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Xylouris White @ Monster Bar, Saturday March 11

Column: Gig Reviews   |   Date Published: Thursday, 23 March 17   |   Author: Maria Koulouris   |   4 hours, 40 minutes ago

Xylouris White (pronounced Ksee-loo-ris White), composed of master Cretan laouto player Giorgos Xylouris and Dirty Three drummer Jim White, put on a stellar performance at Monster Bar, Hotel Hotel. The pair melded together traditional Cretan folk music and punk rock with thrilling results.

‘Forging’ from their latest album Black Peak was the opening track, meshing Cretan melodies and grungy chords on the laouto, freestyle drumming and howling vocals. Xylouris sings in Cretan dialect, “I feel the earth tremble underfoot. It is the wrath of the world forever increasing”. The song culminates in a frenetic, joyful and celebratory crescendo. This music is definitely made for dancing! Cretan dancing in particular, but plenty of people were freestyling it.

The title track ‘Black Peak’ came soon after and what a great rollicking thing that was! Again, punk meets folk with Xylouris’ soaring vocal, where the mountain is asked if it’s lonely, also finishing in a powerful superfast ending.

Xylouris and White have an incredible synergy between them. They improvise and respond so precisely to each other. Witnessing the precision of the rolling drumming against the breakneck trilling of the laouto is an incredible sight.

Gentler sounding ballads ensued, some quite melancholic, evoking the lone shepherd or hermit in the rocky Cretan mountains singing his grief.

Xylouris also ventured into the songs of his late uncle Nikos Xylouris; ‘Hτανε μια φορá’ (Once Upon a Time), a sentimental ballad about a young woman whose husband is absent at sea fighting pirates and who prays for his return only to find he is killed in battle, and ‘ΦTσα Αερáκι’, a joyful song about journeying over the seas to Venice and asking the wind to blow the ship hurriedly home to Crete.

Nikos Xylouris was of a generation of artists who emerged in the 1970s as a symbol of resistance against the Greek dictatorship. Nikos is known for many popular Greek songs expressing the Greek spirit.

Xylouris’ father, Antonis Xylouris also known as Psarantonis is also a legendary musician known for reinventing Cretan music and he continues to perform.

The food at Monster Bar was in keeping with the show: traditional food of the village with a modern twist. It included Lenten fare of small fish, wild greens, fennel pie and split pea dip. The highlight was dessert; a ricotta pie in honey reminiscent of the Cretan “kalitsounia”, and a rosewater soaked watermelon with an unusual watermelon rind preserve, the kind of preserve you only find in Greek homes. Great to see lesser known Greek dishes brought to the fore.

I really enjoyed the unique mix of the ancient, medieval, regional and contemporary sounds of Xylouris White and I enjoyed the warm community vibe in the cross-cultural and cross-generational crowd. I’ll just have to practice to some Cretan dancing for next time!

MARIA KOULOURIS

Amanda Palmer, Mikelangelo @ The Playhouse, Saturday March 4:

Local favourite Mikelangelo provided a brief warm up act, starting off with one of his deep, dark tunes before leaping into an old rocker in true Balkan Elvis mode, with plenty of fancy footwork, high kicks and howls. Ever concerned about the famous ‘do’, he asked “Is my quiff still OK?” after his exertions.

Amanda Palmer showed that, besides being a superb songwriter, singer and pianist, she is a masterful entertainer in every sense of the word, with a long show that kept the punters deeply engaged throughout. Palmer invests heavily in her fans, going over time with frequent explanations of songs and events in her career, and keeping up an ongoing banter with the audience. Making the most of the theatre space, she appeared on the first balcony, ukulele in hand, to deliver a few fun songs (including the infamous ‘Map of Tasmania’). She loved the balcony, and we got an impromptu ‘Evita’ performance before she moved to the gleaming grand piano.

Palmer is a commanding player, moving from a feather-light touch to great hammering blows at the keys. Her vocal delivery was similarly variable, from whispers to angry roars. Her lyricism shined out, whether turning everyday occurrences into songs or showing great insight into inner conflicts as in ‘In My Mind’. The mood swung wildly from theatrical musical comedy, with every expression shift and voice inflection getting a laugh, to the tragedy of the ‘The Bed Song’. The set list included arrangements of songs, including ‘The Killing Type’, from the Theatre is Evil LP, redone for piano only on her new Piano is Evil record. Mikelangelo reappeared in a couple of duets, including Nick Cave’s haunting ‘The Ship Song’, and Palmer closed the night with ‘Coin Operated Boy’.

RORY McCARTNEY

James Taylor @ Royal Theatre, Wednesday February 15:

There were a few disgruntled punters as delays at the box office caused a very long queue to snake around in the foyer, with the show delayed to give people a chance to take their seats. However, it was very well worth the wait. James Taylor slipped on stage wearing his now trademark flat cap, and launched his first song as a solo acoustic before the ten-piece backing band joined in. It was the first time he had been able to bring his whole band out to Australia. Noting he was in Canberra, he observed, “You must all be in government; we broke ours!”

There were covers of Carol King songs and Buddy Holly’s ‘Everyday’. A bit of a story accompanied most songs, including how he had gone to the new Apple label to be interviewed by George Harrison and Paul McCartney about his new song ‘Carolina in My Mind’ and was “as nervous as a puppy”. ‘Country Road’, about a spiritual connection to nature, was delivered with particular passion, but most songs were rolled out with the quiet Taylor charm, with favourites such as ‘Sweet Baby James’ drawing a rapt audience response.

He switched to electric guitar for ‘Steamroller’, which he said, “takes longer to play than it did to write”. Taylor’s gentle delivery made the venue seem smaller and cozier than it actually was, and he gave time to fans during interval, signing items and posing for selfies. You would expect a song like ‘Fire and Rain’ to close the show, but Taylor had the self-assurance to end it with the new song ‘You and I Again’, about love over more than one lifetime, that was just as beautiful as anything that went before.  

RORY McCARTNEY

Moaning Lisa, Eadie & The Doodles, Azim Zain & His Lovely Bones @ The Phoenix, Thursday March 9:

On this night, the Phoenix was graced by an unfamiliar presence: a large white screen.

It was the duty of this screen to embrace the projection of Moaning Lisa’s first music video, ‘Shoe-In’. What even needs to be said here? Does this even need a review? Look at that line-up! This was obviously awesome.

First up was Eadie & The Doodles, a talented bunch to say the least, with Eadie’s Thora-Birch-in-Ghost-World-like cool gluing them all together as Antiques Roadshow played silently on the screen behind them.

This was followed by Azim Zain & His Lovely Bones, and how very lovely they all are. Each member of this band is just a huge bucket of talent and every time you see one of their sets you can’t help but fall in love.

But of course, the main event. Moaning Lisa. What a band.

As Azim’s crew carried their gear off stage, the video began to play. All eyes were straight to the screen, as many of us were in fact featured in this video. You could see hands pointing from every corner of the Phoenix, lots of “There you are! There you are!” as more and more faces came into frame. The pride that everyone was taking in this video was just immense, washing over everyone there, filling us all up with that warm, fuzzy feeling of being a part of a really loving and talented arts community. And then it was time for the real deal.

This band just gets more and more pro each time they play. It feels like they’ve been playing together forever (even though it’s only been about a year). Charlie and Hayley’s complementary vocals, Ellen’s phenomenal talent on her guitar, and Hayden just being the king of composed as he effortlessly kept the beat. This, my friends, was a very solid evening.

ALICE WORLEY

Twelve Foot Ninja, Na Maza, Troldhaugen @ The Basement, Wednesday March 8:

As a regular patron at The Basement there was a lot of buzz over many weeks when we all learnt that Twelve Foot Ninja were coming to Canberra. We were all really happy for Canberra locals Na Maza being announced as the support band; and a further late announcement a week before of Troldhaugen (Wollongong) also joining the bill rode well with attendees.

Three hundred people jammed into the Basement’s main room to see Troldhaugen open the night with their alternative and unique style of weird. It’s hard to explain or even fit them into a genre – but their sound is the stylings of Mr Bungle with moments of Skrillex, heavy metal, looney tunes, carnival, orchestra and jazz all merged perfectly into a single song. With an old-school voice sounding like he belonged in a ‘50s big band, their singer was quirky, theatrical and highly energetic through their entire set. With plenty of support from the bouncing crowd they got everyone pumped and moving and ready for the heavier metal.

Na Maza thrashed hard and fast as they always do and yet again impressed the crowd goers who had never seen them before. They debuted a brand-new song, ‘You Smell Different When You Are Awake’, which was received with a roaring cheer. They also announced the release of their album and new merchandise, which were eagerly snapped up by the Na Maza fans in attendance. There is a fantastic original acoustic song included on the CD too.

Twelve Foot Ninja kept the crowd waiting excitedly but patiently while the stage filled with smoke and their amazing lighting set-up meant photographers hungrily snapped a zillion photos over the entire show. This is the first time I’ve seen them live, and wow they put on one of the best live performances you could hope for. It’s easy to see how they won the Revolver Golden Gods award in 2014 for best new talent. Kin’s vocals are loud and strong and faultless, their entire performance was flawless and I estimate over 90% of the crowd sung along to every single song. They perform like they have been doing this forever. The set list included ‘Invincible’, ‘Sick’, ‘One Hand Killing’, ‘Point of You’, ‘Adios’, ‘Collateral’, ‘Coming For You’, ‘Kingdom’, ‘Mother Sky’, ‘Shuriken’, ‘Vanguard’, ‘Deluge’ and more. They performed for two hours and then very patiently mingled with a stack of fans who hung around for an hour after the show just to see the band; they spent another hour signing CDs, taking photos and chatting away. It was yet another very rad night of metal. Well done to Canberra for making it a sell-out maximum capacity show on a Wednesday night!

SAM INGHAM

Winterbourne, Eleanor Ailie @ The Front Gallery and Café, Thursday February 9:

Winterbourne’s soft spot for The Front meant Canberra fans got a truly unique, intimate and engaging live show. Shortly after local Eleanor Ailie finished her set, the boys could be seen dodging around the tightly packed crowd with their instruments. We then got to peep in on their sound check and when a lull in the chatter occurred, James cheekily told us to “carry on as normal”. It was tricky working out when the sound check morphed into the show, but this somewhat became part of the anticipation and excitement.

Once those familiar vocal harmonies and Jordan’s foot percussion became regular, we knew Winterbourne had begun. On completion of ‘Perfect Sundae’ James thanked “the Canberra arena and its 50,000 crowd” and the banter between him and the close-knit crowd commenced, setting the tone for the interactivity of the night. In between songs he told us, “I love hearing individual feedback after each song.” In a new song he asked, “hey Canberra, how do you feel about clapping?”, before having to stop and correct us for applauding instead of clapping along.

More fun came when James starting playing the chords to Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’ and Jordan expressed his disdain for audiences’ regular enthusiastic reaction to it. James then launched into a full verse and chorus of the song, as the audience sang along and Jordan left the stage. Their jokes about the difficulties of doing encores at The Front topped this, as they tried a new strategy of using the different exits from the building to give us an encore that included the great new song ‘Echo of Youth’ and ‘But I Do’.

JARROD MCGRATH

Lagerstein, Darker Half, Keggin, Beast Impalor @ The Basement, Sunday February 19:

There are few things more comforting than being surrounded by sweaty metalheads and serenaded by hardcore pirate metal music. This was precisely what The Basement was offering when Lagerstein and their crew of miscreant support acts dropped anchor in our humble city. With hardcore fans and newfound deckhands gathering under one roof, the night was set to be invigorating, educational and somewhat frightening.

Descending into the dank but endlessly inviting venue we were greeted by energetic tunes from local Canberra band Beast Impalor. Though the crowds were small, the vibes were powerful, as the act produced a series of hardcore tunes with mind-bending guitar riffs and spine-chilling lead vocals by Adam Kluckers. This group of young face-painted ragamuffins certainly warmed attendees up nicely with their endless vigour, and as the crowds settled in with their schooners it was clear the night ahead would satisfy the saltiest of seadogs.

The next band up was Keggin; a treat for anyone who ever attended university and came away with a passion for boxed wine. This three-man band joked along with the crowd as they banged out one catchy alcohol-based tune after another. Their charisma wafted throughout the dingy room with songs titled ‘Fruity Lexia Makes You Sexier’ and ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Goon’. Keggin perfectly took all former students on a sentimental journey through their drinking years, moving from goon to Smirnoff and finishing off with a lament dedicated to Tequila. They left everyone feeling warm, fuzzy and nostalgic.

Sydney band Darker Half then took the night to the next level with their long luscious locks and sky-piercing vocals. Harking from a Hawkwind-like realm, they gave yet more delectable guitar solos and the talents of lead vocalist Vo Simpson were unmatched. This band had no trouble holding the crowd’s attention as they introduced songs with “Are you ready to travel into space?” and “This next song will prove to you that aliens do exist”. Alternative vibes emanated around the room and perfectly prepared the crowds for what was to come.

It was around 10:30pm when Lagerstein finally hit the stage, donned in elaborately embroidered coats and head scarves Jack Sparrow would be proud of. Vocalist Captain Gregarrr stood tall centre stage, poured rum from a glass duck-shaped chalice into his open mouth and proceeded to shower the eager crowds with it. From here on in the night was a beautiful muddle of knee-jerking, rum drinking, wench loving and shivering of timbres. Each band member was as disrespectful and as talented as the next, with The Majestic Beast rocking on lead guitar and Mother Junkst wowing the crowds with astonishing violin solos. The evening quite rightly digressed into a drunken debacle, which included the band coming down from stage and sitting on the floor, serenading the crowd eye-to-eye. There were many competitions to be had between the “starboard” and “port” halves of the crowd, some of which developed into full-on wrestling matches. As an attendee said afterwards, “This is the most interactive gig I’ve ever been to!”

For those unexposed to pirate metal, now is the time to start exploring. Though this gig may have been a little light for hardcore metalheads, it was a perfect night for fans of drunken debauchery and bloody catchy music. With an eclectic mix of genres in the support acts and a captivating crew like Lagerstein at the head of the ship, there were few things to go wrong. If this band of treasure-hunting, wench-loving swashbucklers reach our shores again, it is highly recommended you rattle your compasses into submission and steer yourself towards them with haste.

CLARE BRUNSDON

Shananigans Entertainment Presents: Shananigans 10 @ The Basement, Fri–Sat February 17–18:

For the tenth-year anniversary of Shananigans, the yearly birthday event for owner and promoter Benjamin “Shaggs” Crawford, patrons were treated to two nights of epic music from 27 bands. At just $25 a night to see some of Australia’s best metal, rock and alternative musical talent, it was two nights of performances that contained some spectacular sets. I won’t list all of the bands here; search Facebook and all the publicity will appear.

Those patrons who pre-purchased the two-night pass were lucky enough to be entered in a raffle to win one of two $100 bar tabs, and the first 20 people through the door each night also received a showbag full of band merchandise – a few were lucky enough to receive a $25 bar tab as well.

130 Patrons attended the Friday night, around 40 people arriving early to try and snag a showbag and catch the early sets that began at 6:30pm. Standout performances by Canberra locals included Knights of the Spatchcock, Tundrel, Namaza (who debuted a brand-new song, ‘You Smell Different When You’re Awake’) and Johnny Roadkill (who also debuted a brand new song, ‘Whiskey Shot’). The crowds were stoked to have some new music to rock out too. Other standout performances on Friday night were by Frankenbok and Kid Presentable.

Saturday saw a larger number of people come in throughout the night – around 170 attended. A phenomenal set by one-man band Leisure Suit Lenny saw a massive response from the 60+ people that were there early at 7pm. His cover of ‘Warpigs’ is one to watch when he is on the stage. Other performances that received a fantastic crowd response included sets by Hence the Testbed, Penguin, Rick Dangerous and the Silkie Bantams (OMG they were so amazing! – my favourite performance from the entire weekend) and Witchgrinder.           

The lines at the bar were long, the bar staff again worked themselves hard all weekend with giant smiles, and the crew assisting with stage management on both nights saw the stage times run almost perfectly on time with minimal issues. The crowds were well behaved, every seat and pool table was occupied all night, the sound system was on point and all were generally very happy. Thank you Shaggs and The Basement for a great weekend of alternative Australian metal and rock. A very tiring but great weekend was had. J

Shananigans’ upcoming shows include a Tool Tribute show on Friday March 17 at The Basement, and the yet to be announced Metal Fiesta 12 – save the date for Friday April 7 at The Basement.

SAM INGHAM

The Living End, The Bennies, The Spindrift Saga @ ANU Bar, Wednesday March 8:

The Spindrift Saga provided a heavy introduction to the evening and benefited from their exposure to the sold-out crowd. It’s pleasing to see recent shows at ANU selling out, making me curious about where these shows will be hosted when the venue closes (and whether the imminent closure is contributing to ticket sales).

Having The Bennies as supports for this tour probably also contributed to ticket sales. The lads have quite a following of their own and are gaining more fans with each release. This was my first time seeing them live and I had high expectations that they unfortunately didn’t quite meet. I was looking forward to their mix of guitar and keys/synth, but the sound wasn’t as hard hitting as I had hoped. This could have been the venue and I think they are definitely worth another shot. ‘Knights Forever’ was still a fun highlight of their set.  

The last time The Living End were at ANU I remember the mosh being quite fervent, to the extent that a small circle formed. Tonight wasn’t quite as hectic but still had that ‘90s punk/grunge spirit with a fair amount of crowdsurfing. The new songs from Shift had a heavier vibe and were a bit harder to mosh to compared to the more rhythmic classics like ‘All Torn Down’ and ‘Prisoner of Society’. I don’t think Chris’ amazing guitar work got to shine as much as previous gigs but the small glimpses we got were still top notch, and of course Scott still did his famous bass climbing. Having seen the group a lot now and ranking them amongst our best live acts, maybe I’m just being a bit picky now. Still a great act to have in our final days of ANU Refectory.
JARROD MCGRATH

James Taylor @ Royal Theatre, Wednesday February 15:

There were a few disgruntled punters as delays at the box office caused a very long queue to snake around in the foyer, with the show delayed to give people a chance to take their seats. However, it was very well worth the wait. James Taylor slipped on stage wearing his now trademark flat cap, and launched his first song as a solo acoustic before the ten-piece backing band joined in. It was the first time he had been able to bring his whole band out to Australia. Noting he was in Canberra, he observed, “You must all be in government; we broke ours!”

There were covers of Carol King songs and Buddy Holly’s ‘Everyday’. A bit of a story accompanied most songs, including how he had gone to the new Apple label to be interviewed by George Harrison and Paul McCartney about his new song ‘Carolina in My Mind’ and was “as nervous as a puppy”. ‘Country Road’, about a spiritual connection to nature, was delivered with particular passion, but most songs were rolled out with the quiet Taylor charm, with favourites such as ‘Sweet Baby James’ drawing a rapt audience response.

He switched to electric guitar for ‘Steamroller’, which he said, “takes longer to play than it did to write”. Taylor’s gentle delivery made the venue seem smaller and cozier than it actually was, and he gave time to fans during interval, signing items and posing for selfies. You would expect a song like ‘Fire and Rain’ to close the show, but Taylor had the self-assurance to end it with the new song ‘You and I Again’, about love over more than one lifetime, that was just as beautiful as anything that went before.  

RORY McCARTNEY

Bernard Fanning, Kasey Chambers, Garrett Kato @ Canberra Theatre, Tuesday February 21:

Canadian Garrett Kato kicked off the evening and was a fitting addition to this singer-songwriter showcase with his acoustic guitar and storytelling. The solo performance ended there and Kasey Chambers entered the stage supported by her full band (including Dad on guitar). As I’m not really a fan and am an unenthusiastic country music supporter, I intently went in with a more open mind on the night. I was pleased that ‘Am I Not Pretty Enough’ was out of the way by the second song and I was able to be impressed by other aspects of Chambers’ performance. In particular, her slide guitar work. Kasey’s down to earth banter between songs may be enjoyed by her fans but for me it did little to increase my likelihood of pursuing an interest in her music (prompting an early exit to beat the toilet rush in intermission and be completely ready for Bernard).

Despite my high expectations, I was still blown away. With that soulful voice and cool swagger, Bernard Fanning and his band gave us a superbly entertaining set. We got the solo hits like ‘Wish You Well’ and ‘Songbird’ but to my delight (and others), we got not only one but two Powderfinger songs! Unfortunately, they weren’t as old school as ‘Tail’ – as one audience member requested. Instead we got ‘Sunsets’ and ‘These Days’ (introduced with a story about when Fanning saw Prince and realised the song had a familiar chord structure, which he demonstrated by splicing in ‘Purple Rain’). I loved that he announced a fake encore and how unnecessary it was for him to leave the stage and make us wait before giving us this delight. The other highlight of this “encore” was calling Kasey and her band out to join them on Leadbelly’s ‘Midnight Special’ (proving how deep his soul is).

JARROD MCGRATH

Don’t Change – The INXS Story @ The Basement, Friday March 3:

I arrived early at the Basement, keen to secure a position at the front of the stage for this show as I am a big INXS fan and I’ve not seen this show before. Around one hundred people in total attended to see to the six-piece tribute band performing nothing but INXS songs.

They performed two sets in total, starting with the earlier albums and working their way through 32 songs with a 30-minute break between the sets. With high energy, they gave a 100% commitment to their performance along with great ‘80s styled costume changes. Their new vocalist Blair was fantastic – not only he did sound like Michael Hutchence; he danced and moved around the stage just like Michael did. Charismatic and flirtatious with the crowd, he clearly enjoyed his performances and the crowd was happily satisfied.

By the fourth song in the set they were standing up and singing and dancing along. It was a pleasure to see one of the guitarists play saxophone as well. Backing tracks were used for some of the chorus vocals, but Blair sung every song himself. Chatting to Blair at the end of the show, it was hard to believe he had only learnt all the lyrics three weeks previously and had only performed in five shows. What a talent!

Amongst some of the earlier more obscure INXS songs, (like ‘On a Bus’) they performed the top chart hits and crowd favourites including: ‘Burn For You’, ‘What You Need’, ‘Kiss Dirt’, ‘Original Sin’, ‘Mystify’, ‘Elegantly Wasted’, ‘Suicide Blonde’, a really sexy but funky performance of ‘Need You Tonight’, a beautiful rendition of ‘Never Tear Us Apart’, and my all-time favourite INXS song – ‘Devil Inside’.

The crowd sung along loudly, danced like you do when you hear an ‘80s song, and I even caught glimpses of the bar staff having a dance session behind the bar as well. It was a really good quality tribute show for INXS fans. There are three final dates of the tour for people who live in NSW, VIC and SA, look at the ‘Don’t Change – The INXS Story’ page on Facebook for details.

SAM INGHAM

Stick To Your Guns, Knocked Loose, Relentless, Reactions, Honest Crooks @ The Basement, Sunday January 22:

What happens when you throw some much loved veterans, explosive newcomers and some of Australia’s best local acts on one line-up? You get carnage, a lot of people, and one hell of a show! Even 15 minutes after doors opened punters started rolling through, the turn out would have easily been 250 people. Honest Crooks started off the show with a solid new set list, ending with their newly released single ‘Imminent Treat’. Reactions pumped the stage with their well missed, energetic tunes. They were followed by Aussie mosh crew Relentless who showed that mosh definitely isn’t dead.

After what could only be described as the calm before the storm, the long-awaited Kentucky heavy weights Knocked Loose played one of the greatest sets I’ve ever witnessed. The crowd matched the energy of the band perfectly! Knocked Loose left every watching eye in awe and set the mark. Stick To Your Guns not only matched this mark but raised it, showing why they are a band that will forever be in hardcore history. Jesse spoke of the song ‘The Suspend’ – it was a song he dedicated to his mother and all the women who taught him how to be a man. The show was amazing; I only hope that other shows in 2017 can live up to it.

JOSH ROBERTSON

The Searchers @ The Playhouse, Saturday February 11:

With a history stretching back about 55 years, and a bucket load of big hits to their name, it was always going to be a night of pure nostalgia and reliving punters’ memories of where they were (and probably how they looked), back when the songs of The Searchers first emerged on radio. With so many good songs in their repertoire, there was no support and the band’s originals, plus a raft of covers, stretched over two sets.

After an intro tune that sounded eerily like the signal to the aliens from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the band leapt straight into ‘Sweets for my Sweet’. Band founder John McNally played the 12-string electric, giving the songs The Searchers’ signature sound, and he provided the high backing vocals on the opening number too. The band delivered all the crowd favourites, the lyrics sounding so strong with all three axe men singing, plus a few B Sides to keep band historians happy. The show turned into a celebration of the early rock period, with covers from Del Shannon, The Byrds and The Big O.

The only sample came from weather effects on ‘What Have They Done to the Rain’, with the few keyboard sounds produced by the synth pickup on the guitar of Spencer James. It was not just a musical performance, but a complete act, with lots of jokes at each other’s’ expense, well-rehearsed patter and reminiscences. Most songs were meant for singalongs, and that is just what happened, with a cover of Buddy Holly’s ‘Oh Boy’ turning into a call and response exercise between band and audience. The mood was jubilant, both on stage and in the packed theatre seats.

RORY McCARTNEY

 

 





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