Motor Ace @ The Gov, Adelaide 29/3/2019

This is the reunion we had to have! Reunions were all the fad in the late noughties but better late than never for indie-rock lords Motor Ace. Billed the “Five Star Reunion” the crowd eager to see the band that sound tracked their early noughties. While most of the solid crowd were fans back in the day, there was a small population under the age of thirty. Evidenced by the hands that rose when singer/guitarist, Patrick “Patch” Robertson, asked the crowd their ages later on in the set.

It’s been twenty years (feeling old yet?) since the release of their debut self-titled EP which spawned the hits Chairman Of The Board and Criminal Past. Then three albums in quick succession were released Five Star Laundry in 2001, Shoot This in 2002 and Animal in 2005, then the band broke up. They were billed the next big thing and even supported Oasis in 2002 but decided to throw it all in not long after the release of their third album. Judging by the packed crowd tonight, this is one band they wanted to reform!

10pm hits and the lights go down and the crowd let out the roar they have wanted to release for fourteen years. They launch into the Keeping Secrets off their brilliant Shoot This album. No need for a greeting, the Melbourne four-piece – and original line up – launch straight into Five Star Laundry, off the album of the same name. The Governor Hindmarsh choir duly assisting the band during the chorus raising the roof.

Revving up their engines and blowing out all the cobwebs of the last decade plus, they kicked into high gear with Lorenzo – a track that begins with a thunderous drum beat before the guitars kick in.

How can they follow up this? Only with one of the best known tracks, Criminal Past, that’s how! A massive Triple J hit back in the day; age has proven nice to this and rest of their catalogue. No one was standing still after this!

They slowed it down with a couple of tracks off the Animal album. Statistically their least favourite album – previous album went to number 1 and was certified gold – Robertson even joking “Anyone own it?”, before kicking into A Little Closer and Tomorrow’s Gone.

The band – completed by drummer Damien “Damo” Costin, guitarist Dave Ong and bassist Matt Balfe – were all smiles; with grins on their face ear to ear. They are not just a band, they are four mates, a gang even.

The final part of the first set was hit laden, American Shoes, Pieces – featuring an amazing guitar solo but guitarist Ong – and Siamese, proving they were a band that could write hit after hit. No wonder they were billed the next big thing.

Encore time – five final tracks on the Five Star Reunion tour. All of them loud and proud. Chairman Of The Board and Carry On – two of their biggest tracks – were a fitting way to finish the first gig on their five date reunion tour. Robertson asking the crowd if they should come back soon, a huge “YES!” was the answer. Here’s hoping they do.

Live Review By Darren B. Leach

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