Tim et al I love you I really do. But tonight just didn’t do it for me [friend]. There were stellar moments and there were duds. Songs where the band was truly tight and others that sounded unrehearsed. It felt like a best of hits package more than a band with a spanking new album.
At one point they had two roguish and fantastically good lookin’ singers come and join them for a few songs. While the girls did an amazing job harmonising on one intended song, they hung around for Mr Milk and it just felt like TV pantomime. Then there was a keyboard player that was on stage the whole time, towards the end of the set he basically spent errantly shaking a tambourine. It was clearly unnecessary.
Davey Lane from Bosnia (well Boronia – somehow I got that little private joke) was channeling Pete Townshend and doing a bloody good job of it. He and Andy really kept the band grounded and sounding great. But Davey in particular has become the bedrock of the band.
Rusty (looking more like Johnny Cash every time I see him) almost sounds not so loud these days. I’ve never seen a man shake a drum riser like Rusty does but these days he does his little Keith Moon smirks but the drums only get a light bollocking. It’s a shame, there’s no greater drummer than Rusty at full pelt. The support act, well that’s an entirely different story…
Sadly I think the band just tried to cover too much material with this gig. They played something off of virtually every album except #4 Record and Dress Me Slowly. And when you shoot that wide at the hip you miss a few things. Tim’s banter was better than ever getting quite a rise from the crowd, but there were flat spots in the playing. Yes Davey had his back but they were noticeable. He took the piss out of a review that said their Sydney gig was ‘messy and incoherent’. While I laughed I could see what the journo was eluding to.
Well I have to say that You Am I have always excelled at picking support acts. From Dallas Crane to Tame Impala they have a real knack for it. The Delta Riggs looked the business and put in an absolutely cracking set. Their tall, lanky leather clad singer minces around stage like Jagger, jumping off bass drums and shaking his hips like a thousand innuendoes. He was flanked by two killer fuzz guitars, oozing out equal parts 60s groove and 70s almost psychedelic groove. They have a mix of styles going, but with their own distinct edge to it.
At one point the Riggs drummer broke into a John Bohnam style drum solo. It was as abrupt as he is big, almost overwhelming his tiny kit (or is he just massive?). With those meat hooks flailing, for a split second I thought Bohnam was back with us – and that is not a compliment I use lightly. It was like cave man free form jazz as he beat his toms into primeval submission. Just drumsticks, hair and denim flying over a poor defenceless kit. Needless to say, I bought the vinyl and I just pray it captures the energy of the live show.
So there you have it. It was a ‘I’m not angry at you, just disappointed’ kind of gig. And yes they’re selling You Am I hot sause at the merch stand. For fucks sake!