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Live – Tony Hadley, Perth, 30 October 2013

| 7 November 2013 | Reply

Tony Hadley & The Perth Symphony Orchestra
The Astor Theatre, Perth, Western Australia
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
By Trulie Pinnegar
Photography by Maree King

Tony Hadley live in Perth 30 Oct 2013 poster

A very civilised Astor Theatre was packed out on this balmy Wednesday Spring evening. Seating only though, as the Perth Symphony Orchestra are in the house!

Mr. H strolls on stage looking civilised in a sharp suit and carrying a glass of white wine. No words are spoken, no introductions are made (leaving the audience wondering if the guitarists, drummer and keyboards players are part of the orchestra – we later find out they’re not when Mr. H refers to them as the ‘TH Band’), he just launches into a rendition of Don Henley’s ‘New York Minute’ followed by David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’. At this point, it’s hard to picture where this is going. Will Mr. H do any songs we know and love him for or is this a show for him to use the PSO to play songs he knows and loves?

However, he reassures the audience that the first half will be songs he loves plus some newbies and then the “Spandau stuff” will be in the second half. The crowd cheers.

He treats the cover tracks he does, including Sinatra’s ‘That’s Life’ and Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’, with the utmost respect. Jim Croce’s ‘Time in a Bottle’, described as one of Tony’s favourite ever songs, was executed beautifully and saw the PSO come into their own.

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Mr. H makes reassurances throughout the first half that the Spandau tunes are definitely coming and tells the audience that it was “great getting back together with them (Spandau Ballet) after 20 years of fighting”.

His new tracks, particularly Heroes and Lovers and Killer Blow are sensational and gave the audience a flavor of what is to come from Mr. H post tour.

The second half lives up to what he promised. No frills or pink lipstick are evident but killer renditions of ‘To Cut a Long Story Short’, ‘Highly Strung’, ‘Only When You Leave’, ‘Musclebound’ (which Tony says he was adamant he would never play live again when he got back with the Spandau boys), ‘Round and Round’, ‘I’ll Fly for You’, ‘True’, ‘Through the Barricades’, ‘Toys’, ‘I Don’t Need this Pressure On’, ‘Lifeline’, ‘Fight for Ourselves’ and ‘Gold’ as the encore filled the theatre. The combination of classic and electric instruments complemented each other amazingly and gave all the tracks an original interpretation. It was evident that all the musicians enjoyed themselves and Mr. H looked mightily proud as so he should.

The audience struggled with the event being seating only. More than a couple of them couldn’t contain themselves and stood up for a dance only to be promptly asked to sit again. This was really the only downside of the evening and may well be worth promoters revisiting if other stars choose to put on this type of show. Having such an 80s pop icon play with the PSO made them look cool, there’s no denying that. But having the event seated made the TH band look bland. Providing a free-standing dance area would have made the TH band look cool and made the PSO look ubercool – that’s a GOLD idea right there!

Shane

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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