Eskies soar in bravura show

The West Australian - - MUSIC -

CON­CERT Eskimo Joe with WASO Perth Con­cert Hall RE­VIEW BOB GORDAN

Eskimo Joe are th­ese days far be­yond those “Fre­man­tle in­die kids” of yore and are now el­der states­men of WA con­tem­po­rary mu­sic in many re­spects. This show, the first of two sell-out per­for­mances in their home­town and the be­gin­ning of a na­tional orches­tra run, brought bona fide fans into the Con­cert Hall, clearly thrilled to be see­ing the band in what is th­ese days a rare per­for­mance at any rate, but with the added grav­ity of a full orches­tra to pull at the heart­strings.

It be­gan a lit­tle ten­ta­tively with the pon­der­ous New York from the 2006 al­bum, Black Finger­nails Red Wine, and the de­cid­edly pop­pier Older Than You, but one thing be­came im­me­di­ately clear. Usu­ally the trio of Eskimo Joe are aug­mented as a five or six-piece out­fit, but here the core of Kav Tem­per­ley, Stu MacLeod and Joel Quar­ter­main would go through an as­sort­ment of in­stru­ment swap­ping (Quar­ter­main of­ten strum­ming a gui­tar while keep­ing time on his bass drum), yet at the same time pull back to bare bones, al­low­ing the orches­tra to fully in­habit the songs.

It only makes sense, re­ally, but is not al­ways the re­al­ity when rock/pop bands per­form with or­ches­tras, when stock-stan­dard band ar­range­ments reign supreme and strings or horns seem merely piled on top. As such, songs like Planet Earth, Sarah, Come Down and Wake Up soared with the ar­range­ments find­ing new places (and spa­ces) in the songs and play­ing to the poignancy al­ready present within. “Th­ese ar­range­ments make our world,” noted Tem­per­ley, whose emo­tive voice was es­pe­cially well show­cased and com­ple­mented through­out.

While there were mo­ments of high drama in the songs — Black Fin­ger Nails Red Wine and a pared back For­eign Land fi­nally achieved well-de­served lev­els of drama with an orches­tra back­ing — there were mo­ments that harked back to the in­die rock trio play­ing at the Grosvenor Ho­tel in 1998, with bop­ping con­duc­tor, Iain Grandage, thrown in the mix. As Tem­per­ley noted that Planet Earth had been founded on what was a “bum note”, MacLeod re­marked that they’d “been hit­ting them ever since.” Re­quests were made for the strangest sounds pos­si­ble from the bas­soon, vi­o­lin and pic­colo, with bath­room-wor­thy re­sults, Quar­ter­main grin­ning through­out.

The grand au­ral pre­sen­ta­tion, how­ever, was founded on the songs.

So when they’re as poignant as From The Sea, Life Is Bet­ter With You and Lon­don Bombs in the first place, they’re set to soar in this sce­nario. Which they cer­tainly did.

A bravura per­for­mance on all counts.

The grand au­ral pre­sen­ta­tion, was founded on the songs — set to soar in this sce­nario.

Eskimo Joe soared at Perth Con­cert Hall with WASO.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.