LIVE REVIEW – Boom Crash Opera
Friday 01 November 2019
Words Geoff Jenke
It has been 30 years since the release of the 1989 album These Here are Crazy Times, and Boom Crash Opera welcome back original singer Dale Ryder to the microphone to celebrate this milestone.
They bought Machinations with them to help celebrate this milestone. Machinations music is fully entrenched in the 80’s and with the 80’s being the “in thing” at the moment, this works favourably for them. Danceable and cerebral, they embraced swirling synthesisers with booming bass guitar. They released 3 albums during the 1980’s and this evening we had tracks from all 3 albums. They went back to one of their earliest single releases, Average Inadequacy and even played the B-side Machinations of Dance. For me, 1985’s Man Overboard was the pick of the songs with its slower beat and groove. The final run of songs of Do to You, My Hearts on Fire and Pressure Sway, had the audience dancing, perhaps not wildly, but still moving to the beat. A quick encore of No Say in It finished the set.
Dale Ryder is certainly the ultimate front man. He doesn’t take himself seriously on stage, making jokes, comments about “that other singer” the band had for a while and all the time nailing the vocals of the songs. Tonight, it was all about the album These Here are Crazy Times and they played nearly the whole album live, plus “a few others” according to Dale.
Dale walked on stage first, armed with an acoustic guitar and strummed a few chords, singing a few lines as the band strolled on and slowly joined in on the song Get Out of the House. Piece of the Pie came next, ending with a bit of the Noiseworks song, No Lies. Keeping in the These Here are Crazy Times mode, they launched into Ended Up Where It Started and the “we haven’t played this for 30 years, oh unless that other singer did it” Talk About It.
The first song not on THACT album was Bettadaze from 1993. It started as a slow jam, building into the song proper, then jamming again in the middle with guitarist Peter Farnan getting into the crowd. Peter followed this by singing Forever by himself, with just an acoustic guitar.
Where’s There a Will came next with Dale telling the audience after, “Thank you for coming, goodnight…. Oh, wait there’s more” and started playing the only other non THACT song in the remainder of the main set, Great Wall from 1989 self-titled album, which started the build to the finish with Best Thing and Onion Skin.
The encore commenced with a “the final track off These Here Are Crazy Times, can anyone name it?”, and few committed fans down the sang out Superhereos. Hands Up (in the air) rounded out the set with naturally, a lot of arms in the air.
This was a powerfully catchy set and considering they didn’t even play Her Charity, City Flat and Gimmie Gimmieamongst others, they still pulled off an infectious magical evening.
Now if only one day they would play my favourite BCO song ever… Soundtrack……