Mark Seymour Live: 27 April 2001
Mark Seymour’s 27 April 2001 promotional gig at the Noosa Reef Hotel..
Author: Stuart Fenech
Date: 28 April 2000
Sea FM (91.9) on the Sunshine Coast (above Brisbane) was putting on a thing they called the “Big Shout” at the Noosa Reef Hotel on the 27th of April 2001. There was to be free drinks and food, enough to get the average Australian’s attention. However, what got my attention was the Mark Seymour was to be the ‘entertainment’ for the night. Living 185 km away from Noosa (I have incredible radio reception) at this point I decided I had to get into this “Big Shout” thing.
The only way to get tickets to this thing was to request songs during the work day and if you were lucky they would ring back and you would be happy (standard radio contest). So I rang Sea FM (long distance) and requested “Don’t You Know Me?”, which I had not heard on the radio despite all the publicity for Mark Seymour. Two days later they rang back (they had trouble finding the song (!)) and I had won tickets. I figure they saw the value in a fan or two turning up. I was meant to pick the tickets up at Maroochydore but they were nice enough to mail them to me (it would have cost $40 in fuel to get them!).
Fast forwarding over two hours of travelling and a free Eagle Boys pizza (also from SeaFM) and Leanne (my fiance) and I were at the Noosa Reef Hotel. On eventually finding our way into the place, it occurred to me that there is a reason you do not provide alcohol for free. The bar was completely flooded with people – so much so that it took twenty to thirty minutes to actually get some drinks for Leanne and I. By the time Mark Seymour was to appear I had consumed a reasonable amount of cheap wine.
The Sea FM morning crew were there and did their best to promote Mark. JC from the crew was particularly prominent, and was talking about sheer fear in relation to the cost of providing all those free drinks. They also dragged out a women who had called them that morning complaining that it was hard to pick up men when you are a single mother, and lined her up with a single father. They also tried to encourage a “champion mooner” to do his work, but that was to no avail.
Shortly before 9pm was when Mark finally took to the stage. The ‘stage’ only really had room for one person, as it was incredibly small. Leanne and I positioned ourselves directly in front of him (about five meters away). For the ‘new’ songs there was practically no-one between us and him, while the hordes attacked for the predictable songs. The volume was about right but it would have been better if people were talking less!.
It was a short set list mainly aimed for simple promotion. It was as follows (may differ slightly from exact order but all songs accounted for):
- On My Way Home
- Always A Fool (For A Pretty Face)
- See You Around
- Holy Grail
- Sad Songs
- Home Again
- Throw Your Arms Around Me
The crowd gave him a very enthusiastic introduction but was generally not that great with the songs. Of course “Holy Grail” and “Throw Your Arms Around Me” got very enthusiastic responses.
Early on Mark introduced that his new album is “One Eyed Man” and was released around two months ago. Upon mentioning the new album I yelled “awesome album” or something similar. To my surprise the person next to Leanne and I said something, and it turned out she was a fan and adored the album too. I have no idea of her name but she suggested “One Eyed Man” to be very ‘Neil Finn’. I was thinking more Crowded House as the band. She was also excited with some of the guitar work he was doing (she played guitar).
Mark also mentioned his desire to go surfing with the locals early on. I’m not sure if he was talking about tonight or the next morning (I think we can confidently say the later). I am not sure that the crowd realised that he is actually a surfer and probably serious.
“Sad Songs” was introduced as a song based on a relationship that started from a meeting in a nightclub ‘like this one’. This is the same as what was said for the last show I was at. Then again, nightclubs seem to basically entail the same deal no matter where they are in my experience (some lights, loud mainly pop music, a stage somewhere with dodgy ‘dancing’ and large volumes of alcohol). Speaking of alcohol, Mark had a beer to take him through again. This one seemed to be a Crown or something like that.
“Home Again” was introduced as a song about returned home to Melbourne. Then he commented that it could be applied to any general Australian city as they are all interchangeable anyway (depending on your quality of accommodation as he continued). I am not so sure about this theory!.
Before “Throw Your Arms Around Me”, he introduced it as his last song for the night because of something to do with hearing himself through the speakers or something along those lines. Even if he was having a problem, he was doing a very good job.
After this song Mark gave the “goodbye” and headed off. Then JC from the morning crew got on the stage and spoke to us for a while. He asked if we were all digging the new stuff and I cheered. Not many other people did, but I live 200km away so I do not really mind if they think I am mad. They had copies of “One Eyed Man” on sale at the gig, thanks to HMV. I know they sold a few copies and hopefully they sold a lot more later on.
A few fans followed Mark as he disappeared off to the side. One man in particular wanted his LP copies of Human Frailty and the Living Daylight EP signed. I said a few words to the fan but I do not think he took me very seriously (I look and am 19, I guess). I followed behind and Mark was there off to the side, with fans in front of him. I managed to slip in the side to be around a meter away from him. He signed the LP’s and a CD and at that stage I got his attention. I just wanted to thank him for the music, so I extended my hand, shook his hand and said something like “your album is bloody awesome, got it the day it came out”. He commented back about noting me in the audience (it was pretty obvious I knew the songs, I guess). I left with Leanne after that (and I think Mark continued signing things). If it turns out Mark got back on stage I will be very sad! (the crowd was not enthusiastic and we figured it was a quick promotional thing so he would probably not be back out).
The songs off “One Eyed Man” make a lot more sense live after hearing the album. I was talking to Leanne afterwards and she thought that the new songs were better live than the old Hunters and Collectors songs that the crowd loved him for. I agree with this completely – the “One Eyed Man” tracks can hold their own weight. The reality is that putting the old Hunters and Collectors songs in the play list keeps the hordes interested but I personally would not have been bothered if he presented entirely solo material.
Mark’s vocal and guitar work was exceptional, and in turn I really enjoyed the whole thing. Mark Seymour is convincingly good as a solo artist and I am looking forward to when he returns in a few months time with the band.
The day after this Mark was doing an in store signing at HMV in Brisbane (a lot closer to where I actually live). I could not make it to this, I hope it went well!.
Finally I would like to thank everyone who made that night possible:
– 91.9 Sea FM Sunshine Coast and the Capital Radio Network.
– The Noosa Reef Hotel. Pretty good rates for accommodation and nice views, too.
– Eagle Boys pizza. That voucher from Sea FM was greatly enjoyed.
– Leanne (fiance) for giving “One Eyed Man” a go, inevitably enjoying it and for going out of her way to make it there with me on that night.
– Mark Seymour, for turning up and playing, of course!.