Walking into the Palais Theatre in St Kilda on a Thursday evening the pre show crowd – an equal mix of male and female patrons – were in a happy and excited mood in anticipation of what the evening held.
The night commenced with Brian Nankervis revving the already excited audience up with some call and response.
Next came the selection of the audience panel members. There are a series of elimination questions to select a panel of four players, two on each team. It seems that at least every second person is a music trivia expert – until the reality of actually being on stage hits. Each team is then augmented by a mystery guest.
After a 20 minute intermission the show got down to business, introducing Julia Zemiro to take on the host’s role. Thus leaving Brian to take a step back as adjudicator, whilst still contributing to the front line.
On this occasion the mystery guests were Olympia who sang a version of The Flowers (Icehouse) song We Can Get Together followed by Brian Cadd singing his classic tune Ginger Man. They were ably backed by The RocKwiz Orchestra (James Black – keys/guitar, Ash Naylor – guitar, Mark Ferrie – bass, Peter “Lucky” Luscombe – drums, with Vika & Linda Bull on backing vocals). A later mystery guest was Davey Lane (You Am I) who sang the classic Masters Apprentice song Because I Love You complete with 12 string guitar.
The highlight of the night was a “not so surprise” performance by legendary Australian Hall Of Fame band Skyhooks. Skyhooks’ original vocalist, Graeme ‘Shirley’ Strachan was killed in a helicopter accident in 2001. Vocal duties were taken care of by the producer of the band’s first three albums, Ross Wilson, coming in at late notice after the original guest singer had a throat infection.
The first song they played was Horror Movie (the band’s first hit record). Followed by Balwyn Calling also from the band’s debut album Living in the 70s. The crowd absolutely loved them and made them play another song which ended up being a crowd sing along favorite All my Friends are Getting Married from the band’s second album Ego is Not a Dirty Word. Bass player/songwriter Greg Macainsh looked very satisfied watching the crowd sing along to every word that he had written all those years ago.
A somewhat tired but very content crowd, who were up way past their bed time, ventured out into the night and back to being lounge room experts in front of their TV.