LIVE REVIEW: HUNTERS & COLLECTORS, Perth, 29 March 2014
An Evening On The Green, King’s Park, Perth, Western Australia – Saturday 29 March 2014
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Jilly Regan
Standing in a park in the rain isn’t THE most pleasant way to enjoy a rock concert, and BRITISH INDIA fans came off worse with a downpour in the middle of their solid opening set.
The skies dried up for a while as DIESEL took to the King’s Park stage, and he’s quite the package – a superb guitarist, fine songwriter and a singer with a wonderfully soulful voice. He warms the chilly crowd like the pro he is, his three-piece band augmented occasionally by the Tas-horns two man brass section. The set culminated with an extended Tip Of My Tongue, featuring an interactive solo during which he punches and pummels his guitar before returning to play it in the more traditional fashion.
SOMETHING FOR KATE open with a rendition of REM’s The One I Love, which comes as no surprise, what with Paul Dempsey’s recent Shotgun Karaoke tour. He, bassist Stephanie Ashworth and drummer Clint Hyndman provide a mature and elegant soundtrack to the intermittent drizzle with Survival Expert, Electricity and Déjà vu all featured.
“G’day,” says Mark Seymour with a disarming nonchalance halfway through HUNTERS & COLLECTORS’ opener Talking To A Stranger, while the original 1982 video clip plays on the big screen. Any thoughts that they’d be pandering only to their latterday radio hits is instantly debunked – they held out for 15 years after breaking up despite repeated lucrative offers to reform, so a cash-in wasn’t on their mind. This was about celebrating the band’s entire legacy, from their industrial art-funk beginnings through their pop-rock ending.
Everyone of our age has a ‘Hunnaz’ story: it may involve wild nights in seedy bars; songs that soundtracked pivotal life events; that make us laugh or cry; or that tell us truths about ourselves and those around us.
As the band raise up emotions with True Tears Of Joy, founder Barry Palmer’s lead guitar ringing strong and true, bassist John Arthur stops for a moment to take a photo of the crowd. It’s a simple moment that shows they are as excited about the response to their reformation as anyone else is.
This Morning again reminds the sold out King’s Park crowd that this is no limp and predictable ‘greatest hits’ trawl, and even the younguns at the show can’t help themselves but dance to even the lesser known tracks.
“You weren’t even alive when this band was around,” Seymour quips. “What’s THAT about?!”
The backdrop shows a series of flower petals falling to Crime Of Passion, coalescing stylishly into the band’s logo before dissolving into blood drops.
Such is the band’s incredible back catalogue that the show’s pace never slackens for a moment. Say Goodbye, What’s A Few Men, the mighty Holy Grail, When The River Runs Dry and Do You See What I See? All have throngs of people on their feet and singing with gusto, glasses of chardonnay in hand where 25 years ago they’d have been shirtless and clutching a tinnie at The Old Melbourne.
A jubilant encore including Head Above Water, Throw Your Arms Around Me, Everything’s On Fire and the industrial The Slab remind everyone present why Hunters are one of Australia’s most beloved bands, before they round out an epic performance with an energy-filled, blue collar take on The Saints’ Know Your Product that was more than worth getting a little damp for.
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