LIVE: HOODOO GURUS – DAY ON THE GREEN, Perth, 19 March, 2016
With Violent Femmes, The Sunnyboys, Died Pretty
Kings Park Botanical Gardens
Review & photography by Maree King
Although the Sun Gods were not shining on March 19, the wonderful organisers Mellen Events for the Day on the Green made sure the sell out crowd were well catered for including handing out rain ponchos to ensure we all had some kind of protection from the elements. The rain however never really set in, though somehow I don’t think anyone cared – after a few wines and some delicious food and warm coffee the crowd were ready to rock and roll just like the good old days.
The somewhat older crowd (with a sprinkling of newcomers who have obviously grown up listening to some of the best music makers) had their dancing shoes on and were settling in for an 80’s extravaganza. My very first under-age pub gig back in the day was seeing the Violent Femmes & Hoodoo Gurus at the Court Hotel from memory back in 1984 or 1985, so this gig was like a walk down memory lane.
Although I have seen the Hoodoo Gurus on many an occasion since they never fail to disappoint, however I must admit the Violent Femmes was the big draw card for me and many others as it has been many years since they graced our shores.
The evening started off in fine style with Died Pretty lead by Ron Peno pumping out their own brand of 90’s rock playing a collection of songs from their many albums. Followed up by the power pop of Sydney-based Sunnyboys playing as the sun was setting through the trees, was as always a treat and we couldn’t ask for anything better. Their set consisted mostly of their 80’s catalogue and belting out Love to Rule, Alone With You and Happy Man proved crowd favourites, warming the crowd up just beautifully for the two main acts for the night.
Milwaukee trio Violent Femmes is hard to define: they’re edgy, alternate, punk, and even slightly country or bluegrass at times. Every song has a different feel and shows the breadth of musicality and musical influences that permeate through their music. With the inclusion of a fine sax player Blaise Garza who has been playing with the band since 2004 added a smooth jazz feel. Opening with the 1983 classic Blister in the Sun, the crowd roared and then rose to their feet to dance the night away. They kept the hits coming with Country Death Song, Kiss Off, I Could Be Anything, rounding out the set with intro of the xylophone to accompany Gone Daddy Gone and Add It Up to a very raucous crowd and the Femmes did not disappoint, delivering the stand out act of the night.
Dave Faulkner entered the stage with the Hoodoo Gurus and again delivered nothing short of a flawless performance that we have come to know love and from the Gurus. Starting out with ’85 classic hit Bittersweet followed by Poison Pen from the Mars Needs Guitars album flowing effortlessly into My Girl from their Stoneage Romeos debut, proving just why they are the one of the best acts in Australia.
The stage itself was set with the trademark Hoodoo’s psychedelic kaleidoscope of vivid colours and projected shapes that made you feel like we had slipped back in time to a 60’s rave. Faulkner was his usual energetic self, soaking up the energy from the crowd and taking us all on a tour of their greatest hits including 90’s hits 1000 Miles Away and of course the quintessential Hoodoo’s hits Like Wow, Wipeout! and What’s My Scene left everyone happy and smiling.
To round out a spectacular evening all the bands came to together for one last hurrah (reminiscent of the 80’s Fest held at this very venue), which was definitely a highlight of the evening to see such an amazing array of musical expertise, talent and love all together was a such wonderful treat.
Thank you for the memories.
About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE