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LIVE: JOHN WAITE – Perth, 3 April, 2018

| 15 April 2018 | Reply

LIVE: JOHN WAITE – Perth, 3 April, 2018
The Astor Theatre, Perth, Western Australia
By Karl Infirri

Tonight at the Astor Theatre in Mt Lawley I had the privilege of witnessing former Bad English, and The Babys frontman John Waite perform live. I haven’t been a fan of Bad English for very long, only really getting into his former band within the last year. The Babys are a band that I really had not heard much about at all. Despite being known for performing in those bands John has had a very solid solo career since 1982 – in short, this is a man that has sold millions of records, and tonight was confirmation as to why.

Proceedings began with a chilled out acoustic set from The Superjesus’ own Sarah McLeod. Sarah has very quick wit, and had some cheeky back and forth banter with the crowd at The Astor. Her voice is absolutely beautiful. Sarah did no wrong from start to finish, and was entertaining throughout. I also have to take time to compliment the shoes she wore for the evening, and not a hair on her head was out of place – this is one very cool, stylish rocker. The standout of the set was a great little medley she did that ended with a cover of Leadbellys Where Did You Sleep Last Night. Sarah finished the set with a bit of crowd participation as she covered Max Merritt & The Meteors Slipping Away – solid stuff!

After a brief intermission, the time arrived for the man of the evening, John Waite, and for the rest of the night, the whole time John performed I felt that I was becoming a better person. John has got a presence that really made me feel good about myself.

Early in the set it was noticeable that John was becoming increasingly frustrated with being unable to hear himself, but those issues were ironed out swiftly as the set progressed.

With ever such ease and precision, John belted out some of his classics of yesteryear, with an electric/acoustic version of the Bad English classic When I See You Smile being an early highlight for many.

The mid-section of the set featured a more intimate unplugged setting, where John and his backing band played some of his solo works. The stories he had to tell about the circumstances of how these songs were written and the stories behind them were enthralling and full of witty banter. John comes across as a very intelligent man, with a welcoming madness to him.

As the set drew to a close things really picked up, and I mean REALLY picked up. Back On My Feet Again was a standout track as well as a super cover of All Along The Watchtower, but the cracker of the evening was certainly John’s duet with Sarah McLeod on The Baby’s smash hit Isn’t It Time. What I loved about this track was that I was completely oblivious to the fact that this was one of John’s songs from The Baby’s – the surprise was certainly an exciting one! Sarah belted out some impressive notes here, and complimented John and his band very well. The crowd were full of love, with many getting out of their seats to dance through the aisles to the delight of John and his band. The end of this song was met with a standing ovation from the half-full Astor Theatre and I admit that the passion they both displayed in this duet got me teary eyed.

They exited stage left at this point only to return with an absolutely bodacious cover of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love. If I had thought at this point John Waite had shown me everything he could do, I was sorely mistaken. John was on fire throughout the final track of the evening, sending the crowd home very happy and impressed, but not before another standing ovation followed his goodbyes.

All in all a tremendous performance from the 65-year-old Englishman, who showed some singing chops that men half his age would wish upon a star.

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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