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LIVE: BON BUT NOT FORGOTTEN – Perth, 4 July, 2015

| 6 August 2015 | Reply

LIVE: BON BUT NOT FORGOTTEN – Perth, 4 July, 2015
The Charles Hotel, Perth, Western Australia
Saturday, 4 July, 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photography by Maree King

The Bon But Not Forgotten mission statement is clear: gather up some of the biggest names in Aussie rock n’ roll, and head out on the road playing tribute to the bands they were once in, and those who shaped the history of Australian rock.

Bon But Not Forgotten Perth 4 July 2015 by Maree King

This year’s tribute gives a nod to what would have been late AC/DC singer Bon Scott’s 65th birthday, and focuses on the Big Three of Oz hard rock: Rose Tattoo, The Angels and AC/DC.

Had this been any old covers band, support act Hailmary would have blown them away with an opening set of original songs that was as professional and electric as it was powerful and engaging. Hailmary play every show like they’re headlining an arena, and tonight’s form shows that with the addition of new boy Paul Cush on second guitar, they’ve evolved way past their somewhat obvious early Alice In Chains roots.

Through Wake Up, My Song, Monday Monday and a heap more their tunes now bulge with hard rocking muscle, a bedrock of melodic bluesey riffs and more hooks and head shaking opportunities than a headbanger’s fishing competition.
Featuring the incomparable talents of Bob Spencer (Skyhooks, The Angels), James Morley (The Angels), Mark Evans (AC/DC), Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo), Yak Sherritt (Johnny Diesel, Jimmy Barnes), Dai Pritchard (Rose Tattoo) and Sy McCullough (Destroy She Said), the headliners were a no-nonsense crew that clearly came here for one purpose only: to rock the roof off. That’s a shitload of talent and experience, and one hell of a setlist, right there.

Spencer, Morley, Pritchard and Sherritt take the first shift, running through some of the favourite Angels songs from the former two’s tenure with the band. Dogs Are Talking, Back Street Pickup, Did You Hurt Somebody (the first song, Spencer says, he ever wrote with Rick Brewster), Rhythm Rude Girl and the psych-Beatles Don’t Waste My Time all sound great after far too long not being played live, and stand tall next to older hits Take A Long Line, No Secrets and Marseille.

Spencer’s guitar playing is as stunning as ever, and Morley holds down the vocals so well you wonder why he wasn’t approached when The Angels were recruiting a replacement for Doc Neeson.

Angry Anderson swaggers on stage to rip and roar through a set of Rose Tattoo classics, allowing compadre Dai Pritchard to shine on incendiary slide guitar. Anderson is a pit bull of a man but first surprises everyone – including, it appears, most of his band mates – when he follows Spencer’s teasing riff and launches into Rod Stewart’s Maggie May. Apparantly it was jammed about in rehearsals, but even though their version was a bit raw and impromptu, they footy tackle it in the sense of fun it was intended and it turns into a grand singalong throughout the room.

‘I dunno what happened there,’ laughs Anderson, before it’s heads down into rough, tough hard boogie territory with One Of The Boys, Rock n’ Roll Is King, King Without A Crown from 2009 album Pain (‘just so you know we’re serious,’ says the singer), Rock n’ Roll Outlaw and We Can’t Be Beaten.

The band are fantastic, and Angry roars, swigs from his wine bottle, cackles, rants and – most importantly – sings, and like the bastard son of Billy Thorpe of a vocalist he is, it’s always a joy to hear.

Black Eyed Bruiser is dedicated to Stevie Wright, before Anderson deputises for the long-departed Bon Scott with a run through Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be and Highway To Hell.

Everyone needed to catch their breath after that set, and when the band come back it’s with Mark Evans and Sy McCullough ccompanying Morley, Sherritt and Pritchard on bass and vocals respectively for Down Payment Blues. It’s suitably crowd-winning fare to kick off the second half, and wouldn’t Bon be looking down with his trouble-maker’s gap-toothed grin.

Girls Got Rhythm, Shot Down In Flames, Sin City and many more follow, with first local legend Wayne Curnow and then Anderson joining the band for some laughs with these old mates and more of the best rock n’ roll to come from these (or any other) shores.

Bon But Not Forgotten aren’t just any old cover band. They’re the real deal, the real guys who made and played on many of these songs, and for that reason alone they’re doing us all a favour by keeping the flame alive. Now, if only we could persuade them to write and record some new tunes…??

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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