was a fence (waist high) so you couldn’t get too close to the stage and there was not a table in sight; it was at this point that I became intrigued. By about 8, or shortly thereafter, it made sense. This is a band in the ARIA Hall of Fame (as were the Church, but, you know – ed.) and they were in demand.

The audience participation during the show was unbelievable, and it was helped no end by Iva. The band all had jokes and quick shots at each other between songs. For ‘Can’t Help Myself’ they even gave us ‘inspiration’ for singing the chorus. “Imagine you’re with a very special friend. Now imagine you’re doing a very special thing. Is there a noise that you’d make at the very special time?” Iva then proceeded to hold his hands up in an ‘o’ formation. Apparently it was Paul’s favourite letter of the alphabet. Other songs that the crowd got into were ‘We Can Get Together’ (I would’ve dance and jumped, but I suspect I would have hit someone in the face), ‘Man Of Colours’ and ‘Crazy’.

Is it normal for me to wish that the show was still going?

That Igloo Band

2 10 2012

As I said two posts ago (I said it actually –ed.), I’m going to see Icehouse soon, in 9 days to be exact. They are embarking on their ‘Primitive Colours’ tour, which is just a clever marketing way of saying that they will be performing their two most successful albums of all time in their entirety; those albums being ‘Primitive Man’ and ‘Man Of  Colours’. I think the tour is an extension of their 30th anniversary tour (so I’ve heard).

Already though, I have a bone to pick with the show. The location is good; it’s the Waves Night Club at Towradgi Beach Hotel which is where I saw The Church last year and really like the layout. Seats were not allocated and they were all at tables of about ten.  Because there were a few the tables and a vast area to cover, if you just wanted to see a good show, you could seat as far back as you pleased, or if you were keen (like me) you could sit at the closest table to the stage. Alternatively, you could go and stand in front of the stage just inches from the band, as I did when The Church performed ‘Starfish’. I love the location so much that the real shame is that every band doesn’t perform there.

Not very often you get free advertising

No, the bone I have to pick is with the price of the ticket (receipt) given the performance. The ticket cost $59 and Icehouse will only be performing 2 albums; unless they do an encore or two and the ticket does say ‘with special guest’. The only reason that I’m disappointed with this is because I will be forever condemned to compare prices to the that of the first concert I ever went to which worked out to be an average of $1 per song (and that’s before I met the two guitarists after the show for half an hour or so). They don’t even let you keep the ticket as a memento. But you can’t win them all.

Told you it looks like a reciept from a distance

Some of the songs that I will get to see will be amazing.

Great Southern Land; the song that is colloquially referred to as our unofficial national anthem (and for good reason too –ed.) I once heard an interview with Steve Kilbey (and Iva Davies) and he summed up the appeal of GSL perfectly. “The song is taking us between the two Australias”. It never will happen, but if it were to become our anthem, it really would be the best in the world. Sure it goes for over five minutes, but would it not be worth it? To solve this problem, all they’d have to do is cut out the instrumental in the middle, because let’s be honest, how many national anthems have solos in the middle?

Primitive Man – 1982

Street Cafe. This song for me is better as the single edit than the album version; it just has slightly more oomph to it and is a real power song. I remember I was over at a friend’s place up in the hills one time on a really clear night, no light pollution and you could see for miles up in the sky, it was really beautiful. We were seeing a friend off, he had to leave early for some reason (early being after midnight –ed.) but before I went back inside, I pulled out my mp3 and just lay on the driveway listening to this song. The concrete was just warm enough to be tolerable, and the only let down from the experience was that the song had to end.

Man Of Colours – 1987

Man Of Colours is the song that might make me turn into a blabbering mess and wishing I had someone special there with me (I’ll be there with you: in spirit. Mwahaha – ed.) Hey! I don’t need smart arse comments like that now thanks (isn’t that what you hired me for though? Zing – ed.) *Scratches head* Shut up! (That’s ed. 1; Seance 0. Woop Woop! – ed.). Anyway, I say this because of the first time I ever heard this song. I had heard so much about it before putting it on my mp3, but I’d never actually heard it. Even when I put it on my mp3 I didn’t listen to it straight away. But the first time I heard it will never leave me. My pop had passed away not long before and the whole family was at my grandparents place down the south coast. My mum and my sister were down the shop getting something, and my nan, dad and uncle were at the funeral parlour giving details about my pop’s life. So I was in the big house all on my own. It has tiled floors so isn’t the warmest place, and the fact that there was a light cross breeze added to the chill factor. The song then sent another chill up my spine because it was such an enchanting lyric and the instrumental was just tantalizing.

Sunrise; just listen and make up your own mind. I really can see the blood red sky of sunrise. I can see it all, and I love it. Maybe this is because I live close to the harbour and go there on a fairly regular basis.

Oh oh, I see it

So, Icehouse isn’t my favourite band, but as each day lapses, the more my excitement rises. Bring it on I say.  Front row seats please.