LIVE REVIEW – YOU AM I with Adalita
The Gov -Thursday 03 October 2019
Words Geoff Jenke
Hot off a European tour, You Am I set straight off on a 21 date Australian Tour. You Am I have a new record to promote, not a new release, but rather the 180-gram vinyl of their 2006, seventh album, Convicts. While the rest of Australia has Jebediah as support, Adelaide got Adalita. Not sure why and as much as I love Jebediah, I also like Adalita a lot, so let’s treat it as Adelaide got something special. And Adelaide turned out in force to see the show with The Gov almost packed to the limit.
Adalita played solo, just her and an electric guitar. Kicking off with I Want Your Love from her solo album All Day Venus, her voice sounded wonderful and her guitar playing impeccable. Perfection from her debut album followed with My Ego straight after. Playing venues like the Gov though can be a problem for soloist’s with people talking over the performance and last night was no exception. As good as a performance can be, it can detract having to try and avoid these people who would rather talk than watch a classic act on stage. What probably didn’t help was the gap between songs with change of guitar meaning more tuning or setting up a backing track meant a lack of cohesion. Adalita told us she had a new album coming (great news) and treated us to two new songs, Equationand Private Feelings, both sounding great. She was firing on all six (strings) for the Trust is Rust final. Let’s hope she is back soon with a full band behind her.
You Am I hit the stage with a “Lets get to work” from front man Tim Rogers before launching into The Sweet Lifefrom afore mentioned Convicts album. They followed it up with Thuggery and By My Own Hand also from Convicts. Then a surprise with Gasoline for 2 from the 1996 movie soundtrack Idiot Box. The sound was perfect, in fact probably the best sound I have heard in a long time. They didn’t try to blow everyone’s eardrums away, while remaining clear and loud.
“Here’s a song for lactose intolerant people” announced Tim when going into Mr Milk. Then a run of 7 more tracks from Convicts, many of which have not been heard live for along time. Gunslingers stood out as did the ode to Adalita, Constance George with its “She’s got Soul” chorus.
Someone yelled out “You’re a rock star Tim” to which he replied, “Yes I am rock star, I’m too ugly to be a model” to cheers from the crowd. The band drank wine, Tim from a glass and the rest of the band straight from the bottle. The audience drank beer, lots of beer. We needed and got the rock star, not the model.
Then the run home with tracks mostly from Hi Fi Way and #4 albums. This got the crowd fired up even more. Top o The Morn sounded alive and fresh with Tim telling us one-time Oasis member Andy Bell telling him the song sounds like a Wilco song. Tim then told us he can’t sing like Jeff Tweedy, however it was still one of the highlights of the set. Even a stupid stage invader couldn’t stop the band from reaching new heights on Jewels and Bullets, Davey Lane firing off superb guitar licks to bring the song to a close.
Special mention should be made to the engine behind Tim and Davey in Rusty Hopkinson on drums “Come on Rusty, Let’s give them a dance song” and on bass Andy Kent, as solid as a rock. Tim may get the majority of attention but this is a full band effort.
Naturally Purple Sneakers and Cathy’s Clown bought the set to an end along with “The most beautiful song I have ever written” according to Tim, The Piano Up The Tree. And he may be right.
Tim then solemnly told us they had just received news of the passing of Kim Shattuck of American band The Muffs and who had supplied backing vocals on #4 album. They were not going to go off for some wines then come back out, but rather they then sang Heavy Heart, dedicated to Kim. A moving moment which bought Tim Rogers almost to tears. It wasn’t a perfect version (it wasn’t on the set list) but it was a perfect moment.
Rumble, on which Kim had sang followed and Berlin Chair bought the house down to finish the night. With feedback screaming from Davey’s guitar, the band bowed and Tim said goodnight.
Tim said during the night, “We don’t always play in tune” and maybe it wasn’t always perfect, but damn it was a good night.
Trivia – Tim Rogers was raised in Adelaide claims he got his first kiss at Sturt game.