Mark Seymour & The Undertow @ The Gov

A positive review of Mark Seymour performing at The Gov in Adelaide.

Author:  Darren M. Leach,

Date: 29 July 2017.

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Mark Seymour is a man who’s never been into fanfare. He leisurely walked on stage for the first of two sets. Seymour was at the microphone before the sold-out crowd realised he was on stage. Joining him was The Undertow, the three musicians Seymour recruited for his first post-Hunters & Collectors album that was credited to a band, Undertow (2011).

Seymour and co are touring — well he’s never stopped touring: Hunters & Collectors were constantly on the road — off the back of their new double album, Roll Back The Stone 1985-2016, which features a mix of reimagined tracks from his solo, The Undertow and Hunters & Collectors material.

No time for a hello, the four-piece got straight into the set with a couple of Undertow tracks before addressing the talkative crowd. Talkative meaning they would not shut up throughout the whole show, which was frustrating for the people who wanted to listen to this icon sing and tell a story.

It didn’t take long for one of Seymour’s best-known tracks to surface and Holy Grail coaxed a big cheer from the crowd. The special thing about this gig wasn’t just the music, Seymour told stories between each song. Even though Holy Grail is an accidental football anthem — Seymour performed he song as part of the 2013 AFL Grand Final’s pre-match entertainment — according to Seymour, the song is about Middle Eastern politics. (They later performed Football Train, which was an intentional footy song.)

Seymour — looking fit and healthy these days — still opts for that chiselled, military-style haircut. He was in good spirits and very chatty, even when someone yelled something out indiscriminately.

Seymour pulled out Master Of Spin, an old solo track from his Westgate album (2007), then went straight into Sylvia’s In Black from Undertow. Two classic Hunters & Collectors tracks followed — Say Goodbye and Everything’s On Fire; both in reimagined form as they appear on Seymour’s latest album. Seymour tells us Molly Meldrum wouldn’t play Everything’s On Fire’s music video back in 1986.

Seymour’s a man you want to listen to, he’s been part of the Australia music culture since Hunters & Collectors released their first album back in 1982. One of the highlights of the night was the iconic track Throw Your Arms Around Me, during which Seymour had a huge grin on his face as the crowd took backing vocals.

Seymour is welcome to come back to Adelaide any time.