...finally got around to seeing the 'Spree...after 10 years...and it was great: Gold old fashioned big band entertainment. I did enjoy it despite myself.. it would have been soooo good in 2003 though...
I quickly got over the moment of "wow: Harmony with horns!" and probably my biggest issue with this show (once you get past the front guys titanic ego) is the fact that the girls weren't loud enough...The mix was fine otherwise but I needed a bit more chorus line and a bit less "him". Then I kept thinking how much do you get paid in a band with 14 people? Are half the band "interns" getting paid in bread and cheese while Timbo goes 4 star? Then I had another (expensive but nice ) beer and tried to relax and go with the moment.
Anyways these guys have long since moved on from the Aquarian-Cult-Gospel-Mutants that gave us that miraculous first album, and they're more than happy to earn a crust (or not if you are work experience tuba boy) as a(nother) pretty decent indie band with an excessive number of members...lets face it they have fared better than Arcade Fire and the Revs/Lips have completely lost it these days.....I recognised quite a few tunes though I only have that first LP and the cover of Inxs' Don't Change was a highlight (it was better than Grinspoons'....) but there were enough hits from across the catalogue to keep the crowd happy (and no Rocky Horror showtunes, thank Gaia) .
The venue was awesome : a temporary 500 people capacity wooden box with pretty good sound and lights built on the side of the Yarra for the Melbourne Festival : 'really looking forward to Fuck Buttons in there on Friday.
After a cursory and abridged stab at my favourite Soldier Girl, the singer finally convinced the band and audience that they should play a Tripping Daisy cover (His old band from the 90's - getting 1/4 rather than 1/14 of the performance rights for that one!!)) but that was 2 and quarter hours after the set started and It was heard only as it faded into the rain as I crossed the bridge back to Flinders St. and the last train home...on a school night.
Yeh I know: I decided to tape probably the weakest song of the night, no idea what it is called...but he was carping on about Micky Dolenz for 5 minutes before...its really saying something when the least poppy/uplifting number in a bands set turns out to be a Monkees cover!!