Pow­der­chair love- in de­liv­ers dis­crete de­lights

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

IT was al­ways a good idea, putting two of Aus­tralia’s best- loved rock ’ n’ roll bands out on the road to­gether, par­tic­u­larly with new al­bums in tow and with an agenda to play not just the cities but in re­gional cen­tres as well. Across the Great Di­vide was a sell- out and this three- disc doc­u­ment of events will no doubt pre­serve the me­mory of it for those who were there and pro­vide en­ter­tain­ing en­light­en­ment for those who missed it. It’s worth re­mem­ber­ing that the pulling power of the show had more to do with the two groups’ in­di­vid­ual rep­u­ta­tions rather than any kind of col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween them. While it’s clear from the live footage here, shot in Melbourne dur­ing two nights at the Rod Laver Arena, that the two acts share a fan base, you have to get to the be­hind- the- scenes doc­u­men­tary, Be­hind the Great Di­vide , to find singers Daniel Johns and Bernard Fan­ning in bond­ing mode, gen­er­ally in the dress­ing room, the tour bus or the back­stage area. Much of this 90 min­utes is filled with the kind of in­nocu­ous ban­ter that emerges from rock stars when they are con­fronted by a cam­era crew and a mi­cro­phone while they are driv­ing, dry­ing their hair or nip­ping out the back for a smoke. The pack­age comes with a book­let of pho­to­graphs with more can­did mo­ments from the Pow­der­chair love- in. The main at­trac­tions, how­ever, are the con­certs. Sil­ver­chair’s album Young Mod­ern may have creamed their older tour­ing mates’ Dream Days at the Ho­tel Ex­is­tence at the ARIAs, but both bands are play­ing at the top of their games in this well- shot footage. One com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor is both bands per­form­ing a ver­sion of the Who’s Sub­sti­tute . It’s a nice, touchy- feely ges­ture, but falls short of the rest of the ma­te­rial.

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