Mark Seymour Live: 3 August 2001

Mark Seymour’s 3 August 2001 gig at the Surfers Paradise Hard Rock Cafe.

Author: Stuart Fenech.

Date: 4 August 2001.


Article Text

I am sure that Mark Seymour and Rod Davies walked away happy from the gig that was Gold Coast’s “One Eyed Man” tour performance. To put it simply – they played well and the crowd was interested and involved, particularly towards the end.

Whereas most gigs on the “One Eyed Man” tour involved a band, this was a purely acoustic set. Mark was to explain during the gig that this was because they could not really afford to do the band thing in Queensland, which in turn was ironic given the best reception to “One Eyed Man” has been in Queensland. Mark was clearly pleased that members of the audience knew the songs and were singing along. You get the feeling that perhaps some of his more recent gigs have had people expecting Hunters and Collectors. Either way, Mark spoke about how he was impressed at how people can still hear and enjoy music without any radio airplay. Later on he qualified this a little by pointing out that in all fairness Queensland radio had been better than other places in Australia (I see this as a thank you to the Capitol Radio network). Mark commented that he was learning what it is like for new artists starting out in the music business and how generally unsupportive Australian radio is.

Though planned to start at 10-30pm, the gig started at 11pm with Mark Seymour solo. Mark played three songs before being joined by Rod Davies:

Strange Little Town
In The Kitchen Of A Perfect Home – A new song. I really like this one – intense, melodic, it is Mark at his best. He likened this song to “Sylvania Waters” or similar, though in the Basement gig it was dedicated to Surfers Paradise (where this gig was! hmm…). I am beginning to get the feeling that Mark uses Australian location names more or less interchangeably.
Always A Fool (For A Pretty Face)

The early songs suffered from a bit of feedback that was coming through the speakers, but this was gradually fixed and did not bother anyone except Mark (or so it seemed)

Rod Davies was a little younger than I was expected (in his 20s or early 30s) and seemed popular with some of the female members of the audience. At one stage someone asked Mark who he was and Mark introduced her to Rod. Rod appeared slightly amused at seemingly finding a fan. There was one song in this set where Mark played it in the wrong key, hence completely confusing Rod (which was pretty funny). The songs they played, in approximate order, were as follows:

Ghost Of Vainglory
Don’t You Know Me? – A crowd favourite.
Lorelei – Originally a song by the Pogues. Came out very well.
The Ballad Of The One Eyed Man – At this point it became clear to me that the audience was actually pretty clued up. I could hear people singing along and was moderately surprised.
Sad Songs
Warratah Street – A new, particularly sad song. Singing about a street, a friend, and not being listened to.
Home Again
See You Around – I think it was this song where Mark missed the final note. It was very funny because the expression on his face already said that he was not going to make that note. Everyone took it in good humour and cheered.
Long Way Down
“Paradise Downunder” – A made up name for a new song because Mark was going to tell us the name and then decided not to, instead encouraging us to listen to the song.
Last Ditch Cabaret – The audience quite liked this one.
Throw Your Arms Around Me – Mark told us before the song that he was playing it because it was a special request from Rodney (I am pretty sure he plays this at every gig and was stirring). He also started talking about watching the football team the “Lions” practice some time soon. The crowd debated his choice of team and then started chanting “Li-ons” for a while. Mark then went on to talk about the coach being one of the more sensitive coaches in the competition and liking this song. A predictably huge response followed as soon as they started playing this 17 year old classic.

During the above set, people gradually flocked towards the performance area of the room. An odd design, the Hard Rock Cafe – there is a massive circular bar in the middle that you have to fight your way around to see the performance!. So by the end of the above songs, there were around twenty people squished in the front between the stage and the bar.

There were some very keen people at the gig, though in all honesty the alcohol was making some of them come across as very odd people. Some of them may have been a bit weird but more importantly they were an enthusiastic group of people. As soon as Mark and Rod went off the stage we made a lot of noise and within one minute they were back on stage. It seems that the most enthusiastic audience response had been left for the encore.

Ready To Go – People were all yelling out “I’m not ready to go” at the top of their voices. I was impressed.
Holy Grail – The expected very keen response.
On My Way Home – Again the crowd knew the song well and was singing along. I was hoping they would play this and was suitably happy.
Parting Glass (just Mark Seymour) – This beautiful closer was sung very well and ideally suited.

Mark of course had his token VB (beer) or two to take him through the show.

Some time during the show Mark talked about his promo trip that went as far north as Cairns, which he commented about being a “long way North of Melbourne” or similar. Mark then responded to an audience member who said something about Cairns being bulldozed (or that’s what he heard anyway!). The song that followed this, which I think was “On My Way Home”, was dedicated to Cairns.

Towards the end Mark commented that they had to finish at some time because they had to travel back to Brisbane that night. I yelled out “me too!” but I do not think he would have heard it. I traveled a reasonable distance with Leanne, my fiance, to make the gig! I would have had to travel less to go to the Brisbane gig, but the Valley at night is a good way to meet our own ‘One Eyed Man’, something not high on my list of priorities.

Once Mark and Rod left the stage for the second time, they had been playing for around 90 minutes and it was after 12-30am in the morning. We cheered for a little while in the hope of getting them back again but gave up fairly quickly. Leanne and I stuck around for a little while in the hope of catching Mark but we had to leave to get home.

The songs played were a great selection of mainly new and even newer solo Mark Seymour material that left this fan very happy. These days, I am not sure whether I am a bigger Hunters and Collectors or Mark Seymour fan (the two are different and this must be remembered!). Congratulations to Mark and Rod on a fine show.

~ Stuart

Sidenote: The Hard Rock Cafe gave me one of their Mark Seymour “One Eyed Man” promo posters for the gig. Thank you very, very much.