Newtown Social Club, Saturday 11th July 2015
After Seeing “James Reyne plays Australian Crawl” five times during the last year, I was thrilled to hear that James, and the musicians who had played with him on stage for the entire tour, were going to form as a permanent band, to write and record new music! They are now officially known as “James Reyne and the Magnificent Few”. And magnificent they are!
The band consists of James on lead vocals, guitar and keyboards, Phil Ceberano on guitar and vocals, Brett Kingman on guitar and vocals, Andy McIvor on bass, and John Watson on drums.
To fund the recording and production of the new EP, James used Pledgemusic.com to raise the money needed for this project to come to fruition. The list of items fans could purchase online was amazing. From as little as $15 you could purchase a download of the EP, through to items such as acoustic guitars, a guitar lesson from Brett Kingman, even the large banner used as the stage backdrop at all the “plays Australian Crawl” gigs. The list was long, a dream for any James Reyne fan wanting some memorabilia. Myself, I bought a number of things, including the bands two new t-shirts, the new EP on CD, a ticket to the EP launch at the Newtown Social Club, and, the item I am most looking forward to receiving, one of the 6 bass drums skins used on John Watson’s kit during the tour, signed by John and the rest of the band. A part of the pledge was also to help the Leukaemia Foundation, by donating 20% of the monies raised after the goal was reached. Needless to say, James and the band reached their goal and the EP is a reality.
Now, 11th of July has arrived. The day Sydney fans have been counting down to in anticipation, the launch of the new EP by James Reyne and the Magnificent Few!!
On entering the Newtown Social Club there was a palpable atmosphere of excitement. At 10pm James and the band walked onto the stage to cheers and applause from the packed house of fans. The night started with ‘Five Miles Closer To The Sun’ from the “Hard Reyne” album released in 1989. The playlist consisted of songs from the new EP peppered amongst songs from James’ catalogue of solo albums, including ‘English Girls’ and ‘Mitterand’s Last Meal’ from the album “Thirteen”, ‘Slave’ and ‘Water Water’ from “Electric Digger Dandy” , to ‘Little Man You’ve Had a Busy Day’ and ‘Sammy and Doofus’ from the album “Every Man A King”.
The first song we heard from the new EP was ‘Suckerville’, which the crowd obviously enjoyed. Next was ‘I’d Still Be in Love with You’, and, as a duet, James welcomed to the stage Melinda Schneider to accompany him, again to rapturous applause. It was evident that James and the band were having a good time, as were the capacity crowd who felt privileged to be here on this special night. We got to hear 3 more new songs from the EP, ‘One Little Kiss’, ‘Can’t Help Myself’ and last but not least, the first single to be released ‘What a Pain in in the Arse it is…’. The fans gave the new songs, in gymnastic terms, a “perfect 10”!
The night wasn’t over yet though, the songs kept on coming, with ‘The Rainbows Dead End’ from the “Speedboats for Breakfast” album, followed by ‘Oh No not You Again’ from the CD “Crawl Files”. As the band left the stage to thunderous applause, it was obvious that the fans wanted more, and James and the band didn’t disappoint. They came back on stage to thank the audience and end the night with ‘Outback Woman’.
If tonight was anything to go by, James Reyne and The Magnificent Few have a successful future ahead of them! It’s up to us, the fans, to spread the word about this new and exciting band. “James Reyne and The Magnificent Few” is the word…….. SPREAD THE WORD!!!!!!!
see more photos here