Something For Kate, Merpire @ The Gov, Adelaide 20/8/2022

While a sports-related ‘Showdown’ captured many South Australians’ attention on Saturday night, something considerably better was occurring at The Gov. Something For Kate (SFK)!

Merpire opened the show and quickly won over the crowd with her music and effervescent nature. Off the back of her debut album Simulation Ride (2021), the co-founder of the online streaming festival ISOL-AID delivered a deliberate and thoughtful set. Songs including Yusiimi and Leaving With You were counterbalanced with light-hearted banter that was welcomed by the crowd.

A mere four months after their last visit, Something For Kate returned to The Kingdom with a vengeance. Kicking off a three-show tour to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Elsewhere For 8 Minutes (1997), they smashed through Anarchitect and Pinstripe with ferocity.

In a rare treat, the trio – Paul Dempsey, Stephanie Ashworth, and Clint Hyndman – sans additional musicians, sequentially played their debut album in full. It was awesome!

The album’s lead single, Captain (Million Miles an Hour), embodied nostalgia. Then again, so did the whole performance. As Hyndman pounded his drums, Ashworth sauntered barefoot with her bass guitar. And Dempsey warbled with his distinctive voice, repeatedly flicking his hair back. It was as if twenty-five years hadn’t even passed by.

The crowd was large in numbers. We were appreciative and sang passionately, channelling the angst captured in Elsewhere For 8 Minutes.

The slower Paintbrushes was offset by the frenetic Prick. The lighting switched from warm orange hues to agitated reds from one to the other. Glass Timing was a surprising world premiere, never having been previously performed live. While Soundczech highlighted the veteran musos professionalism as technical issues hampered Hyndman’s instrument… yet he played on like nothing was wrong. This seamlessly transitioned into Working Against Me as Dempsey used the song’s stop/ start flow to further interact with an already salivating audience.

Strategy, a solo by Dempsey, brought calmness to a raucous night. But it didn’t last long with Roll Credit, Like Bankrobbers, and the “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” of The Last Minute bringing the set to an enthusiastic close.

But SFK wasn’t done.

They returned to the stage, as Dempsey described, for a “same same but different” set. It encompassed select SFK songs, Truly, Chapel Street Etc., Dean Martin, Subject to Change, and Higher Than You Think before bidding us “So long now”.

By celebrating Elsewhere For 8 Minutes in this fashion, SFK reminded us why they are one of Australia’s long-standing, prolific, and loved bands. Like a fine wine, they have aged well, remaining palatable and desirable.

Despite the multitude of ringing ears today, last night’s (loud) show will forever be locked in the memories of those who understand SFK to be far superior to any AFL match.

It goes without saying, The Kingdom eagerly awaits their return.

Live Review By Anita Kertes

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