Hunters and Collectors, Separate Tables

Live review of a 1984 gig at The Club in Melbourne.

Author: Ian McFarlane, Juke Magazine.

Date: 14 July 1984 (gig: 23 June 1984).

Original URL: N/A


Article Text

With the imminent release of a new album called The Jaws Of Life, Hunters & Collectors played a few gigs in Melbourne recently. Having spent a great deal of the past two years overseas, the band were in danger of fading from memory and losing their audience.

But as a full house at The Club showed, with punters squeezed in tighter than sardines in a can, this was not the case. Hunters & Collectors played a lively gig and delivered an impeccable set that focussed on newer material.

Live the band were passionate and intense. All the elements were there: Mark Seymour’s angst and powerful guitar sound, Doug Falconers pounding drums, John Archers rhythmic bass patterns and the songs’ emotive structures and absurdist lyrics.

They have lost percussionist Greg Perano, who was responsible for much of the band’s idiosyncratic feel early in their history, and second guitarist Martin Lubran, but a new vitality was evident. The music has undergone a metamorphosis with the new songs generally shorter and more melodic.

Geoff Crosby’s keyboards are now filling a stronger role in the overall sound. The band’s hypnotic power remained intact though, as did all important plaintive tones of the Horns of Contempt.

For those punters who came expecting to hear ‘Talking To A Stranger’, ‘Lumps Of Lead’ or ‘Judas Sheep’, they were in for a surprise. The band did not disappoint, however, because new songs such as ‘The Unbeliever’, ‘Way To Go Out’ and ‘I Couldn’t Give It To You’ with its grinding riff and pulverising drums were excellent.

The most melodic and captivating song of the night was “It’s Early Days Yet”, which featured fine slide guitar from Seymour. “Betty’s Worry” ended the set on a sombre note, but after much encouragement from the crowd, the band re-emerged to do a short encore. It was a fitting end to a strong gig.

The Jaws Of Life is promising to be a stunning album if the newer material Hunters & Collectors presented live is any indication. After the relative failure of last year of The Fireman’s Curse album. The band have reached a turning point in their career and the path they are presently taking will prove to be highly productive.

Hunters & Collectors are eclectic, intense and uncompromising, but above all, they rarely fail to give a satisfying performance.

Support band, Separate Tables, were a complete contrast to the power of Hunters & Collectors. A lightweight synthesizer pop band, they were in danger of going down like a lead balloon in front of a crowd specifically there to see the main band.

However, their bright and engaging renditions of pop classics proved popular with the punters. The three guys in the band alternated between synthesizers, guitar, bass and sax with relative ease and proficiency. Out front, two ladies sang with conviction and confidence. A drum machine provided a steady beat.

Their renditions of Walk on By, Airport and Only Women Bleed were strong while an impressive reading of Bowie’s Cat People, Putting out Fire, was the stand out song. They slipped in a few originals that were rather clumsy and disposable but it was the ability to interpret covers that was Separate Tables forte.

Shaper live presentation will tighten their set, because between songs they tended to stand around looking lost. Nonetheless, Separate Tables were easy listening and a likeable band.



Thankyou to Stephen for typing out this article for us all to enjoy!