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fasterandlouder, Sydney (AUS) May 20, 2005


Review by blitzkrieg bob

Source: http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/


Its a wet and blustery night swirling through Newtown tonight. Despite the frosty conditions and other entertainment choices on offer in the area, many have ventured down to The Vanguard to catch the last of two shows by the highly esteemed duo, Ed Kuepper and Jeffrey Wegener. As with the first show, all tickets are snapped up in advance. Its not surprising considering the formidable influence these two figures bear upon the landscape of Australian independent music. Also, the last time these two incredible musicians shared a stage together was the mid-1980s. Hence, the anticipation was soaring.

The opener is a definite crowd-pleaser - a slowed-down version of Eternally Yours. This pace seems to infuse the song with an even more mournful tone than its officially recorded version and is very effective considering the lack of saxophone on hand. The venue setting is somewhat jarring with diners chowing down directly in front of the small stage but utensils will be used to good effect at the end of the show, as discussed later in this review. Kuepper cannot resist enquiring about the delectability of their menu choices but really, would you expect anything less from the ever-acerbic Edmund?

There are quite a few covers featured in the first set including a swampy version of Fever during which Wegener grows increasingly animated. The number ends with flying drumsticks which Kuepper promptly fetches. He then lightly teases Wegener whilst handing them back - here they are, no they're not, oh, here they are. I'm guessing this was a common game played during their high school days back at Corinda High in Brisbane.

The fluidity of Wegener's drumming style is amazing to witness and listen to. Little wonder that punters of past held Wegener as a star in his own right. During the set there is a medley of both covers and originals starting with Runaway, originally by Del Shannon and a Saints live favourite. It then segues into The Velvet Underground's Waiting For The Man, which in turn flows into The Saints original, Nights In Venice, all to return back to Runaway.

Other Saints numbers unfurled upon us included an updated Know Your Product. One noisy but lucky attendee even had his request of Pushing Fear granted all because he "asked so nicely" as Kuepper answered laconically. The ultimate sing-a-long tune in La Di Doh appropriately gets all feet tapping and shoulders swinging in time. Also on the setlist is All Of These Things from Kuepper's solo effort, Frontierland. Collapse Board is entertainingly described by Kuepper as a quintessentially Australian 1980's love song and the accompanying marketing paraphenalia is available now for consumption - one Judy Kuepper designed t-shirt! Broad laughs all-round.

After playing two 45-minute sets, the gathered crowd were demanding their encore. After the usual clapping and whooping, the still-seated diners grabbed what available utensils there were and commenced banging out an exceptionally co-ordinated yet groovy demand for the stars of the moment to return. I haven't seen dessert items being utilised in this way before but it was effective. Obviously, a lot of fellow drummers were present tonight. After a considerable break, Kuepper and Wegener re-emerged. Kuepper quipped that Jeffrey didn't want to come back because he thought we didn't love him enough. Simply not true as evidenced by the very happy and noisy crowd.

It was a hell of a long wait to see these two amicably sharing a stage once again but it was certainly worth a trip through the cold night to see that! Time does wound all heels.

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