LIVE: Hoodoo Gurus and You am I, Perth – 5 August, 2017

LIVE: Hoodoo Gurus and You am I, Perth – 5 August, 2017
The Astor Theatre, Saturday, 5th August 2017
Review & photography by Peter Gardner

Playing their second sold out night at the Mount Lawley’s Astor Theatre, and the last night of the double header national tour, The Hoodoo Gurus and You Am I delivered a feast for the faithful.

Dave Faulkner, frontman for the Guru’s, proclaimed to the packed house that this may be the second night, but these tickets went on sale first, so they were the true fans. The Gurus played through classics and rarities from their extensive back catalogue, obviously enjoying themselves on stage as much as the true disciples in the audience.

Seasoned Aussie alt rockers You Am I mounted the stage first as the self-declared warm-up act. Singer, guitarist and rock god Tim Rogers – resplendent in an open chested black frilled shirt and gold platforms – invited the crowd to become members of the band, they just had to dance to secure their place. Even with a subdued Andy Kent on bass, having dragged himself out of his sickbed, the excellent musicianship was solid and loud as they played through a selection of hits, including Mr Milk, Jewels and Bullets, and How Much Is Enough, ramping up the energy during the set. Throughout, Tim Rogers chugged away at a bottle of white, whilst protesting he’d asked for water, fooling no-one.

Rogers apologised for not having more recognisable hits, lamenting this was not through lack of trying, offering instead a selection of cult classics. The audience didn’t care though, singing along and dancing to secure their offered place in the bands line-up. Finishing the set with a cover of Cheap Trick’s I Want You To Want Me and a blistering rendition of Berlin Chair, they left the stage having done an outstanding job of warming up the audience.

By the time the Hoodoo Gurus took to the stage, the theatre was packed. Thundering through the set openers, (Let’s All) Turn On, The Right Time and In The Wild, the Gurus showed they had lost none of their vivacity. Dave Faulkner may be turning 60 this year, but the only indication of that is the absence of the hair he sported in the eighties. His voice is as good as it ever was, and he led the band like a master of his craft. Being the last night of the tour he was determined to have fun ripping up the setlist and running around the stage to tell the band members which song to play next.

After a rendition of Death Defying he asked the audience for a request, fulfilled by Dig It Up from Stoneage Romeos. Guitarist Brad Shepherd put down his axe and showcased his superlative harmonica skills on Poison Pen. After a beautiful rendering of Castles In The Air the band cranked the energy back up with a raucous Be My Guru and Axegrinder.

At this point Faulkner told the audience that was “enough edgy stuff” for now and it was time for “less vegetable and more pudding”: fan favourites My Girl and Bittersweet prompted an audience singalong, followed by Come Anytime and Miss Freelove 69, which Faulkner dedicated to the ladies in the audience. 1000 Miles Away and a wild version of Kamikaze Pilot finished the main set.

They didn’t make the crowd wait long for the encores though, off stage for less than two minutes, Faulkner offered more vegetable, but Nah, More Pudding! launching into another audience singalong with Whats My Scene and Like Wow – Wipeout!

Tim Rogers and You am I guitarist Davey Lane Joined the Gurus on stage for a blistering cover of The Sweet’s Ballroom Blitz, with Faulkner and Rogers sharing vocals, the stark contrast in style of the two frontmen never more evident. Finally original Gurus drummer James Baker appeared taking centre stage with The Troggs I Can’t Control Myself, ending up laying all over the stage and stealing the show. The Gurus delivered a magnificent set with some surprise inclusions, a real treat for the true disciples and plenty left for the uninitiated. Not having seen the Guru’s before I can now call myself a convert to their wonderful cult.

Dave Faulkner and James Baker are playing next weekend at Mojos in Fremantle and the Rosemount Hotel reforming their original band the Victims, run for a ticket if there are any left!

 

LIVE: Hoodoo Gurus and You am I, Perth – 5 August, 2017

Filed Under: Live ReviewsPhoto Galleries

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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