Culture Club Melbourne June 10 2016 #REVIEW - Noise11.com
Culture Club Concert

Culture Club perform at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Friday 10 June 2016.

Culture Club Melbourne June 10 2016 #REVIEW

by Paul Cashmere on June 11, 2016

in Live,News

Culture Club fans came to reminisce but as Boy George told them “this isn’t a retirement tour”. The juggle was weighing fan expectations with George’s desire to prove 21st century relevance.

That was the challenge. For the 10,000 people in a room hanging out for ‘Karma Chameleon’ and a band with their first album in 17 years all set to go it became a balancing act. Culture Club managed to achieve both.

Ros O'Gorman photo Culture Club perform at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Friday 10 June 2016.

The show opens with a video montage capsulized the highs and lows of Boy George’s life in a few minutes from spectacular achievement to the embarrassing arrests. George articulated the good with the bad saying later “If you grew up with a Culture Club poster on your wall you’re probably a bit more open-minded”.

Ros O'Gorman photo Culture Club perform at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Friday 10 June 2016.

Then for the first eight songs of the show he won over the crowd starting with three massive hits in Church of the Poison Mind’, ‘It’s A Miracle’ and ‘I’ll Tumble 4 Ya’ and keeping familiarity with more from the 80s including the breathtaking ‘Victims’, the Culture Club masterpiece.

Ros O'Gorman photo Culture Club perform at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Friday 10 June 2016.

The show did feature four new songs from the still unreleased crowd-funded ‘Tribes’ album. George pretty much apologized for playing the music live by blaming radio for not playing new music. (Note to George: It’s a bit hard for radio to play your new music when you don’t release it.)

The first two new songs ‘Different Man’ and ‘Like I Used To’ failed to excite the audience. Both were greeted with a more curious than interested reaction but the one that did work was the countrified ode to Johnny Cash ‘Runaway Train’. (Note2 to George: Just release the damn thing and let the fans decide).

Ros O'Gorman photo Culture Club perform at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Friday 10 June 2016.It is a shame there is hesitation to release ‘Tribes’ because a: ‘Runaway Train’ proves the album will have substance and b: that catalogue of hits from the 80s will forever be this bands calling card so really who cares what people think.

The nod to the band’s musical influences with the Bowie and T.Rex covers proves that this isn’t a disposable band put together by a team of judges from a TV show. As George pointed out, he has done many of these songs solo over the years but magic happens when the four Culture Club members perform together. The songs need the ingredients of Roy Hay, Jon Moss, Mikey Craig and George O’Dowd. Something is missing when the parts aren’t all there.

Culture Club songs like ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me’ and ‘Karma Chameleon’ will outlive us all. They are textbook examples of great 80s pop.

Ros O'Gorman photo Culture Club perform at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on Friday 10 June 2016.

Culture Club’s legacy was that they made “different the new norm”. Now that they have reconnected with the fans, if they can survive this tour, they can keep this going for decades.

Culture Club setlist, Melbourne, June 10 2016

Church of the Poison Mind (from Colour By Numbers, 1983)
It’s A Miracle (from Colour By Numbers, 1983)
I’ll Tumble 4 Ya (from Kissing To Be Clever, 1982)
Move Away (from From Luxury To Heartache, 1986)
Everything I Own (Bread cover)(from Boy George’s Sold, 1987)
Black Money (from Colour By Numbers, 1983)
Victims (from Colour By Numbers, 1983)
Time (Clock of the Heart) (single, 1982)
Different Man (unreleased)
Like I Used To (unreleased)
Miss Me Blind (from Colour By Numbers, 1983)
The Crying Game (from The Cry Game OST, 1992)
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? (from Kissing To Be Clever, 1982)
More Than Silence (from Tribes, 2016)

Runaway Train (unreleased)
Karma Chameleon (from Colour By Numbers, 1983)
Bang A Gong (Get It On) (T. Rex cover)
Starman (David Bowie cover) (from Don’t Mind If I Do, 1999)

Culture Club dates

June 11 and 12, Sydney, Hordern Pavilion
June 14, Brisbane, Riverstage

After Australia Culture Club will perform in the Philippines, Japan and then start the North American tour in Hawaii on June 26.

Noise11.com

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