Mark Seymour Live: 29 December 2001

A run down on Mark Seymour’s 29 December 2001 gig at the Bridge Hotel, Rozelle (near Sydney).

Author: Miriam Norman.

Date: 11 Jan. 2002.

 

Article Text

People started arriving early, around 8 pm, which augured well for a full house.

Mark Seymour was to play an acoustic gig at the Bridge Hotel, Rozelle. It was a long time since his gigs at the Basement in Sydney. I was at both Basement gigs (yes, both) and have seen Mark do a mix of acoustic and band performances. This was my first completely acoustic experience.

At the time, Sydney was shrouded in a pall of smoke from bushfires that surrounded the city and was still devastating rural areas. Mark was to comment on this later during the set.

The place was filling up when Jackie Bristow got up to play her acoustic set. She sang and played excellently, interacting with the audience and setting the stage perfectly for Mark to follow.

There was some concern about the quality and strength of the sound before the gig started but as it turned out, the sound was brilliant: clear with little feedback and definitely loud enough! (Robert Miles works his magic again.)

The crowd had grown (estimated later by Mark to be around 300) by the time Mark made his entrance with Rod Davies. They received a warm and enthusiastic welcome and got straight into it.

Paradise Down Under – which he introduced last time he was in Sydney for the Basement performances and appears on his DVD.

The crowd warmed up quickly and got right into it. The interplay between performer and audience was to make this a brilliant night!

Last Ditch Cabaret – I can not remember this but it is on the set list!

Home Again – another track from his “King Without a Clue” album.

The Ghost of Vainglory – Mark introduced this as being about a beautiful girl he met as he was emerging from a club at 7am….. and he married her!

The Eye of the Needle

Sad Songs

Lorelei – A Pogues song from their “Peace & Love” album.

Warratah Street – Introduced as a song he had co- written with a member of the band “Machine Gun Fellatio”.

One Eyed Man

Long Way Down

Made Man – A new song, Mark gave no clue as to when this one was going to be released but he did explain it was about Rupert Murdoch. Mark sang this one in a scathing style and had doubts the “Made Man” had a heart.

See You Around – Mark introduced this as being about a beautiful girl he once knew. He made a couple of attempts at starting it but finally looked at Rod and told him that he could not do it. He turned to the audience and told them he could not remember the words and that he was thinking about the girl and not the song. They crowd cheered anyway. Mark spoke to an Irish girl in the audience who said she was going to Ireland and will not be here “next time”.

On My Way Home

Mark left the stage and of course the crowd were not going to let him get away so easily. A chant of “Sey-mour” went up (I do not remember this happening at the Basement gigs) until Mark returned to the stage.

Richard Cory – always goes down well.

Ready to Go – when Mark introduced this song, some of the audience took it as a parting song and howls of protest went up but they were not disappointed as more songs were to follow.

Holy Grail – EVERYONE knew this one.

Throw Your Arms Around Me – Ditto. I do get the impression that Mark didn’t really have to play the last two to please this crowd. They appreciated his work so much they probably would not have minded the Hunnas numbers being left out. However, I personally believe “Arms” is so him and Mark has stated that “Grail” is his favourite H & C song, so it is a pleasure to hear them again and again.

Parting Glass – a favourite closer.

The above is from the set list but Mark did diverge from this.

Mark was impressed that what he could see of the crowd from the stage seemed to know the songs. This was remarkable considering the total lack of radio airplay of “One Eyed Man”, even after Mark’s Aria win. He told the crowd how great they were and so much better than the recent Melbourne (Cornish Arms) Crowd. Of course the parochial Sydney crowd jeers at any reference to Melbourne sounding to Mark like “Parliament House”.

He also commented on John Howard’s election win in November. He felt it odd that Howard was elected on a platform of exclusion of refugees and asylum seekers. He said that this was a bizarre ideology to uphold given that Australia was founded on successive waves of immigration.

Some time during the show Mark spoke about the comments he hears like: “love your early work” and “are you still in the business?”. Obviously there are people out there who don’t know about Mark’s superb solo work. It must seem almost like starting out again going back to small pub venues.

I had two friends with me who knew nothing of Mark’s solo work. Their comments were: sensational, acoustic brilliance, and other superlatives. Mark was in superb voice as usual and delivered an emotionally intense performance. I loved every minute! Magnificent!

Many thanks to:

Robert Miles: the sound on the night and the friendliness.
Rod Davies: Sorry about the flash.
All the people in the band room: lovely meeting you.
Richard: Manager of The Bridge, introductions.
Mark Seymour: for enduring a gob-smacked and awestruck fan.

Miriam Norman

 

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