Roger Hodgson – Thebarton Theatre Wednesday 6 February 2019
Words Geoff Jenke
When Roger Hodgson announced this Australian tour, Adelaide was not included on the tour dates so full credit to Space Events for getting him to Adelaide. It was originally booked for Botanic Park but for some reason changed to the wonderful Thebarton Theatre. I think the theatre setting for this show was better suited for this artist.
It was Roger Hodgson’s last night in Australia and he was happy to have it in Adelaide. “A wonderful city” he told us several times. With no support band, Roger and his band came on just after 8 pm and for the next two and a quarter hours, gave the people what they wanted.
Roger, dressed splendidly in a white suit and white shoes, started the evening with the Supertramp songs Take the Long Way Home, School and Breakfast in America. He told us he wrote Breakfast in America in just an hour when he was only 19. He joked about the banal lyric “Not much of a girlfriend” saying he did get better at song writing and was still looking for a girlfriend back then.
Roger was genuinely humble about his songs. He told us he wrote them for himself not expecting them to get heard by other people and didn’t expect them to find their way to Australia.
It wasn’t all Supertramp songs, as Roger wheeled out a selection of his solo songs during the evening. As Lovers in the Wind from his sadly, overlooked solo album In the Eye of the Storm, started people making their way to the bars during “the song they didn’t know”. They missed one of the best songs of the evening.
Easy Does it and Sister Moonshine from the Supertramp album Crisis. What Crisis? were played before the highlight of the evening, Hide in Your Shell from the Crime of the Century album. His band were excellent and a special mention to multi-instrumentalist Aaron Macdonald who obviously could play anything, sax, clarinet, keyboards, whistle, harmonica just to name a few.
The Logical Song gained the loudest applause for the evening and following that he dedicated Death and a Zoo to a couple of fans he had met earlier. He also asked how many people had his last solo album, 2000’s Open the Door. A few hands went up, Roger smiled and said “good 4 people. I hope you liked it”.
An unrecorded song, The Awakening, was dedicated to Phil from Space Events who managed to get Roger to Adelaide for this tour. (Once again, thanks Phil). Dreamer and Fools Overture rounded out the set before an encore that never really happened. Roger said “we know how it works, we go off stage, you want us back and we want to play more songs – why don’t we just play more songs”. So, they did. Give a Little Bit had the audience on its feet and singing along as did It’s Raining Again, which closed the night.
One lady kept singing out for Rudy between every song, but they didn’t play it, probably because the “other” guy in Supertramp, Rick Davies wrote it. It is also why we didn’t get my two favourite Supertramp songs Asylum and Crime of the Century, but I forgive Roger.
The set up was simple, with just five guys on stage giving their all. It was just drums, bass, keyboard, multi-instrumentalist, Aaron, and Roger constantly changing from keyboards to electric and acoustic guitars and piano. The lights worked a treat and the sound was amazing, with the whole show enthralling and enticing. It’s just a pity Supertramp cannot get back together again as Rick Davies is not well. They would be playing the Entertainment Centre, not Thebarton.
I bought Supertramp’s Crime of the Century L.P on recommendation of New Musical Express magazine way back in 1974 before they were even known in Australia. N.M.E compared it to Pink Floyd so I had to have it. It has remained one of my favourite albums of all time (and best heard on vinyl). I was fortunate enough to see Supertramp play the Apollo Stadium in June 1976 and it was a magnificent show as was this one. (Yes, I am that old.)
Let’s hope Roger Hodgson is back soo.