Few bands can lay claim that they altered the trajectory of rock music in the seventies but there is no doubt The Saints did just that. Celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the classic Saints album (I’m) Stranded founding member, guitarist and guitarist Ed Kuepper revisits the songs performed by this much revered bands with bassist Peter Oxley (Sunnyboys), drummer Paul Larson (The Celibate Rifles), keyboardist Alister Spence and a guest brass section with the show going by the title The Aints Play The Saints.
The Aints as touted by Kuepper is an “exciting event” making its Adelaide debut. Reclaiming the songs of the band and that spirit and energy went down a treat with the loyal fans who seemed to revel in the occasion. Much has been said between the feud between Ed Kuepper and singer/guitarist Chris Bailey that seemed to pale in to insignificance as it much as a celebration of these great songs more than anything else.
It was a rousing reception for the band as they took to the stage to get things going with The Perfect Day. A lot wasn’t said early with The Prisoner, Erotic Neurotic and Story Of Love following in quick succession. Kuepper mentioned that it was the first time that the arrangement for The Chameleon had been played in Adelaide. There were a few suggestions from the crowd for what the band should play next drawing a quick response from Kuepper that they would not be playing the hits until the end and that they wouldn’t be playing that old stuff in response to certain requests.
Everything’s Fine was a golden moment in the set with sing-a-long lifting the spirits of the band. Memories (Are Made Of This) was great with Keupper making some interesting points about whether to include songs in the set that audiences have not heard before, half the band thought it would be a good idea with the remainder thinking the crowd wouldn’t buy it but reflecting that it wasn’t a competition. Is it nostalgic or not nostalgic as it has never been done before, deep, very deep! Disappointingly some nut job threw something on stage which prompted Kuepper to call them out on it and say that there is eight psychopathic killers of stage so watch out.
Kuepper went on to say that their second album Eternally Yours almost didn’t get made as things were moving too fast and that they would be celebrating the fortieth anniversary after missing that milestone with the first. It was great to hear the likes of SOS ‘75/ Demolition Girl Part 2 which wasn’t good enough to make the first, second or third album. The Church Of Simultaneous Existence was another great inclusion. The crowd were really in to and no doubt the band fed off that vibe. Nights In Venice and Messin’ With The Kid were unbeatable. To top off the main set and push everyone off the edge (I’m) Stranded and Know Your Product with the special Adelaide version featuring horns can only be described as epic!
Returning for an encore it was a pleasant surprise with the band ripping through the Ike & Tina Turner cover River Deep Mountain High. Wowsers! Definitely a great experience witnessing one of Australia’s most influential bands revisiting some of the classic songs.
Review by Rob Lyon