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LIVE: THE ANGELS PRESENT DARK ROOM RECHARGED, Perth, Western Australia – 25th June, 2022

| 27 June 2022 | Reply

LIVE: THE ANGELS PRESENT DARK ROOM RECHARGED, Perth, Western Australia – 25th June, 2022
The Charles Hotel, Perth
Saturday, 25th June, 2022
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photos by Linda Dunjey

Hallelujah, brothers and sisters, for rock n’ roll is back – and not a moment too soon.

It’s not just us who’ve missed it – it’s the bands as well, and The Angels are full of pent-up energy and determined to give a SOLD OUT Charles Hotel crowd a heck of a lot of BANG for their appreciative buck.

There’s no supports here, just two sets of face-melting Oz Rock from one of the defining bands of the genre, albeit in their current configuration of Rick & John Brewster, Dave Gleeson, Nick Norton and Sam Brewster.

As the epic bogan-factor-five queue slowly winds its way into the venue, the band stall their stage time to make sure not a single mullet or bald head misses a damn thing. I jest, and to be fair there are a few handfuls of younger fans bringing the average age down, but the vast majority in this sea of black t-shirts are old enough to have legally seen the band in a pub in the ‘80s.

Doc Neeson is, of course, keenly missed. He always will be. Not only his unique voice, nor his one-of-a-kind theatrical stage presence, but also the tension and frisson he always manifested as one of the greatest frontmen this country has ever produced.

But Dave Gleeson has been out front of The Angels for more than ten years now, and it’s well past time people get over that. Sure, he’s a different singer, a different performer – but a damn fine one, and Aussie rock royalty in his own right as lead singer of Screaming Jets.

The first set is the full Dark Room album. The band’s fourth (the third and last with classic Neeson – Brewster – Brewster – Bidstrup – Bailey line-up), it stands alongside Face To Face, No Exit and Night Attack as sacred tablets which helped define the “Alberts Sound” and Oz Rock itself.

Gleeson roars through No Secrets (“can you please tell me what the time is”), Poor Baby, Wasted Sleepless Nights/Dark Room, Face The Day (pulling his jacket up to cover his face like some rock n’ roll vampire shielding himself from the oncoming dawn), Night Comes Early, Alexander, The Moment, I’m Scared and Devil’s Gate, and we’re reminded that when some bands tour an album from start to finish there is usually a flat spot or two – a track here and there you can live without.

Not here! The crowd is invested – transfixed. They’ve wanted this for many months and they are lapping up every note. And we also pause to note that almost all of The Angels albums would be received as well. They didn’t do duds.

After a short break allows everybody to catch their breath and replenish their glasses, it’s back to business and boy, oh boy, what a business it is. This is a ‘greatest hits’ set of sorts – but selectively so, focussing only on that classic era and line-up of the band. There’s nothing from Beyond Salvation or the Liveline years, and only one from Watch The Red.

And nobody is upset. Not when there’s cult favourites Ivory Stairs, After The Rain, I Ain’t The One, Down On Me and a run of stone cold classics that most hyper-platinum US bands would fail to top – Mr Damage (so revered that the crowd sing more than half it by themselves), Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again (bravo for not saving this for the encore!), Fashion & Fame, Shadow Boxer and Take A Long Line (“This is it folks – over the top!”).

By this point the entire crowd are rowdy – in sheer joy. There’s no trouble at all, the bouncers seemingly have nothing to do but enjoy the music along with the punters.

Be With You is a mellow and loved up experience which sums up the euphoric joy in the room, and an extended Marseilles gets hands a-clappin’, throats a-singin’ and happiness a-happenin’.

It’s a sweaty mob cheering for The Angels to return for the ubiquitous one or two more, and first up just The Brewster Brothers, Rick and John, dedicate an acoustic Love Takes Care to both Doc Neeson and Chris Bailey, neither of whom are with us any more. It rocks, it’s moving, AND it perfectly captures the moment and the feeling in the full-to-the-brim room.

The full band are back for a raucous and punky Can’t Shake It, Gleeson showing exactly why he is the man for the job, and this closes out a fantastic, celebratory night that had something for everyone, from new followers to die hard fans whose lives have been soundtracked by this band.

No Secrets
Poor Baby
Wasted Sleepless Nights/Dark Room
Face The Day
Night Comes Early
The Moment
I’m Scared
Devil’s Gate

Ivory Stairs
After The Rain
I Ain’t The One
Mr Damage
Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again
Fashion & Fame
Shoot It Up
Comin’ Down
After Dark
Shadow Boxer
Take A Long Line
Be With You

Love Takes Care
Can’t Shake It



Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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