Sole openers for the Adelaide show, Money for Rope took it all in their stride, eager to throw their young vigour into the crowd – and with all six members packed onto the stage, two behind impressively equipped drum kits, it had to go somewhere! Wasting no time, they launched into a melodic catalogue of songs from their two years of jamming and gigging together, hooking punters in with haunting vocals before boxing them around the ears with unrelenting drumbeats and riffs, coercing them back with a rebellious display of jazz saxophone. This soulful Victorian outfit, a hybrid of colour, style and smarts – both in dress sense and on stage attitude, needs no explanation. With a debut album in vinyl due for release next month, together with the promise of a second Adelaide gig to chalk up on a growing list of places to visit, their set was a treat to watch and listen to, leaving many of us locals hoping it would indeed not be long before they ‘sailed past our house[s]’ again.
Shihad’s reputation for giving as good as they get precedes them. No sooner had Money for Rope given up the stage for the headliners than punters seized the opportunity they’d all been waiting for, taking up the chant of the band’s controversial, but household name until the band themselves were front and centre with roars of approval and cheers enough to make their frontman, Toogood pause for a moment before giving a nod to the nostalgia everyone felt. The promise of a set that went through from the start of their career some twenty years ago, all the way through almost seemed too much, and dare we say too good for Toogood to make, but in true Shihad fashion, they stayed true to their word and belted out fan favourites like It, Comfort Me, The General Electric and Home Again to the unwavering attention of punters both young and old.
By the time the year 1995 was reached with songs Deb’s Night Out, Bitter and You Again off the highly-regarded album, Killjoy, there was not a still body in sight, fans two-stepping, headbanging and hip swaying amongst one another. Not be outdone, Toogood unleashed the wild streak that first won him a permanent spot in many hearts, tearing off the stage to hammer out a final chorus from the bar with some would-be fellow musicians strumming along for good measure, earning himself pats on the back and a few kisses on the cheek for his troubles. Taking a decidedly more chilled out approach to the final stint of their set with Brightest Star and My Mind’s Sedate, Shihad wound down for the night in a harmonious chorus with their fans, extending to an encore of Run before their final departure from the stage to the thunderous sound of applause, and memories of a night well played.
Review by Rebecca Grant
Photos by Melissa Donato. See the full gallery here