You Am I play Spinal Tap – Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Cabaret Sunday 10 June 2018.
Words Geoff Jenke
Spinal Tap was of course a rock N roll Mockumentary spoofing heavy metal bands. However, maybe they got it wrong by getting it so right. The songs were well crafted constructed tunes and the album (and film) was so successful it led to a second and third album of songs and even concert tours. Real life rock stars queued to play on songs, including Slash, Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck and more.
If you are going to pick an Australian band to cover Spinal Tap songs, none could be better than You Am I. With the wonderful Tim Rogers out front wearing crushed purple pants, Davey Lane, wearing a leopard skin print singlet on guitar, Andy Kent with his sleeveless You Am I singlet on bass, Rusty Hopkinson on drums wearing what looked like a Fred Flintstone style shirt, they certainly looked the part. As the night went on they also certainly sounded the part.
As the smoke machines kicked into gear, the band launched into Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight, loud and proud. When the song ended the lights went down and the band left the stage, leaving a message on the video screen advising us “Due to costs, Management have decided to shorten the set”.
The band came back and into Majesty of Rock from their second album and Warmer Than Hell from 2007, but the rest of the night belonged to the original This Is Spinal Tap album. America was rolled out with Davey Lane on vocals and American images shown on the video screen, including, naturally, a few of Trump.
You Am I didn’t forget Spinal Tap’s past either. The first song according to the movie, written by Tap’s David St. Hubbins and Nigel Tuffnel in 1963, All the Way Home was played. Gimme Some Money sounded like early 60’s Stones or Animals. Rainy Day Sun, inspired by the Small Faces Itchycoo Park and the psychedelic Listen to the Flower People sounded wonderful, all nailing the 60’s sound to perfection.
But Spinal Tap was all about heavy metal and Rock N Roll Nightmare followed, Davey looking every bit the guitar hero along with Tim’s “every heavy rock pose ever”. Rock n Roll Creation bought out a star from another show wearing, well not much at all, and waving two sparklers around.
Classic Spinal Tap tunes, Sex Farm, Big Bottom and with Davey on mandolin, Stonehenge, during which a miniature Stonehenge was lowed from the ceiling, closed out the evening before the band played a tune that they “had written in the dressing room this morning”. It was just free form jazz noodling that ended up with drummer Rusty exploding.
During the eulogy to Rusty, read by Tim over a slow Davey Lane solo, Rusty returns, not dead but badly “wounded”. He managed to play the last two songs Hell Hole and a reprise of Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight. Yes, this is Spinal Tap, they can replay the song they opened with.
You Am I ooze Rock n Roll, look Rock n Roll, sound Rock n Roll and are Rock n Roll and tonight they for 90 minutes they were also Spinal Tap.
Our rating system for concerts allows us to go to 10. However, this is Spinal Tap and naturally nothing less than a 11 will do. (and it was worth the 11).