Hoodoo Gurus Finally Have Their 40th At The Sidney Myer Music Bowl - Noise11.com
Hoodoo Gurus photo by Ros OGorman

Hoodoo Gurus photo by Ros OGorman

Hoodoo Gurus Finally Have Their 40th At The Sidney Myer Music Bowl

by Paul Cashmere on September 17, 2022

in News

Two points about Hoodoo Gurus: 1. I’ve never considered ‘Death Defying’ a country song but hey Dave Faulkner, you wrote it so lets go with that. 2. Fuck they were great last night.

Hoodoo Gurus are out celebrating 41 years since they first performed (the pandemic delayed the original dates). However, the very first single ‘Leilani’ was released in October 1982, so we are bang on 40-years minus a month to align with that anniversary.

Think about that…40 years since the first Hoodoo Gurus release! If you go back 40 years from the day ‘Leilani’ was released the hits of the day were Glenn Miller’s ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo, The Andrews Sisters’ ‘Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree’ and ‘For Me and My Gal’ by Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. I think it is pretty fair to say that a 1982 Hoodoo Gurus song aged much better forty years on than a 1942 Andrew Sisters song aged to 1982.

Hoodoo Gurus marked the occasion of their anniversary by opening the set with the very first song off the very first album ‘Stoneage Romeos’ and ending the main set with the last song of the first album. Throughout the set were five new songs, which for any ‘heritage’ act could spell disaster in a live show, but the 2022 ‘Chariot of the Gods’ album is so strong that the songs flowed from old to new and back again seamlessly.

That new album ‘Chariot of the Gods’ was created when the world was tucked away in isolation and recorded in those chunks of time we could leave the house. It was the first studio album from The Gurus in 12 years and a testament to real, great Australian music. Quite frankly, in this country, today’s commercial radio programmers (and Triple J for that matter) are incapable of recognising quality Australian rock when it bites them on the arse. It is no wonder they all sound like they are programmed by the guy who puts the pickle on your Big Mac.

The history of Australian rock playing out over the two-hour Gurus set in front of a 10,000 strong crowd at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. This was an audience who waited patiently and then copped a delay again last minute in April. It was worth the wait. In reference to the start of this story, Dave mention ‘Death Defying’ was a country song. It certainly felt like a rock song when we played it on the radio in the 1980s.

Dave Faulkner also gave a shout-out to The Seekers, who had an estimated 200,000 (10% of Melbourne’s population at the time) at the venue for their 1967 show. The Sidney Myer Music Bowl’s current capacity of 10,000 only came into effect in 2002 after major renovations. When The Seekers drew their record crowd, there was no hill behind the seats and parkland stretched for acres around the arena, which was originally designed for sound to travel kilometres. A fence was constructed during the 2000-2002 reconstruction limiting the audience to the current capacity and the hill raised to reduce noise in what is now mostly the residential area called Southbank.

A 40th for the first record from 1982 as opposed at 40th for the first gig from 1981 also better aligns with when Brad Shepherd joined the band. Brad was on board for the first album ‘Stoneage Romeos’ making him and Dave Faulkner the mainstays of the band. Rick Grossman joined in 1988 and first appeared on the fourth album ‘Magnum Cum Louder’. New drummer Nik Rieth replaced Mark Kingsmill, who played on all albums from the second ‘Mars Needs Guitars’ in 1985 through to 2010’s ‘Purity of Essence’. Nik was formerly with The Celebate Rifles and the Deniz Tek band and plays on the current ‘Chariot of the Gods’ album.

Hoodoo Gurus setlist, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, 16 September 2022

(Let’s All) Turn On (from Stoneage Romeos, 1984)
Answered Prayers (from Chariot of the Gods, 2022)
The Right Time (from Crank, 1994)
Death Defying (from Mars Needs Guitars, 1985)
Don’t Try to Save My Soul (from Chariot of the Gods, 2022)
Out That Door (from Blow Your Cool, 1987)
Dig It Up (from Stoneage Romeos, 1984)
I Want You Back (from Stoneage Romeos, 1984)
Chariot of the Gods (from Chariot of the Gods, 2022)
My Girl (from Stoneage Romeos, 1984)
Tojo (from Stoneage Romeos, 1984)
Hang With the Girls (from Chariot of the Gods, 2022)
Come Anytime (from Magnum Cum Louder, 1989)
Poison Pen (from Mars Needs Guitars, 1985)
I Come From Your Future (from Chariot of the Gods, 2022)
Bittersweet (from Mars Needs Guitars, 1985)
Miss Freelove ’69 (from Kinky, 1991)
Good Times (from Blow Your Cool, 1987)
1000 Miles Away (Brad’s guitar issues caused the band to end early and play it again later) (from Kinky, 1991)
What’s My Scene (from Blow Your Cool, 1987)
I Was a Kamikaze Pilot (from Stoneage Romeos, 1984)

Encore:
Be My Guru (b-side of My Girl, 1983)
1000 Miles Away (second try) (from Kinky, 1991)
Like Wow – Wipeout (from Mars Needs Guitars, 1985)

Encore 2:
Leilani (from Stoneage Romeos, 1984)

Remaining shows for Hoodoo Gurus, with special guests The Dandy Warhols are:

17 Sep, Hobart, Hobart City Hall
20 Sep, Adelaide, Entertainment Centre (also with Even)
23 Sep, Perth, Belvoir Amphitheatre (also with The Rinehearts)

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