QPAC, Brisbane, 2 Sept 2004

(Quick note: no, I haven’t turned into the kind of crazed Deborah
fan who follows her round the country. At least, not intentionally.
Not long after my last post about the Katoomba gig, I suddenly had
to organise a trip to Brisbane for work on very short notice. It was
only after I’d booked the plane tickets and sorted the hotel that I
thought “hmmm, wonder who’s playing in Brisbane Thursday night?”
Since I was going to be in town anyway . . .)
QPAC is quite a different venue to the previous ones — it’s
a ‘proper’ theatre, rather than a restaurant/bar arrangement, which
means no-one is drinking for one thing — but it still has a really
nice vibe. The place wasn’t packed for Thursday night’s gig (which
had a ‘first in, best-dressed’ seating arrangement), but I imagine
it’ll get more full for the weekend gigs. It also seemed a slightly
older audience (which may be a QPAC subscriber thing, though the
women to my right were clearly Deborah enthusiasts).
Deb and the guys (and the drummer’s name is Al Barton, forgive my
error in the earlier posts) are really starting to gel as a band —
which is not to say that I have any complaints about the earlier
shows, but there’s just a nicer feel about the interplay between
them now. Andy (the bass player) even opened his mouth and said
something for the first time!
And as an added surprise, we got a completely different set
of ‘greatest hits’ from the previous gigs, which is especially nice
for those of us who for whatever reason end up seeing the same
performer three times in the space of a week (and that’s not
counting the house party).
In fact, enough went on that I think I’d better do a partial track
by track review:
Stay On Track – A good opener as ever. Interestingly, while the
Sydney fans clapped and screamed during the ‘false pause’ near the
end of the song, both the Katoomba and Brisbane crowds maintained a
respectful silence (which works better since the song isn’t actually
finished at that point.)
Accidents Happen In The Home – A fair few people seemed to know this
one, so I’m guessing the Body Shop has been doing a roaring trade
with the free singles (or perhaps it’s slathered over Brisbane
radio. Hey, a man can dream . . .)
Any Fool – Deb still introduces this song by explaining
her “everyone has one mistake they’re condemned to repeat” theory,
but then goes on to say: “I don’t want to be controversial, but I’d
like to dedicate this song to John Howard.” Proving the point about
mistakes, she then managed to completely mess up the opening chords
for the song, burst out laughing, had a couple more goes (guided by
Gerry) and then kicked into it.
Try To Save Your Song – This got the best crowd response of all the
new material.
Something’s Right – Deb opened up by asking “Is anyone here in a
long-distance relationship?” Al the drummer immediately yelled
back “Yes!”, so Deb responded “Don’t worry, it’s all going to be OK”
and then launched into the song. At the end, she then continued:
Deb: “Actually Al, it shouldn’t be a problem because you’ve got me.”
Al: “Nope, because it’s Thursday.”
Deb: “Oh, so it’s Gerry’s night? Or is it Andy’s?” [Andy blushed at
this point] “They’re all my husbands. The tour is called Yes Dear.”
Al: “And we’re exhausted, and she’s radiant.”
Deb: “That’s what husbands are for!”
Sunday Morning – Went down a treat, though as a result of the above
discussion Deb for once didn’t explain how the Van Morrison line
came into the song.
One More Chance – Deb remarked how she had gotten to know Brisbane
much better — “the paper and wood side, not the mirrored building
side” — when doing Always at QPAC. When she said she hoped Patsy
Cline might have covered the track, the audience laughed. “You
people will laugh at anything, won’t you?” she remarked. (Of course,
the Kransky Sisters could be a factor there).
Sleepwalker – This is probably the song which live performance has
changed the most for me — I like it on the CD, but live it’s just
spellbinding.
I Love You But – At the end of Sleepwalker, Deb explained that it
had been written for a friend of theirs who had suffered a horrific
cycling accident and potential major brain damage, and she’d cried
all the time they were composing it. But there’s a happy
ending: “He’s getting married next week, and if I was there, this is
the song I’d play at the wedding”.
It Doesn’t Work That Way – A predictable crowd pleaser (Deb noted it
didn’t work in Adelaide because they don’t have an Ikea there;
she’ll be safe in Perth though).
Here And Now – A solid and rollicking finish.
After the customary clapping and cheering, Deb and Gerry returned to
the stage without the other two. “That’ll make for an odd Alive &
Brilliant,” I thought to myself, and I was right, as the pair of
them launched into . . .
Release Me – a two-guitar acoustic arrangement which came across
really well.
All Of The Above – another surprise inclusion, with the rhythm
section returning. Deborah explained “Since we’re going with the
husbands theme, I thought I’d play something from My Third Husband.”
It’s Only The Beginning – introduced with the “hit after hit after
hit” comment which was used in Sydney for Today I Am A Daisy.
After this, the band left the stage again before returning for the
inevitable finale:
Man Overboard – marvellous as ever, and the crowd joined in rowdily
to shout the title line (which, for some reason, they hadn’t in
Katoomba).
OK, that’s probably enough for now, but I won’t make any foolish
predictions about when I next see the show . . .
Cheers
Angus

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