[Live Review] HUNTERS & COLLECTORS + YOU AM I + SOMETHING FOR KATE + BRITISH INDIA

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Bimbadgen Estate, Hunter Valley
Saturday February 1, 2014 :

A sold out Bimbadgen Estate saw almost 10,000 people witness the reunion of iconic Australian pub band, Hunters & Collectors on Saturday night. From humble beginnings back in 1982 and featuring regularly on Triple JJJ until their breakup in 1998, Hunters & Collectors have been responsible for writing and performing many of Australia’s classic pub and party anthems. Uniquely original and cutting edge, the band introduced brass into its stage repertoire; an act unheard of in ’82.

Lead singer Mark Seymour was in fine voice backed by original members Jack Howard, Michael Waters, Jeremy Smith, Doug Falconer, Barry Palmer, John Archer and Rob Miles. Opening with ‘Talking to a Stranger’ from their 1982 album Hunters & Collectors, the set list turned quickly into a greatest hits collection, including ‘True Tears of Joy’ and a crowd favourite ‘Where Do You Go?’. The use of brass instruments added class and power to the performance. ‘Stuck on You’ followed by ‘Crime of Passion’ and ‘Dog’ built the audience up for what they came to hear, ‘Say Goodbye’, followed by ‘Holy Grail’, both of which set the estate on its feet. The band continued to draw songs from its large back catalog. The final two numbers ‘When the River Runs Dry’ and ‘Do You See What I See?’ culminated in a “thank you” and the band’s departure from the stage.

On the band’s return for a three song encore, they finished with the classic ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ which Seymour battled for singing dominance over the strong crowd. Few left the gig until the very end. After leaving the estate you have to wonder has this band got better with age or are we holding onto that often dream of what use to be? I can assure you this band is alive, tight and very well. With nine more winery gigs to go and a host of already sold out theatre venues Hunters & Collectors fans are in for a real treat.

A mention has to go out to the supports, British India, who performed an eclectic 45 minute set that had the crowd dancing from the onset. Something For Kate provided the audience with a solid hour performance lead by lead singer Paul Dempsey and You Am I, lead by the at times antagonistic and somewhat unfairly underrated Tim Rogers, sounded fantastic. All in all, this event was a great example of tight Aussie bands lead by a charismatic frontpersons and a wonderful night through and through.

Reviewer & Photographer: David Jackson

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