You Am I have been one of my favourite bands since 1993. Easily top three. Other bands have jumped on and off this list, but they’ve been the one constant since then. Apart from the Beatles. Obviously.
They’re they band I’ve seen live most often. One or more of their albums are always in my CD player, (yes, CD player. I’m old. I’m confused by iTunes). When my first really serious relationship ended, Sound As Ever was played on repeat. Very loud. I guess what I’m trying to let you know is, I really love this band. I have little spaces in my heart for every member, and one of them is playing the Wheatsheaf tonight.
Tim Rogers is one of the best songwriters in Australia. Actually, you know what? I’m gonna go with ‘the world’. A wordsmith with the skills to make you cry, make you dance and make you sing to the sky.
This is his second show for the day. He thinks. His anxiety disorder is making it difficult to keep track of things like this. I spoke to a couple of people before I went in and they said he’s in a good mood. Good. Cranky Tim Rogers is not a fun Tim Rogers. But we’ve been warned – no hecklers.
Opening tonight is Bec Stevens. You should listen to her now. Go on.
Her guitar playing is so pretty, so raw, so emotional. Her honesty is bringing tears to my eyes and I want to give her a giant hug.
“ I haven’t got enough fingers to count all the times I let myself down”
She’s reminding me of Julien Baker (excellent) and I downloaded her songs to my phone immediately. She is heart breakingly honest, covering relationships, relationship break ups, mental illness and suicide, all from a small town suburban view. Bec ends her set with a cover of Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing compares 2U, and a newer song about her custody battle over her dog, Arrow. Even though the outcome wasn’t great, this new song sounds a little more hopeful and I’m looking forward to hearing her album which should be out soon. If I was breaking up with someone now, this is what I’d be listening to. Very loud.
Hello Tim Rogers! You are wearing an excellent suit. A tribute to your beloved double blues, perhaps? Lovely…
Tim Rogers is a rock god, but it’s not unwelcome at all to see him play an intimate acoustic set, and he seems equally at home here as in a rock arena where he can windmill to his hearts content. As I mentioned before, we’ve been forewarned about hecklers, and there are a couple of people who don’t take the hint, but mostly everyone sits in appreciative silence, waiting for the next song, the next story, the next little anecdote about hanging out with Don Henley, or playing with Wilco.
He takes us on a rambling tour through You Am I albums, solo albums, What Rhymes With Cars and Girls, with stories of his childhood in Kalgoorlie and hanging around footy fields, touring America and Europe, and a few detours into mental health. We learn about his fabulous sister, of his crush on Chris Hemsworth (understandable), how Ben Mendelsohn should probably give him a call, and he tells us we can read more about all of these things in his book. I’m hoping he’s recorded an audio version. His storytelling is so engaging interesting, I would have listened to him talk for an hour without any songs. Everything he played was stripped back, slowed down, bluesy and relaxed like we were sitting in someones backyard and they happened to have a guitar. It was wonderful.
Tim has to leave Adelaide tonight. He’s playing a game of footy in Melbourne at 9am. He leaves us with some excellent advice. If someone is having trouble with nerves or depression or anxiety, take them to a record store, take them to a bookstore. Get out of your head and into music. It could save your life.
Review by Carly Whittaker