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You Am I – LIVE in Perth – 13th July 2013

| 23 July 2013 | Reply

You Am I
The Astor Theatre, Perth, Western Australia – Saturday 13th July 2013
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Maree King

You Am I Perth  (4)

“I tell ya, Perth. You always fucken’ got us. I could always tell by the way you dance!!” says Tim Rogers as the band run through their much adored third album Hourly Daily from start to finish.

The impossibly rockstar lithe Rogers is as tastefully disheveled as he’s ever been – white jacket and cravat offsetting ragamuffin hair and a snaggletooth beard with a mind of it’s own. To his right guitarist and extra keyboardist Davey Lane sports a dapper op shop suit and young-Rod Stewart hair, while Andy Kent and Rusty Hopkinson are more casually attired.

Make no mistake, time can do funny things to our memories of a record. What seemed brilliant 20 years ago is often a guilty pleasure now, or worse – but not so any of You Am I’s albums, and Hourly Daily and it’s predecessor Hi Fi Way are especially dear.

Rogers is a songwriter of ‘National Treasure’ standard (whether he is properly afforded that respect or not), his music referencing the original wave of Britpop – The WHo, The Kinks, The Fab Four – as much as his Aussie larrikin-ness and the stories that make up these songs have ignited untallyable passion, anger, laughter and tears in more than one generation as we’ve found our feet in the world. In short, his music has never failed to move us and have soundtracked so many lives as well as his own, so it’s no surprise to see so many singing along passionately.

Hourly Daily was a task for the band to do justice to back in the day, featuring horns strings and keys a-plenty, but finally – and perhaps for the only time – they do it, with extra players handling the brass and cello parts. It sounds glorious – the band already on fire have their sound filled with light and shade, making it even more lush and rich than normal – and the layering and textures of the sound make it immediately evident why they played this album ahead of the earlier Hi-Fi Way.

Returning from an intermission to “check our stocks” – and dressed much more casually for the rawer second album – Rogers bares his soul in a wonderfully poignant moment, sharing that he has realised his band “gave me my daughter, gave me my best friends, gave me a window out of mental illness”.

Every song on each album gets an airing – Good Mornin’, Mr Milk, Soldiers, Wally Raffles, Cathys Clown, Purple Sneakers, How Much Is Enough – as well as a swathe of obscurities and b-sides, and there’s not a dud amongst them. Even the lesser known songs are sung loud by tonight’s packed house, who become more and more vocal as the beers – and memories – flow ever faster.

You Am I return for a sweaty, punchy encore of Opportunities from Hourly Daily’s successor, #4 Record, Berlin Chair, Sound As Ever and Adam’s Ribs from debut Sound As Ever, and an incendiary take on Mose Allison’s Young Man Blues a la The Who’s wild early performances of it. Rogers leaves his guitar behind for this one, adopting Jesus Christ Pose as the band deliver a shreddingly ‘I can’t believe it’s not metal’ performance. It shows how fucking happy this band are to be playing together to a crowd they deserve, at this point in their career.

You Am I may have given Tim Rogers his happiness, but it’s given many others joy as well, as evidenced by the rapturous response tonight and at every show on this tour. We can only hope that this wave of adoration isn’t solely in retrospect, and many of the older fans here tonight will take to their next album when it’s released.


Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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