Gig Scene: Throwback Thursday: Steve Poltz

Steve Poltz is hitting our shores again this October.

Throwback Thursday to his previous gigs:

Live Review by Sharon Brookes / Photos by Mary Boukouvalas

Photo by Mary Boukouvalas
Photo by Mary Boukouvalas

Steve Poltz, Kate Walker

The Builder’s Arms Hotel

Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia

20.01.10

I felt as though I was becoming a Steve Poltz groupie. This was the third show I’d caught of his within a matter of months, but I knew that I could rely on seeing something unique. I’d seen Steve play with two seasoned performers before this show: Gregory Page and Bushwalla, and I wondered what kind of stamp Kate Walker would bring to this gig at the Builder’s Arms. Kate had somehow twisted Steve’s arm to include this show on the tour… Steve was flying back to L.A. the next day. Despite being under the weather with a cold that almost rendered him voiceless, Steve gave his usual professional performance.

Kate Walker opened the show with a series of original folk songs and one or two jazz standards. It was good to see her try out her material on the punters and graciously accept feedback about lyrics and impact. To my mind, some of her songs needed more of a hook, but I’m certain those who are truly into this style of music would tell me to stop being so mainstream. The punters present on the night enjoyed her set and the way she interacted with the room.

Photo by Mary Boukouvalas
Photo by Mary Boukouvalas
Photo by Mary Boukouvalas
Photo by Mary Boukouvalas

Steve Poltz seems to spend half his year in Australia these days and that gives us plenty of opportunity to catch his very original shows and quirky songs. Probably best known for being in the indie rock band The Rugburns, and writing a hit song with Jewel called ‘You Were Meant For Me’, he is taking life less stressfully these days. He certainly works hard but his life of 300 days a year touring in a bus with The Rugburns is truly behind him. His songs are described as a blend of punk, pop, rock and folk, so you can imagine with that blend there is something for everyone to enjoy. Many of the bizarre experiences in his life have become songs, and on tours musicians supporting him have challenged him to write songs based on random words (like ‘butter’ and ‘jacket’ or ‘sewing machine’), so his lyrics are most often very clever and unexpected. Some of his set on this night was pre-planned, but it was when he asked for requests that he reeled the punters in with his chat, anecdotes and jokes. Steve performed his favourite song ‘Everything About You’, which is on the soundtrack to the movie ‘Nottinghill’, and a number of our favourites like ‘Dick’s Automotive’ and ‘Handjob On A Church Bus’. (Is there a theme here?)

Photo by Mary Boukouvalas
Photo by Mary Boukouvalas

He got through a very long set after popping a couple of Butter Menthol to help his sandpaper throat, invited us to his 50th birthday party in San Diego in February, and promised to be back in Australia by the middle of the year provided that Milan from extreme touring coughed up the ‘bikkies’ for another tour (c’mon Milan!). I’m positive that Steve will be back to promote the album that he recorded this very month in Perth with Sleepy Jackson`s Malcolm Clark and Sneaky Sound System`s Shaun Sibbes.

Photo by Mary Boukouvalas
Photo by Mary Boukouvalas

We left that night wondering three things: How could a guy who is nearly 50 look and act like a 30 year old? How can we possibly get off work and fund a trip to San Diego by mid February? And what debauched and quirky things will Steve Poltz be singing about next time?

Photo by Mary Boukouvalas
Photo by Mary Boukouvalas

Here’s a Q&A we did with Poltz earlier this year.

For more Australian tour information, click here.

About Steve Poltz:

With standing ovations and ‘Artist Of The Festival’ for 2015 Port Fairy Folk Festival we are so pleased to have brilliant STEVE POLTZ drive the Caravan Stage for two big sets in October. Steve’s shows were total sell outs when he toured Melbourne earlier this year, so if you want tix, you’ll need to be quick!

About Steve Poltz:

– He co-wrote Jewel’s hit “You Were Meant For Me” and yes, he’s the ‘that’ guy in the video clip!

– He ‘Trick or Treated’ at Liborace’s place as a child

– He met Elvis Presley where Elvis hugged Steve’s sister for a just little too long

– He’s the most unbelieveable story teller you will get to see.  He will have you crying and laughing all in the same breath.

About Mary Boukouvalas 1016 Articles
Mary is a music photographer and reviewer.

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