One Of Our Great Bands

A brief commentary on Mark Seymour and Hunters and Collectors.

Author: Diane Butler, The Courier Mail

Date: 19 September 2008

Original URL:,23739,24366119-5003422,00.html


Article Text

”You don’t make me feel like I’m a woman any more.” Is this the greatest Australian song lyric of the 20th century? Some people would say yes, it is.
I wonder why Hunters and Collectors never became giant superstars? It’s weird, what makes it and what doesn’t.

What song, what movie, what actor. It’s pretty random. I wasn’t going to talk about Great Australian Albums two weeks running but I changed my mind after I watched tomorrow night’s, it’s on Human Frailty, the Hunters and Collectors record.

It came out in 1986. Which I’m still finding difficult to cope with. And can I just say, Mark Seymour has barely aged. Still really fit. Pretty face. Love him. Tiny bit intense though, and perhaps occasionally high-maintenance. But I’m thinking there’d be payoffs.

One of my friends told me Mark Seymour hit on his wife once, ages ago, before they were married, or if not his wife his wife’s friend, my mate couldn’t confirm which one it was at the time of going to press. Could’ve been both, I was thinking to myself while he was talking, because if there’s one thing you can say about Mark Seymour, it’s he likes women.

Funny, I read a piece he wrote for The Australian last weekend, it was in the magazine, he’d written about love, and how he got what sounded like a blister on his finger while he was touring in WA, and he became mildly hysterical and had to be calmed down by his stern-yet-tender wife on the phone. I laughed because I’d read that, and he sounds totally whipped, in a loving and consenting way, and then I watched this show, where all he mainly talks about is being in the thrall of some beautiful woman and writing a song about it.

One of the guys goes: “When Mark Seymour’s in a relationship, everyone knows about it. He’s very emotional yet he also looks normal in flannelette”. Throw Your Arms Around Me is big on the karaoke circuit apparently.

Someone in the band mentions it. I couldn’t tell if he was happy or sad about it.

And tonight on Collectors we meet a woman with 300 pairs of shoes, and a dead shark expected to fetch an estimated $3.50 when it goes under the hammer. I know, 300. And get this her name’s Playfoot, Suzanne Playfoot.

I made up the bit about the shark. But hypothetically, if there was a dead shark up for auction, $3.50 is the correct amount it’d go for. Not $21,650,000, which is what one of Damien Hirst’s dead sharks sold for at Sotheby’s this week.