Mark Seymour Live: 27 September 2007

True Believers webmaster offers his thoughts on the Espy, St Kilda gig of the 27th of September 2007, which was recorded for a Mark Seymour live DVD.

Author: Stuart Fenech

Date: 29 November 2007.


Article Text

On Thursday the 27th of September 2007, a few hundred Mark Seymour fans appeared at the humble Espy in St Kilda, a couple of suburbs outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. We lurked the corridors, seeking solace from the drizzling rain and cold Melbourne wind beyond the walls. We found even better than we were expecting.

The fans had congregated from far and wide. At least four of us were from Brisbane, while we met others from Sydney, Adelaide and the United States of America. Mark mentioned during the gig that there were also people from Sweden and Canada. This was no ordinary Mark Seymour gig. We were there for the recording of “Mark Seymour Live”, a DVD that may well be out by the end of the year.

Mark was accompanied by a full five piece band, with Cameron McKenzie on electric guitar, Chris Bekker on bass guitar, Peter Maslin on drums and Jake Mason on keyboards joining Mark on acoustic guitar. This created a fuller sound than most of us are used to seeing Mark, and it worked well. The band was energised, the songs were strong, and we were pleased.

The gig lasted for almost three hours. Every song from the Westgate album was played except Light on the Hill, with Mississauga making it’s live debut. A fair amount of Hunters and Collectors was played, with Holy Grail disappearing but less well numbers Titanic and She’s Not Fooling Around surfacing. No songs appeared from Mark’s neglected “One Eyed Man” album, but two songs each from “Embedded” and “King Without a Clue” were included. Patriot Game was started twice, but Mark stopped half way through the second run, stated “I can’t do it Rob”, and moved onto Parting Glass.

Fan favourites tended to be songs that came out better live than in the studio.Love Is A Heavy Load was particularly applauded, with Last Ditch Cabaret, A Shoulder to Cry On, Waratah Street and The Slab also receiving rave reviews. We are hoping that all songs make the final cut, but more realistically, hope that songs that do not make the main DVD cut are included as bonus material.

With the DVD recording taking place, the gig itself was quite different. A few times songs were started, Mark would stop the song and the band would start again. Hell Broke Free had two false starts, was stopped and then given a full run later. When the band was having a break, we were instructed to clap and cheer, which was recorded.

Responses to the filming varied. Some people played up for the camera’s, while others tried to act as normal as possible. Some people towards the back of the room chatted, as if unaware of the filming at all. Cameras were positioned between the crowd and band, but they were far from intrusive, only taking up about a meter of space.

The crowd at the front were brilliant. The dedicated fans in this area knew every song, sang along at a moderate volume and occasionally called out Mark song names. There was a noticeable “say it, say it” during The Slab. Hopefully, the dedication of the fans will be clear on the final DVD.

Mark was talkative during the gig, encouraging us to be rowdy and grab a beverage during the break. Mississauga was likened to Canada’s equivalent of Brisbane’s Beenleigh. Back in the Hole was given a preamble about the privatisation of Melbourne’s Pentridge Prison, the failing of economic rationalism and a positive plug for Sweden’s economic policies. Ghost of Vainglory was introduced as a song about Jo (Mark’s wife). Jerusalem came with a plug for Steve Earle (without mentioning his name) for not being afraid to put his politics to music. The Year Of The Dog came packaged with the Western Bulldogs plug and football based stirring of audience members.

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of the show was the heat. Between all of the people and the lighting, it was hot at the front. Sweat was dripping from the bassist Chris, and us audience members in the front were not far behind. By the end of the gig, it was windy and not far above freezing outside, but it was bliss after the heat. The $5 Espy pizza’s from 11pm are also worth every cent!

Overall, a fantastic night. We look forward to the DVD…

Not in the order played, the songs belted out were:

01. The Slab
02. Throw Your Arms Around Me
03. Do You See What I See?
04. When The River Runs Dry
05. True Tears of Joy
06. Head Above Water
07. Back in the Hole
08. Titanic
09. She’s Not Fooling Around
10. Last Ditch Cabaret
11. Ghost of Vainglory
12. Richard Cory
13. Patriot Game (two attempts – then dropped)
14. Waratah Street
15. A Shoulder to Cry On
16. Westgate
17. Tobruk Pin
18. Jerusalem
19. Love Is A Heavy Load
20. Walk Through Fire
21. The Year Of The Dog (recorded twice)
22. Hell Broke Free
23. 18 Again
24. Master Of Spin
25. Feel The Lord
26. Mississauga
27. Parting Glass