Eskimo Joe, Adalita @ Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide 4/10/2022

Eskimo Joe played the iconic Thebarton Theatre last night to celebrate two career defining albums Black Fingernails Red Wine and A Song Is A City. With Covid restrictions out of the way it was on with the job of celebrating two mighty fine albums. I probably would have expected to see a few more faces but being a wet and stormy Tuesday night it would have been too easy to make the choice to stay in. There’s nothing worse than hearing the day after about how good a show was, well this was one of those!

Much respect and admiration to Adalita from Magic Dirt who opened proceedings. Her new album Inland drops in December and really is something to look forward to on top of Magic Dirt returning to Adelaide this weekend. Absolutely loved songs Trust Is Rust and The Repairer.

Eskimo Joe played two sets focused on each album in its entirety and from start to end. This was a really well put together show looking and sounding fantastic. The band were up and about sounding great wasting no time getting in to A Song From A City in all its glory starting with Comedown and From The Sea. Just as interesting and entertaining as the music were the stories from front man Kav Temperley giving fans insight and background in to these classic songs. From humble beginnings in their jam room in Baker Street, Fremantle which was the genesis for Life Is Better Than You. Interesting was the story behind Older Than You inspired by their discussion about The Beatles and how they would speed up Roy Orbison songs.

I think Kav could do a spoken word tour as hearing about bands such as Little Birdy, Sleepy Jackson, End Of Fashion and Gyroscope would record demos in the jam room and what would come from watching Rage was fascinating such as the Bill Withers inspired As Song Is A City which featured a snippet of Ain’t No Sunshine was gold. I’m So Tired with the dual drumming was tops as was Smoke and Carousel. Kav explained the agonising detail they put in to closing tracks, the gaps between tracks and every detail you could imagine finishing on the stunning Car Crash.

After a short intermission the band returned to play the album that “changed their lives forever”. This album is loaded with quality starting with Comfort You and New York but as Kav thought was a silly idea ended up becoming mega hit single Black Fingernails Red Wine. Asking the fans what they thought about Miley Cyrus provided the introduction to Setting Sun which was used in the closing credits for movie The Last Song maybe playing an indirect part in the romance for Miley and Liam Hemsworth. London Bombs was a powerful moment followed commonly asked questions about the “Eskies” asking why are you asking Sarah her name if you know and why you don’t understand pointing fingers. You had to have been there!

Plenty of second set highlights including Sarah, This Is Pressure and Beating Like A Drum. In an act of sisterly and brotherly love and everything in between Kav asked the crowd to link arms for How Does It Feel. Returning for a mouth watering encore starting with a revived version of Sweater with the band playing as a trio with Joel on drums back like the ‘ole days. The Eskimo Joe sweaters were really cool as well! Love Is The Drug and Foreign Land wrapped up an awesome night.

Live Review By Rob Lyon

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