Watson’s Bay Hotel
14th November 2015
Nothing beats a Saturday arvo sitting in the beer garden of a pub, having a few drinks with friends, and listening to good live music. Today was no different at the Watsons Bay Hotel, where The Preatures took to the stage to perform a free live show, under a specially constructed marquee with the beautiful backdrop of Sydney Harbour, as part of the Corona Sunsets Music Festival.
This beer garden has one of the best views in Sydney, if not the world, and it was no surprise, even with the inclement weather, that the garden was packed and the atmosphere was buzzing with eager anticipation of the bands arrival. There has been a reasonable ground swell of support for The Preatures, particularly after they opened for The Rolling Stones 12 months ago, and recent headlining shows at the Sydney Opera House and The Metro have been well attended.
The band arrived on stage at 4pm to a rousing reception that they clearly appreciated before thanking the audience for coming and supporting them. After a few short glances between band members, they commenced the set with the ever popular “Somebody’s Talking” from the smash hit album Blue Planet Eyes. They followed this with the pulsing “Manic Baby” from the 5 track EP Is this how you Feel.
The next two songs, “Whatever you want” and “Rock and Roll Rave” got people to their feet as lead singer Izzy (Isabella Manfredi) encouraged the crowd to come closer to the stage. In a tribute to one of the biggest bands of the 1980’s, The Preatures covered The Motels huge hit "Total Control” , and I must add that having seen The Motels perform this song recently at the Basement, The Preatures did an excellent version of it.
“Two Tone Melody” came next. Another cruisy song that had the fans swaying from side to side. The next two up-tempo songs, “No Way" and “Zimmerjam”, are from an album that is yet to be released, and if these two songs are a reflection of what’s to come, the next album should be a great success.
Having performed the first few songs sitting down on a stool, it was time for a change so Izzy decided to kick her heels up, literally! She was on her back with feet raised high in the air kicking out in time with the beat of the music. When she got back on her feet she was thirsty, and in grabbing a quick drink from her water bottle, she looked down & spotted a bucket full of ice cold Coronas that hotel management had provided on stage for the band. With that she offered the fans down the front to come and take them. She didn’t need to ask twice!
The next two songs, “Ordinary” and “It gets better” were well known to the crowd and the dance floor was now packed with plenty of dancing fans. Izzy then made an ominous comment about the weather, she declared that she could feel in her waters that it was about to rain. Sure enough, halfway through the next song, “Cruel” , the heavens opened and those dark dark clouds let loose with heavy rain for the next 10 minutes. No-one seemed to mind, or even notice, and just kept dancing.
The next song, led by Gideon Benson on vocals, “Take a Card” , was the highlight of the show for me for he has such depth in his voice and I particularly like his tone. I don’t know why Gideon on vocals doesn’t feature more prominently on The Preatures records, as he brings a lot to the table and creates a bit of diversity in the show. Gideon is also an accomplished guitarist and watching him play the guitar with beautiful Sydney Harbour as the backdrop was just magic.
After singing his song, it was Gideon’s turn to hand out more free beers from another bucket, to the delight of the recipients at the front of stage. Thanks management, free music AND beer. Does it get any better than that?
The final song of the set, “Is this how you feel” , brought the show to a fitting climax as everybody was thoroughly soaked by now although this just added to the excitement of the afternoon’s proceedings.
I would like to give a special mention to Luke Davidson (drummer) who was very gracious with the time he afforded me before the show commenced, and I thoroughly enjoyed an engaging conversation about all things music with him.
Finally, just a quick mention that Gideon Benson has a solo show on 13th February 2016 at the Newtown Social Club where he will be showcasing his new solo EP. His new song “All time low” is a very funky/electro tune that is rather good. Looking forward to seeing what Gideon solo is all about.
Mick “Chippy” Bettler
see more photos here