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LIVE Review: HOODOO GURUS, Scarborough Beach Ampitheatre, Sunday 30 Nov, 2014

| 4 December 2014 | Reply

HOODOO GURUS, Scarborough Beach Ampitheatre, Sunday 30 Nov, 2014
With Ratcat/ Jebediah/ British India
Review & Photos by Shane Pinnegar

Hoodoo Gurus have cleverly value-added their tours over the past few years by making each one a special occasion, from the Dig It Up Tours, to playing the whole of their first two releases, and this special one-off Be My Guru outing on the sandy shores of Scarborough Beach was unique in that every past and present member of the band would be playing.

Live Scarborough Beach Nov 30 2014 Hoodoo Gurus by Shane Pinnegar  (14)

They start the night with their earliest incarnation – the triple-guitar-no-bass Les Hoodoo Gurus line-up of main man Dave Faulkner, guitarists Roddy Radalj and Kimble Rendall, and drummer James Baker. Radalj, super slick in cowboy boots, a dapper white suit and matching guitar, plays supercharged country riffs through Arthur, Dig It Up and a couple of unreleased numbers – Voodoo You and Too Bad, She’s Bad – that were never recorded until brand new EP Gravy Train.

The Stoneage Romeos line-up is next, with bassist Clyde Bramlett and guitarist Brad Shepherd joining Faulkner and Baker for some of their debut album classics, including In The Echo Chamber, My Girl, Tojo and I Was A Kamikaze Pilot, before Baker swaps out with Richard Kingsmill to run through tracks from Mars Needs Guitars including Bittersweet, Death Defying, What’s My Scene and Like Wow, Wipeout! Rick Grossman then joins the stage to replace Bramlett, and this is the 1988 line-up that has remained constant ever since. From here the chronological aspect of the show goes out the window as they run through Come Anytime, Cracking Up, 1000 Miles Away, The Right Time and Miss Freelove ’69.

The Gurus seem incapable of playing a bad show at this point in their career – as befitting a band who have been around for over thirty years – and this special occasion, multiple-line-up event was absolutely fantastic. Some shorts-and-tshirts punters exited early as the bitingly evening cold wind took its toll, but those who persevered enjoyed a great set of Hoodoos classics and, indeed, an entire afternoon of fantastic Australian music.

Earlier, to help the glorious late-Spring sun warm up the crowd was British India, flying the flag for modernity, though it only took a few songs to hear that they were very much schooled in the same musical vein as the older bands on show. Indie singles Blinded, Run The Red Light and super catchy closer I Can Make You Love Me all impressed.

With the Indian Ocean shimmering enticingly a few meters behind the stage, Jebediah bounced onto the stage, clearly excited to be playing a venue considerably nicer than the average beer barn, and continued to bounce around like the teenagers they were when we first fell in love with their irrepressible tunes. Kevin Mitchell has such a natural, easy going rapport with the crowd that even a few early electric shocks to the lips through his microphone can’t dim his enthusiasm, nor that of effervescent bassist Vanessa Thornton, who literally doesn’t stop bouncing, jumping and swaying around for the entire set. Animal, Harpoon and Please Leave all garner enthusiastic approval from the ever-growing home-town crowd, before ending on a high with Leaving Home and Teflon, complete with comedy solo spots, before the four-piece literally bounce offstage.

For their first trip to the West Coast in around twenty years, Ratcat couldn’t have got much closer to the actual coast itself. Simon Day – sliver thin and wearing a broad grin throughout the show – played the Perth Concert Hall on that last tour to a room full of screaming girls. Those girls are older now but a fair few of them were still screaming for the fuzzed out perfect pop of favourites That Ain’t Bad, Go Go, Tingles, Blind and the dark space shuttle epic Getting Away From This World, sung by Kevin Mitchell, who declares Ratcat ‘the best fucking Australian band, EVER!’ as Day’s guitar sounds like it’s channeling a rocket engine itself. With the sun sinking and a chilly wind picking up, playing Don’t Go In The Water – with Mitchell on guitar – and the inbeatable Don’t Go Now was a particularly appropriate climax to a fantastic set. Let’s hope it’s not another twenty years before they return.

It wasn’t over yet though – all present and former Gurus members took to the stage as The Supergurus for an encore run through – of course – their debut single Leilani, complete with enthusiastic ‘UMGOWA’s, before finishing up with their version of Bo Diddley’s Who Do You Love, renamed Hoodoo You Love for an early b-side. You can’t beat that – cold wind or not.

Set List: Ratcat

That Ain’t Bad
Yes I Wanna Go
Go Go
She’s a Gas
Run and Hide
Time Bomb
May You Ever
Baby Baby
Getting Away From This World (with Kevin Mitchell from Jebediah on vocals)
Don’t Go in the Water (with Kevin Mitchell from Jebediah on guitar)
Don’t Go Now

Set List: Hoodoo Gurus

Too Bad She’s Bad
Dig It Up
Voodoo You
In The Echo Chamber
My Girl
I Was A Kamikaze Pilot
Death Defying
What’s My Scene
Like, Wow! Wipeout
Come Anytime
Cracking Up
1000 Miles Away
The Right Time
Miss Freelove ‘69

Hoodoo You Love

Category: Live Reviews

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