Pure Gold Live, 36 songs, 12 acts + special guest
Hordern Pavilion Saturday 31st October 2015
Jonesy (DJ – WSFM) wearing a dress on centre stage probably wasn’t the start of the show that most of us were expecting, but it was Halloween after all. A chance for Brendan to feel the chiffon against his skin and get excited about introducing many acts that we grew up with and loved was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Touted as “Pure Gold Live” the concert consisted of 12 acts, each playing a couple of songs and encompassing the most famous of songs to get the crowd involved. Audience participation is optimal when the songs are inscribed in your DNA. Not every artist seemed too pleased to be playing what was expected. Brian Canham (Psuedo Echo) commented “You know we have new songs as well” to which there was a stony silence from the audience.
Surprisingly as I look around there are a few empty seats in the seating areas on the sides but the patronage for tonight is strong and everyone seems primed for a good old sing along. Some of these tunes haven’t been dusted off my turntable for a couple of decades but that is what makes this evening so endearing.
Sharon O’Neill is the 1st act to the stage and a chance to see her perform again is the main reason that I have attended tonight. Sharon’s songs were radio staples for me growing up in NZ in the 80’s. She was probably the most popular female artist in New Zealand that I can remember, and with the house band she treats us to “Losing You” and “Maxine”. The crowd participation is particularly strong as everyone remembers this song and the only regret I have is that Sharon only gets an allocation of 2 songs. Still, I’m happy that she is performing tonight and hopefully Sharon may perform a full headlining show one day in Sydney.
This is clearly a night of nostalgia and with 11 other acts to follow, tonight will only give you a taste and hopefully an appetite to seek out further shows. Badloves are next and perform 3 songs including the first song that was a hit for them “Lost”.
The turnaround time between acts is terrific with Jonesy and Amanda from WSFM introducing each act, with the obligatory “how good was that” commentary and banter between the two of them providing enough time for the next act to set themselves up.
Wa Wa Nee take to the stage next which brings a horde of dancing ladies to the front of the stage. They are singing every word of the 3 songs performed and security seems to struggle with the weight of numbers that have gotten out of their seats and strutted to the stage to dance, for they are having such a great time. And this is only act 3!
Next, Mark Gable is joined by James Morley (ex Angels) and an original bass player with AC/DC, to belt out a great version of “If you want blood” complete with a young 12 year old performing on the drum kit. An outstanding performance, and “Run to Paradise” is equally well received. During this set, Mark Gable takes time to pause and reflect and acknowledge the work and admiration that he had for Shane Cooper. Shane was tragically killed in a motor accident recently and leaves behind a wife and 2 young children. There is to be a benefit concert at the Enmore Theatre on Monday 23rd November to help raise funds for both Shane’s family and Mick Shelton who was also injured in this crash.
John Paul Young gets the crowd singing along to “Love is in the air” and Mark Williams continues the feel good vibe when Dragon perform “April Sun in Cuba” and “Are you old enough”. Mark Williams gets to perform his solo song “Show no mercy” a little later in the show as well.
Deborah Conway is a fine singer and her hit “It’s only the beginning” is delivered to perfection with accompaniment on her acoustic guitar. For those that can remember the 80’s band Do-Re-Mi, it is a chance to hear her “Man Overboard” song once again. She looks very stylish in a silver dress and sounds great also. Her request to join everyone as facebook friends just might have her inbox full on Monday morning after this performance.
Steve Kilbey (ex The Church) also gets to perform 3 songs and his version of “Under the Milky Way” is my favorite of his songs performed tonight. Many in the crowd sing along as these songs are so familiar.
1927 also get the crowd singing along and a very polished performance by them impresses me no end. “If I could” is such a beautiful song and I wasn’t sure how that would transform live, but 1927 do not disappoint and their live rendition is the definite crowd favourite of the night so far.
James Morley is invited back to the stage to perform with Rose Tattoo and the enthusiasm and joy expressed by James is the highlight of the night for me. James is having a ball and that is what playing live should be all about. Angry Anderson has done well to even play tonight, having had a motor bike accident in the morning, and Jonesy does not let that go unnoticed. Testament to the man to honor his commitment and battle through despite his pain. Remarkable courage and conviction. “We can’t be beaten” is dedicated to the Wallabies for tonight’s Rugby World Cup Final and the Hordern Pavilion is pumping.
Psuedo Echo follow Rose Tattoo which was always going to be difficult but they apply themselves well.
Ross Wilson gets a mighty roar as he takes to the stage to perform “Come said the boy” and “Eagle Rock”. The mystery guest also appears during Ross Wilson’s set to which Ross says “I know who the mystery guest is. I used to be married to her”. Pat Wilson of “Bop Girl” fame then delivers a fun bouncy version of this song together with Ross Wilson.
The encore is a celebration with all the musicians returning to the stage. With the recent passing of Shane Cooper, this theme is continued with a special tribute to Doc Neeson, and a version of the Angels “Am I ever gonna see your face again” is the perfect way to see out the night.
Based on tonight’s show – I think you will.
see more photos here