Mark Seymour @ The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide, (07/07/2007)
Apparently continuing a tour long trend, Mark Seymour and his band were greeted by a wet wintry chill when they arrived at The Gov in Adelaide. But the big room was kept more than warm enough and, touring to support his latest release Westgate, Seymour and his group added their own fire with a blistering three-piece performance.
As the front man for much loved Australian rockers Hunters & Collectors, Mark Seymour has a legacy and back catalogue that could easily drag him into the realm of the hackneyed ‘oldies’ show. Yet while the anthems of his past continue to take pride of place, from the outset it was obvious that Seymour is still striving to produce and promote compelling original music.
The drummer less trio kicked off the night by ripping into new album track 18 Again with just two acoustic guitars, an electric bass and Mark Seymour’s instantly recognisable vocals. This was quickly followed by another newie, The Year of the Dog, before the faithful were rewarded with a solid acoustic interpretation of Hunters & Collectors classic Do You See What I See?
Another standout Westgate track from the first half of the set was Master of Spin. Introduced with a few political remarks, the song has echoes of Dylan at his most acidly astute and confirms that Seymour is a songwriter who continues to have something relevant to say.
Seymour closed the first half of the set by bravely baiting any Port Adelaide Football Club supporters in attendance with a reminder that his team, the Western Bulldogs, had prevailed in their encounter earlier in the day. This naturally led to a much appreciated blast through crowd favourite, Holy Grail.
Returning from the intermission with new album track Jerusalem, the band gained momentum in the second half. With a fine balance of new and old solo material interspersed with the expected ‘Hunnas’ tracks, the group managed to get a reasonable percentage of the wall-to-wall crowd out onto the dance floor, or at least tapping their feet and nodding along.
Despite breaking a string earlier in the evening, and though restricted to the limitations of an amplified acoustic guitar, guitarist Cameron McKenzie pulled off some absolutely blistering fretwork. McKenzie ripped out several spectacular solos including some searing work on Last Ditch Cabaret.
The second half of the set closed the only way it could, with an all-in sing-along to the classic Throw Yours Arms Around Me. With the crowd demanding more, Seymour returned to the stage alone. Having already knocked out an impressive vocal performance, he closed the show with a spectacular rendition of The Parting Glass.
Straight after the show the more faithful members of the audience were rewarded with an album signing and, if Saturday’s performance was anything to go by, an album worth owning.