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LIVE: THE BOYS REVISITED – The Newport Record Club, 25 June, 2015

| 26 June 2015 | 3 Replies

LIVE: THE BOYS REVISITED – The Newport Record Club, 25 June, 2015
The Newport Hotel, Fremantle, Western Australia
Thursday, 25 June, 2015
Review & photos by Shane Pinnegar

Paul McCarthy has been a part of this town’s musical landscape for as long as I can remember. The Jackals, The Wishers, The Fortunados and more have all served as vehicles for his unique songwriting and frontman charm, but it was with The Boys that he first came to prominence.

The Boys Revisited LIVE Fremantle 25 June 2015  (10)

Bizarrely, McCarthy didn’t play or record with The Boys, whose self-titled debut album was released to national acclaim in 1981, despite writing the songs. Rumours abound that certain members of the band considered McCarthy “not pretty enough”, so in a reflection of Ian Stewart’s fate with The Rolling Stones, he was kept behind the scenes.

It’s ludicrous to consider nowadays – especially considering McCarthy’s modern day debonair style and permanent vibe of tastefully dishevelled je ne sais quoi. However, here we are thirty four years later, and tonight’s launching of the third season of the Newport Record Club (where prominent local bands or collections of musicians perform an entire album from start to finish) was the first time McCarthy had played the album live in its entirety!

The powers that be could not have shoe-horned a single extra soul into the room for this immensely enjoyable show, the sellout crowd featuring veterans from The Boys original tenure, as well as plenty of younger music fans who discovered the album through their parents’ collections.

This was to be no reunion, though, with drummer Frank Celenza being the only man present who played on the original album. Making up the numbers in fine style were Celenza’s rhythm section partner from the Baby Animals, bassist Eddie Parise, joined by guitarists Michael Basham and Chris Travaglini.

As McCarthy settled into the lead singer role, playing these songs from so long ago which are so loved by many but which he never took opportunity to perform himself, an aura of joyousness settled around his time-weathered features. Positively beaming, his happiness coupled with the tight and punchy delivery by the band, and the sardine-packed full house, making for an infectiously enjoyable night.

Starting with The Memory Lingers On – the only song out of the original running order as a favour to a fan – The Boys Revisited delivered a whip-crack razor sharp set of punchy pop/rock, beefed up by Basham and Travaglini’s guitars. Three singles from this album went Top 5 on the WA Aria charts – but seven of them could have. The album is an underground classic and had it been released with the backing of The Knack or Dr Feelgood’s management, who knows what could have happened worldwide.

With power-pop punch uber-catchy tunes Same Game, local #1 When You’re Lonely, Waiting All Night Long and – in the Side B set – Weoh Weoh Weoh, the should’ve-been-huge Hurt Me Babe and On My Own, both crowd and band had a ball, singing along, revelling in the ebullient cheer of the one-off occasion.

Newport record Club season 3 opening party with The Boys Revisited

A third set featured a couple of tracks from The Boys’ second and final album, Inside The Cage, with a couple of b-sides from the original singles [I miss b-sides – Editor] in Doesn’t Matter and One Way wrapping up a wonderful night.

I was too young to see The Boys live, but I vividly recall listening to When You’re Lonely on the car radio as we pulled into my Uncle’s in-laws’ driveway one summer’s day. I stayed in the car to listen through to the end of the song, my chest filled with local pride even then, aged 14 or 15. Fast forward 34 years, hearing the album played from start to finish felt like a dream, and the glut of Facebook and Instagram posts during and after the show serves as testament not only to the quality of these songs – products of Paul McCarthy’s wonderful imagination and craft, and the performance of the band, but also the concept of the Newport Record Club itself, and the skill with which it is run by dedicated, creative people.

Set List:
The Memory Lingers On
Same Game
Spend My Time
When You’re Lonely
First Time
Waiting All Night Long

Leave It All Behind
Weoh Weoh Weoh
Hurt Me Babe
Why’d Ya Do That
On My Own

Inside The Cage
In The Morning
When The Storm Breaks
Doesn’t Matter
One Way

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Comments (3)

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  1. Nice review of an awesome night! 🙂

  2. Ian Falk says:

    A very Fitting Review of A Great Gig.

  3. Michael Craigmile says:

    Oh no!!! I thought it was Saturday…silly me. I was in Freo at the time too.

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