Brilliant – State Theatre
Cut era gig review from Sydney.
Author: Paul Andrews, unknown publication.
Date: December 1992 (gig: 7/8 December 1992).
Original URL: N/A.
Frente – State Theatre
Hunters & Collectors at the State Theatre? But, but…it’s not a pub! Where are the drunken yobbos? Where is the vomit-stained, mumbling, paralytic? It just won’t be the same…Thank God. The Hunters were a different band tonight, there was none of the ‘comfortable shoe’ feel that goes with playing for a pub audience, and on top of the heavy hand they usually deal their material, there was also a fair degree of subtlety and invention. To cut a long story short, they were magnificent.
Frente were the rather curious choice as the support, and were probably more thankful than most that the gig was being held in the State Theatre. They would have been eaten alive in one of the suburban beer barns. They played an enjoyable but slightly boring set, that had the audience applauding warmly at the end. Labour Of Love, Ordinary Angels, and Accidentally Kelly Street were always going to get the biggest response, but it was on other numbers such as Reflect and the Book Song where Frente sounded the most confident. At time they drifted towards the bland and the overly cute, but the high standard of their songs and Angie Hart’s beautiful voice saved their lily-white skins.
Tonight could possibly be described as Hunters and Collectors doing Las Vegas. No, Mark Seymour was not wearing a sequined jumpsuit, and no, there were no pairs of underpants being tossed on the stage, but there was the awesome light show worthy of a Hollywood production and there was the tiered stage set-up, including scaffolding, smoke machine and stairs, that had Seymour running up them on the slightest opportunity. Thankfully, the Hunters lived up to the obvious expense that had gone into the stage set-up, and the subsequent ticket prices, with a memorable concert.
Early in the show Seymour acknowledged the differences in performing to a theatre crowd and that he was “terrified”. Perhaps this had something to do with his electrifying presence. He literally ran between the songs, and at the end of each encore, (there were three), he bolted like an Olympic sprinter from the stage. He also sang like it was his last ever opportunity to exercise the vocal chords and the band dutifully swung in behind him, delivering excellent versions of Dog, River Runs Dry, and The Love That I Long For.
Whereas on Ghost Nation they seemed to be a band looking for direction and running short on ideas, it seems that with Cut, and performances like tonight’s, Hunters and Collectors have found a new lease on life. It sounds brilliant.