Kram @ Adelaide Festival Summerhouse, Elder Park, Adelaide 17/3/2022
The affinity that South Australians have for Kram from Spiderbait for many years is undeniable and there is no doubt he should be given keys to the city. This show was something special, not only was it performed in Adelaide before anywhere else for the first time but it was an insight to the soundtrack of Kram’s life through music and the songs that inspired him along the journey. Being an avid Spiderbait fan we were treated to seeing a another side to the great man which normally wouldn’t be seen at a more conventional Spiderbait show.
There were plenty of great songs given the Kram touch up, plenty of funny stories and a few surprises. Originally scheduled to go for an hour Kram was that in to it that it went for two hours and I’m sure it could have going longer. When a barefooted Kram walked out to the stage in a black suit he did “it’s so quiet in here”. The first two songs saw Kram pick up the trusty acoustic guitar to play The Sunnyboy’s Alone With You followed by Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams. Kram spoke of this soundtrack of his life and coming from a family of hairdressers and reminiscing that Marlboro smoke haze saying that he was always drawn to the simplicity of Dreams having seen Stevie Nicks plait two fingers on a keyboard like Chopsticks.
Needing a beer before the next one he said this show was nothing like the program suggested, later describing Status Quo as the first record he bought and to get vibed up he would play air guitar in his room. Down Down was gold, plenty of air guitar and air drums and I think the crowd was as equally vibed up. The next couple were inspired by his dad’s record collection playing drums in Riders On The Storm and guitars and drums in Black Sabbath. Kram described that as “sick fun” like a charger you can’t fully handle. It brought in further stories of living in Finley were there were two TV channels with Movie Theatre featuring some “scary shit” and reflecting on watching Countdown and buying Human League’s album because Molly said so.
Smalltown Boy was dedicated to Josh Cavallo from Adelaide United and Kram took to drums and acoustic on the Eurythmics Sweet Dreams. Kram spoke highly of his mate Whitt (also from Spidebait) and playing cricket in the Finley Dragons and only now being able to get that collection of cricket bats later making the profound comment that he is another “passer by in the theatre of life”.
The next part of the set featured some Spiderbait tunes played in a way I have never ever heard before. Old Man Sam acoustic, wow! Buy Me A Pony acoustic also with Kram saying then he knew he could write songs. Glokenpop was also played acoustic, didn’t think that would be possible, and was a tribute to Janet describing the process of writing the song as arduous but was a joyous occasion.
Hot damn! Even the Hot Rollers (a band with Richie from Tumbleweed) tune Silver Bullet got played, I haven’t heard that in a long time. Kram spoke of his home in Byron Bay being flooded out and that his family were with him in Adelaide. As Ridin High (from his solo album) was played Kram disappeared off stage returning in a white suit. Won’t Be Home Tonite was dedicated to his ex and was a about a rock star and never coming home which was somewhat reflective. Referring to the audience chit chat he said trying talking through this fuckers rocking his way through Straight Through The Sun.
The highlight of the night was seeing Kram play with his kids jamming with son Lonnie who was fierce on drums both playing Go Crazy which featured some music he recorded when his son was younger and they played over the top. His daughter Elke joined to play cello with Kram, looking a little nervous she was fantastic. This would of been an awesome dad moment and one they will never forget finishing with By The Time I Get To Howlong and Lost In Adelaide. Fantastic!
Adelaide Festival Review By Rob Lyon