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Beat Magazine (AUS) June 1, 2005

ED KUEPPER AND JEFF WEGENER at The Northcote Social Club, May 18 2005
Review by Bronius Zumeris

Midweek in Melbourne. Not much to do but while away time in front of the idiot box, right? But the tedium of sitting in front of the TV on a winter's night can only bring so much relief. So it's off to the Northcote Social Club with no great expectations. But that would be lying. The claustrophobic conditions in the public bar and the "sold out" sign on the venue door suggest the contrary. You see, this particular Wednesday night, Edmund Kuepper and Jeffrey Wegener gave their musical masterclass.

The mood was set immediately once the duo slunk on to the stage. Wegener gave the drum kit the thousand-yard stare, Kuepper plugged in his guitar and there was a palpable sense that they were in no mood to take any prisoners. With steely resolve they attacked gems from their past, with some elements from the solo Kuepper arsenal and some cherished standards.

The horse was privileged seeing these two legends sharing the stage again. Kuepper's status as a bonafide guitar icon has long been beyond reproach, but some may have forgotten just how supreme Wegener was, and after some rollercoaster years, still is with the sticks.

As Wegener stared malevolently at his apparatus and the audience, like a vulture circling his prey, he bludgeoned nearly every sound that left Kuepper's fretboard. He flayed and bashed his drum kit with such precise brutality that no chord was wasted or left to linger aimlessly. Kuepper, as always, filled every spare gap with his chiming guitar.

Delving into The Saints, Kuepper exhumed prime cuts like Know Your Product and Messin' With The Kid with renewed vigour and zest rather than relying on nostalgia and formula. He then introduced a song as being performed by one of his favourite 80's bands. Confusion reigned supreme as punters scrambled to pick the song and the band. Pockets of cognoscenti nodded and sang along. As if it was obvious that the song was Collapse Board and the band The Laughing Clowns, of who Kuepper was the leader. Who said there was no place for deadpan in music?

Gimme Shelter, Eternally Yours and Honey Steel's Gold were given a thorough trashing and about the only quiet moment was Sam Hall. The awestruck pupils were taking mental notes on how to play those chords and tackle the drum patterns. A masterclass indeed as these veterans still sound fresh and relevant

Bronius Zumeris

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