Models, Street Legal @ The Gov, Adelaide 27/10/2023

It’s been forty years since the Models breakthrough hit, I Hear Motion and the band are back on to the road to celebrate. It went on the be their first Top 40 hit in 1983 and there was a good crowd at The Gov to witness the event.

First up on stage were Street Legal, the four band members all garbed in red overalls. I thought it was a nice touch for their “manager” to come out to introduce the band, complete with black trousers and a brown jacket. No, I was wrong, it was the lead singer. Talk about a fish out of water, but I guess it works as you just have to take notice of him. The band play new wave with a tinge of Devo, especially noticeable with the song Life of Shame.

The band were tight and their cover of Midnight Oil’s Best of Both Worlds was different enough to have one thinking, “I know this song”, until the chorus kicked in. They have a E.P. coming out next year and they played The Comedian from that forth coming release. Based on this song (and the set), it will be well worth looking out for it in 2024.

After an Oz music only soundtrack between bands, the Models walked on stage with no fanfare, plugged in and commenced the set with Hold On from their last 1986 album release, Media. From there it was pretty much all backward in time. Big on Love followed and after a “Good to be back at the Gov” from Sean Kelly, it was as if the 80’s never left the building with the synth intro and synth domination of Happy Birthday I.B.M.

Sean asked if anyone was at The Police concert in 1981, as they were the support band. There was only a low murmur, but I proudly say I was there. 1981’s Two Cabs to the Toucan followed before bass player Mark Ferrie stepped up to the microphone for Unhappy from the Local and or General album.

“A song written this century” announced Sean as the band launched into the Peter Lillie cover Drive Through Love. The song sounds as if it could have been written for The Models in 1983. Andrew Duffield sang one of his songs from his 2021 release Ten Happy Fingers, which also fitted into the set nicely. After a cheesy God Bless America, the opening chords to Local and/or General sounded out and the audience reacted accordingly. This was the song of the set. The musical interlude was just amazing with the band really “going off”.

Out of Mind Out of Sight had the audience moving closer to the stage, singing the words for Sean at one stage. The phones stayed out for the set closer I Hear Motion.

The band exited to the side of the stage but without even time for a drink, turned around immediately for the encore. Two songs off the Alphabravocharliedeltaechoefoxtrotgolf album came first, Atlantic Romantic and Pate Pedestrian with Andrew Duffield on lead vocals on the later. The crowd had waited patiently for Barbados and when it came, there was a loud roar as phones were sent high. The ideal finale song.

I reached into my past scribblings and found what I had written about the Models in 1981 at The Police concert. “Their set was nothing short of sensational with keyboards dominating their sound. I would love to see a full set from them one day soon”. Well, it took forty two years to see that full set. I should have made the effort sooner.

Live Review By Geoff Jenke