Paddington RSL, Drum Media
A Collected Works era gig review.
Author: Brett Oaten, Drum Media.
Date: 20 August 1991 (gig: 12 August 1991).
Original URL: N/A.
Hunters & Collectors/The Aints
Try as I might, the phrase I can’t shake when I hear and see The Aints is “tribute band”. It’s not a pretty thought. Sure, Ed was there at the beginning but maybe all that does is elevate them to cabaret status and that’s hardly and improvement.
I’m probably not the best person to review Hunters & Collectors given that the last time I saw them was in a very sweaty Queensland Uni refec some time in the mid-80s. Still you only need to have lived near someone with a radio since then to chart their progress. Tonight they showed us they’ve lost none of that live snap, even if the slickness has increased by degrees.
Back then they refused to admit they were the same band that penned Talking to a Stranger, let alone include in the set. although the baselines that were so arthouse radical in 1980 seem commonplace now. But of course that sort of analysis is pretty irrelevant to a band that has made the move to sing-a-long devotion – a well-deserved leap based on years of hard touring and hordes of great songs that I’ve gradually moved from the angular to the anthematic. Say Goodbye, Do You See What I See? and of course When the River Runs Dry all draw from both extremes, sound huge and draw a levered response as does Inside a Fireball even if Palmer’s guitar is a bit rockist for my liking.
I guess it’s that musical muscularity which makes them such a hot live act although sometimes it does obscure a lyrical vulnerability that is equally impressive. It’s not obscured on the always beautiful Through Your Arms Around Me though – a song everyone has finally taken to their hearts, even if it had to be rereleased 26 times before they cottoned on. The main thing is they did. Mick Thomas says it should be the national anthem. Dunno about that but it had couples snogging either side of me so it still cooks for sure.
Hunters & Collectors rip it up during the encore with a killer 42 Wheels complete with those truck samples and the magnificent Slab which Mike Seymour is only too proud to acknowledge as a masturbation song. Eat your heart out Chrissy Amphlett – these blokes have never been scared to admit where they’re coming whether coming from and to make a big soulful noise while they do it. All this the day after the City to Surf. Yeah.
Thank you to Gary for typing this article for us all to enjoy!