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Concerts Young Docteurs/Machinations/ Icehouse 29.7.84
When looking at the lineup for this concert I thought it was a rather strange mixture of talents and styles. Not that that worried me mind you. I just thought a concert of this nat ure.looked as though it was going to be very patchy. How wrong 1 was. The Young Docteurs' brand of new wave guitar heroic jazz influenced rock has always been received with a rather mixed reaction. The roacnn I thin 1/ le +ha+ tkie r\ ra i i o r tr\ r-m r\f
style has had no predecessors and that its inn ovation has been solely in the hands of guitarist Paul Hayward and singer Chris Shakalis. With recently replaced rhythm section of bass and drums the Young Docteurs are now firing in a way I haven't seen them carry off in the past. The whole set was tight and forceful, and Chris Shakalis' vocal dexterity is soaring to heights previously unexplored. When they headline Club of Rome and Telephone Sex next Sat urday (4th August) it promises to be quite an exciting gig. Machinations too are a band that have settled on a particular line up. And generally that has greatly improved an otherwise very erratic band that in the past has shown great promise. On Sunday night though they were good but not up to the standard they were when they last visited the Union several months back. All the same they have a high standard and at least were not disappointing. And what of Icehouse? A band I haven't seen for nearly four years was a thought lurking in the back of my mind. In those days they were Flowers and the album 'Icehouse' ,, had just been released. But as cliches go, times j change and people with them. But the changes that have gone on in this band proved all for the better. On came the big band look of the new; well, semi -new Icehouse, and it was a blockbuster show of innovation and talent from go to woe. Iva Davies has more than proved himself one of the best and thought ful rock music talents in the country. The band started with several songs from the al bum Sidewalk. This had me a little confused as I'm not familiar with it yet. But once they started playing songs from the last album. Primitive Man, I think people began to feel their ground a little more.
'Great Southern Land, ' 'Hey Little Girl, and the ever touching, 'Street Cafe' were delivered with zest and style. Joe Camilleri's saxophone and vocal harmonies were quite astonishing in putting new inflections into older songs; and newer ones. 'Don't Believe Anymore' had quite a lovely and engulfing saxophone solo to couple the lyrics of loss and remorse. The only song I didn't like was 'Taking the Town' but then again everybody's got their pet. Toward the end of their standard set Ice house played 'I can't help myself'. When this was released I was at that age (I'll say nothing more) and it had special importance. When they performed it it went for ages with the music fading half way through the song to let vocal harmonies and swaying handclaps take over. Nearly everyone was in raptures. They did two encores and finished the night with the rocky timeless classic, 'Walls'. Quite a few people afterwards were simply wandering around flabbergasted. And with good reason. The Union hasn't seen a 'big band' of this quality and dexterity since the likes of Simple Minds and the Cure. Although Iva Davies has been criticised for sounding like Bowie or like Jim Kerr or like .... pick a name out of a hat. Icehouse are undoubtedly one of the most talented and entertaining bands this country has ever seen.
Mantaka/Warumpi Band 21.7.84 It isn't often Canberra gets Aboriginal bands playing here. The last time I saw one was about two years ago when 'No Fixed Address' played at the Narrabundah R.S.L. (what I guess you'd call a mix 'n match con cert). So it was a pleasant surprise to see two bands of almost total Aboriginal ex traction (the Warumpi band has a white singer, guitarist) in that great edifice, the ANU Union Bar. 'Mantaka' played first, and of the two bands the more jazzy and professional. Al though they were fairly laid back to start with, as their set progressed the jazz and reggae styles moved sideways for a more up tempo rock sound. Not nearly as slick but great to dance to were the Warumpi Band. I can't comment much on them simply because I've not heard their music before (with the exception of 'Get out of Gaol'). Suffice it to say the small but electric audience danced them selves into a stupor at a concert which proved to be one of the few better ones over the last couDle of months.
Send a Telegram / Saints 26.7.84 Send a Telegram used to be 'Leaping Chairs' apparently but changed their name because there were too many chairs or Leapings or some such thing. Anyway they're a three piece band with a quite astounding female vocalist/ guitarist, bass player and drummer. They have a good understanding of what makes a good melodic rock song coupled with innovation and musical provocativeness. Most of their set was original with an odd Souixsie sounding . song thrown in for good measure. All in all a pretty, good, tight little unit. jH What can you say about the Saints? Whether you like them or hate them they must be recog nised as one of the first new music bands this jH country spawned. Through the days of 'I'm Stranded', 'Eternally Yours', and 'Prehistoric H Noise' they gave us rock music with power, fl passion, soul, and just a little R & B. When H Ed Kuepper left to form the Laughing Clowns : H the Saints went into a sort of recession from H which they weren't . expected to return. But H then 'Casablanca' and 'Monkey Puzzle' brought H Chris Bailey back into some sort of lime-light ? ( even though the Saints were now more at fl home in Paris than in Orstralia). In the last H six months though. Bailey has reconstructed H 'a band with guitars, sax, trumpet and Kuepp- I er playing bass. 'Ghost Ships' and 'Imagin- I ation' have been well received and so has the H band. ? Last Thursday's concert was quite brilliant. I It incorporated all the best elements of form- 9 er incarnations of the Saints as well as intro- ? ducing a few more. Bailey was as droll and as I erudite as ever between songs, keeping a very ? appreciative audience more than satisfied. I I was waiting all night for them to play 'Know I your product' and when they did I nearly I fell over — well, I was swaying a bit. So, in I all the Saints are alive and well and living in I Australia's south-east. In the next issue I'll I poke my nose into their new album 'A little 1 madness to be free'. I
I know it's short by a page but the dead line was sprung on me before I knew it and just had time enough to whip out a few con cert reviews. Next issue though will be back to its usual sarcastic disposition. While I'm at it don't forget this Saturday August 4th 2XX will be bringing you the best in Canberra music with the innovative but not often heard Telephone Sex, Club of Rome and the ever great Young Docteurs. Coming up, next Tues- s- day (7th) you can skank to the Ska Soles and Strange Tenants; during Bushweek the long awaited return from G.B. of Severed Heads will hit us on 18th August again with Tele Sex. And concert of the month in the Union Refectory is or course Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark with Beargarden on Tuesday August 21st. So, be there or be . . . . Marcus Kelson
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