Live Music – Mark Seymour

Live review of recent Mark gigs in Adelaide.

Author: Georgia Gowing, The Independent.

Date: 17 September 2008

Original URL:


Article Text

Mark Seymour used to give a great show when he stalked the stage at the head of Aussie pub rock institution Hunters and Collectors. The characteristic brass and percussion frenzy of H&C is long gone and Seymour is a more subdued figure these days, with less smoke and lighting and just an acoustic guitar or two for backing. But solo, he proves he is still firmly on top of his game as both performer and songwriter.

Seymour played two shows at the Norwood Hotel last week, both to appreciative full houses. During a high-energy, two-hour set, he belted out H&C favourites including “Holy Grail”, “Say Goodbye” and “When the river runs dry”, but the real emphasis was on songs from his solo albums. Don’t be fooled – it might not get the same airplay, but his new music is every bit as strong as what he produced during the Hunters and Collectors days.

“Westgate”, a powerful ballad about “the day the bridge came down”, is an instant classic and the Geoff Goodfellow-penned “Tobruk Pin” is a soulful beauty made all the better by seeing the poet in the audience on Friday. Seymour has always had a keen social and political consciousness and is still writing the songs to prove it. “Jerusalem” hopes for an end to the Israel/Palestine conflict, while closer to home, the deeply satirical “Master of Spin” continues to be relevant even though John Howard has been dis-Lodged. And it has the bonus of a great baseline.

Seymour is a regular visit to Adelaide pub stages and has said he doesn’t always remember to play “Throw Your Arms Around Me”, the song many fans claim as their favourite. Friday was one of those nights, but hearing the anthemic but little-played “Mississauga” live was a great trade-off and a rare treat. Norwood Live, September 11 and 12.