Fist Full Of Rock @ Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide 25/8/2017

It was the start of a big weekend of rock in Adelaide with four of Australia’s finest bands playing on one bill including elder statesmen Hoodoo Gurus, You Am I, Jebediah and Adalita. What a line up and it really doesn’t get any better on a Friday night at the infamous Thebarton Theatre and one would have expected this to have been sold out. Nevertheless, it was an excitable group of fans who assembled for four hours of awesome music.

Adalita was up first and was great to see her play with a band after the last couple of times seeing her play solo at the Grace Emily Hotel. Thirty minutes was not long enough but we did get a fist full with Trust Is Rust, Annihilate Baby, I Want Your Love, Private Feeling, the awesome Magic Dirt cover Ice and wrapping it up with Blue Sky.

Jebediah are always good fun and typify the festival spirit with the way they go about. Kevin Mitchell opened saying that he had been waiting his whole life for this before ripping in to Lino. It’s Over was great and Mitchell said he felt very yelly and that Adelaide was in for a fist full but Jebediah were more of a handy fist full! Jebdiah looked a bit sluggish and took a while to get going even prompting the comment to bugger tuning in people come to see their technique. There wasn’t a huge amount of time for banter as the Jebs brought out the crowd favourites She’s Like A Comet, Please Leave, Animal and Fall Down to finish. There’s plenty more that could have been played but to fit it all in forty minutes was a tough challenge.

You Am I owned the night no doubt about that! “We’re a rock ‘n roll band from rock ‘n roll land,” quipped Tim Rogers playing killer rock opener Junk. “Play more of that dance music,” he said then belting out Minor Byrd followed by Get Up. What was pleasing with this show is the comradery that exists between these bands and the mutual admiration for each other with Rogers referring to Adalita as his little sister and Jebediah as his brothers then being fully of praise to the Hoodoo Gurus as the first band that give them a chance after being in the music business for some twenty seven years.  Guys, Girls, Guitars was brilliant and so to was set staples Good Mornin’ and Soldiers.

Timmy said he needed his medicine going for a bottle of whatever prompting the funny intro to Mr Milk which was written drunk and high and essentially about lactose intolerance. It wouldn’t be a You Am I set without How Much Is Enough or Cathy’s Clown despite the false start. Timmy said it that was all dance music and if you’re not taking drugs to it you should be dancing to it. The Cheap Trick cover I Want You To Love Me was fucking brilliant and the Deep Purple tease Black Knight which morphed in to Rumble was unreal. “We’re You Am I, next week who knows,” Timmy says before playing the career influencing hit Berlin Chair topping off their set.

I couldn’t imagine a live music scene without the Hoodoo Gurus who have been such a brilliant band their entire career. So many great albums, so many great singles, how could any band cram it all in an hour or so. The lighting and projections were great and the band walked out to the Ennio Morricone theme The Good, The Bad and The Ugly to rapturous applause. There were a few songs there that I hadn’t heard in a while including A Place In The Sun and the single that no one liked In The Wild. Nestled in there was Tojo and Death Defying which were great. Dave Faulkner said it had been too long and nearly twenty years since they last played Thebarton Theatre. The Mountain was great enhanced with the video projections and Facebook poll saw I Was The One added to the set list.

The usual suspects were all there including Leilani, Come Anytime and arguably the best rock song ever written Bitter Sweet. Racing against the clock there was enough time for Miss Freelove, 1000 Miles Away and I Was A Kamikaze Pilot. The encore was a ripper with What’s My Scene and Like Wow – Wipeout getting the crowd going but it was the cover Sweet cover of Ballroom Blitz featuring Tim Rogers that we leave fans with a lasting memory of the night – brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

Fans no doubt got more than a fist full of rock seeing, witnessing and experiencing four of Australia’s rock bands. Those who didn’t come, you really did miss out and let’s hope that this rock extravaganza returns next year.

Review by Rob Lyon

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