Great idea, the April Sun gigs. Impressive venue incorporating quality food, awesome stage vision and most importantly class acts. Distant views of the docks in Melbourne were on show, framed by St Kilda’s famous palm trees, fairy lights providing solace on a chilly night.
Thursday night’s show started early which suited some. The Casanovas
played valiantly to a small but enthusiastic crowd. Their three–piece, guitar led band pumped out Hollywood Riot siphoning the souls of Boyce, Campbell and ‘Wolfie’, into the audience members. These boys have been doing this for a while and the synchronicity in which they play is noted. Their capabilities extend to slower, more rhythmic tunes including Lost and Lonely Dreams and The Devil in Me gave us an idea of what is to come.
Dallas Crane belted out songs old and new and proved an apt bridesmaid to You Am I as they were instrumental in helping Dallas Crane get off the ground back in the day. Dave Larkin, Pete Satchell, Chris Brodie and Steve Pinkerton reminded us of both their longevity and the appreciation for those who have supported them for 20 years. Larkin roamed the stage sucking up energy like a wild cat allowing us the privilege of songs dear to our Dirty Hearts. The combination of confidence assured when playing in a band that is soul stirring, and the excitement of normal type setting was up for grabs. The boys, happy on stage, the crowd soaking it up like it was 2006, the deliverance of Wrong Party, Get Off the Dope, Sold Me and Sit on My Knee; testing times allowing for appreciation in spades. They were awesome!
Magic Dirt entered the stage like it was made for them. If anyone was looking skyward thanking whatever deity for this opportunity for normality, Adalita mirrored this appreciation on stage. Kneeling and fluttering her hands to the heavens was a fitting tribute to a post-pandemic collective sigh of relief. We were back, mask free, tentative at times but ready for business. Was it good to be back? “Fuck yeah!” screamed Adalita as she, along with the band, provided a much needed gut wrenching chance to forget tough times past with White Boy, Pristine Christine and I Was Cruel. This reverie was interrupted with the homage to Dean Turner with Dirty Jeans, a reminder that grief is not only measured in lost gigs.
The final act was You Am I. Tim Rogers skulked on stage; a towering presence, as always, donning white embroidered flares like he was ready for the catwalk. Teasing us with old classics and newbies from The Lives of Others came with the instruction “Let’s dance.” Along with Rogers, Lane, Kent and Hopkinson demonstrated their comfort on stage but it was clear they were as excited as all of us to be there.
A fitting end to a great night. St Kilda venue, mostly local bands, Covid memories lingering but not taking over.
We are getting there. Normality has returned and nights like these are an antidote to a year of loss that has damaged an industry but not destroyed it completely.
May there be many more to come.