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Anchor 16

The Screaming Jets

Atomic 47 25th Anniversary Tour @ the Bridge Hotel,Rozelle

C’monLet me show you how to do it” screams Dave Gleeson, 3rd song into the set and show us he does!

Celebrating 25 years together, the Screaming Jets turned up the volume at the Bridge Hotel with a blistering set that had the full house in raptures. As you would expect, the set list had many familiar songs with C’mon, Eve of Destruction, Needle and October Grey delivered at fever pitch, but a good intermingling of slower tunes including Helping Hand, Shine On and Sad Song balanced the set nicely.

But tonight it’s all about being Australian. As we enter the Aussie Day weekend, it is a fitting choice that tonight’s show is the Screaming Jets. There is no finer ambassador to Australia than Dave Gleeson and a more passionate man about this very subject you will not find. I get the sense that Dave Gleeson is very aggravated and agitated by the erosion of Aussie pride and patriotism in this day and age of political correctness and uncertainty. To question one’s self belief in our country is just not done. Being an Australian, you wear this badge with honour. This topic of inter-song banter is repeated throughout the night.

Dave is super proud to be an Australian and his call to arms to “Have the southern cross tattooed on your face” is met with adoring cheers from the parochial charged up crowd. In between rounds of Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, he also adds “I soon worked out that I’m not a fighter so I decided to be a funny **** instead.” and funny he is.

As a front man you need something special, that pizazz that differentiates you from everyone else. Dave has a larrikin way about him that instantly draws you to him, a fixing spell that captivates and his mannerisms and facial expressions just make you smile and feel good. I get the feeling that Dave Gleeson could have been a comedian if he wasn’t such a damn fine singer.

Alongside Dave Gleeson, Paul Woseen has also been with The Screaming Jets from the beginning and is one of Australia’s leading songwriters. They share a chemistry that has been forged over the 25 years and have a great stage presence together, often singing

in close proximity. Mickl Sayers (drums), Scott Kingman and Jimi Hocking (guitars) don’t simply make up the rest of the band, they keep it together nice and tight, have terrific synergy and deliver a powerhouse rock’n roll show.

The show opens up with the 1st two tracks, Dream on and Tunnel from their 1992 album Tear of Thought, before the Jets propel themselves into C’mon, which revs up the crowd and gets their engines started. The frenetic start to the show then makes way for Shine on, Do Ya and Helping Hand before Eve of Destruction really fires up the crowd.

A few more songs from the bands 1997 album World Gone Crazy set the mood for the rest of the night with Silence Lost and October Grey being well received. Clive Palmer gets a special mention before FRC and again some humorous banter from Dave Gleeson puts another smile on my face.

Other songs to appear on the set list are Disappear, Shivers, Sad song and Living in England before the penultimate song before the encore, Needle and Better round out a well thought out 25 year hit list which is testament to the band that radio has made so many of these songs familiar.

The encore song “Smack in the Mouth” is an absolute ball-tearer which rocks at 100 miles an hour and drains the last bit of juice that anybody has left in the tank before Paul Woseen returns to the stage to sing a solo song to round off a great night’s entertainment. There is only one speed at a Jets concert and the green light has been on in excess of 2 hours.

It’s been a real privilege to watch and listen to real Aussie Rock. Newcastle’s favorite sons have done themselves proud playing with fervor and passion.

Now for the next 25 years.

Adrian Alders

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