The Paladins– The Gov -Sunday 4 August 2019
Words Geoff Jenke
While USA rock/rockabilly outfit The Paladins have been to Australia before, this is the first time they have come to Adelaide. They formed way back in 1980 by guitarist Dave Gonzalez and double bass player Thomas Yearsley and have recorded nine studio albums and three live albums since. On a cold winter Sunday evening, the band soon warmed up the people who attended the show at The Gov.
Adelaide’s own Saucerman, have been playing their brand of rockabilly for over two decades now and had the rock n roll dancers up on the dance floor from the first note. They knew what to expect from the band and the band knew how to deliver. Songs like Fangs, Valley of the Rattling Bones, Good Friendand an unexpected version of Alvin Stardust’s My Coo Cha Choowere excellent. The highlight was The Ghost of Johnny Cash, borrowing heavily from the sound of Johnny Cash and even mentioning a few Johnny Cash song titles within the song. Saucerman had the crowd warmed up nicely for the main act.
The Paladins are a three-piece band with guitarist, double bass and drummer (same set up for Saucerman) with a sound like a freight train rattling through the building. They started with the instrumental Powershake which they said was just a warm up/soundcheck. After checking everything was alright with Dan the soundman (with the van) they launched into It’s Too Late Baby (I’m Gonna Have To Let You Go),and the dance floor filled quickly. Dave Gonzalez playing guitar at a breakneck speed with Thomas Yearsley pounding away on the double bass. Brian Fahey on drums had one of the most basic, simple drum setups I have ever seen, but he pounded his way through the songs all-night.
The band stepped up with Look What You’re Doing To Me,with a long smouldering smokin’ jam feel in the middle. This is where the band shone all evening, with the long instrumental breaks in songs. At times they sounded a bit like Creedence Clearwater Revival, not the hit singles Creedence, but rather the live Creedence long songs like Suzie Q. Wonderful stuff.
The band were not afraid of doing the occasional cover song with a ripping version of Otis Rush’s Keep on Lovin’ Me Babybeing played, followed by “one for the ladies”, Keep on the right Track. That one got the girls back on the dance floor.
The Paladins have a new album out, called New Worldand Dave told us the song Watermanwas about droughts “back home and people profiting from water, but you have them here too so this song applies to you as well”. The song New Worldcontemplates a vision of a world that is changing. “We usually write songs about cars and girls” said Dave “so this is a bit of a change”.
Playing their first single from 1987, Dave commented “It was released internationally and made us internationally unknown”.
Mercyclosed the set out, a fast runaway song that drifted into their slow burning blues in the middle, complete with a drum solo from Brian Fahey, which considering his small drum set up was pretty darn good.
Encore was another extended song, this time Let’er Roll,completing an excellent evening of white-hot rockabilly (and blues, rock, surf, country music thrown in as well).
It was also great to see younger people in the audience enjoying the show.