Jim Moginie and the Family Dog + Ben Ely: Live review | Byron Theatre | 16 December 2018

A rainy Sunday night, a drive by of the giant silver phallus at the roundabout and we were off to the Byron Theatre in Jonson Street. What a great venue! Small and intimate theatre, and oh so close to the performers. Very civilised.

First up was Mr Ben Ely. The bass player from Brisvegas outfit Regurgitator was playing his original tunes, with an original set up as well. He was joined on stage by Laura playing cello, with Ely playing electric guitar, providing a unique, full, and sometimes haunting sound. Songs of stories and sound crescendos, a quiet but entertaining and moving interlude before the main act.

Jim Moginie and the Family Dog’s set up looked anything but quiet, and looked quite large for the small room. The anticipation of seeing the outfit led by the Midnight Oil songwriter/ guitarist looked to be building.  With the Celibate Rifles’ Paul Larsen on drums and Kent Steedman on guitar, and Tim Kevin from Youth Group on bass, this was a talented group of musicians with a quality pedigree. Maybe that is what is behind the name?

There were no prisoners taken from the start, and the whole gig was very personal, intimate – and most of all – fun. The tunes were pumping. A riff-driven, locomotive train-style rhythm section, and the duel guitars from Messers Moginie and Steedman completed the cacophony of sound. Most of the tunes were from the new ‘Bark Overtures’ album, and it was sort of a shame everyone was seated, as the songs almost demanded that you moved. Serious chair dancing and head banging went down.

They did pull out a couple of Midnight Oil covers: ‘Redneck Wonderland’ pumped, ‘Short Memory’ was great, and after bagging 1970’s band Chicago, they came out with a classic cover of the song ’25 or 6 to 4′, a song I only discovered myself on late night radio, and in disbelief it was the same band. The whole set was great , and Kent Steedman’s unusual style really suited the band. They also came back for big extended encore. To wrap it up Moginie played his classic track ‘Shakers and Movers’ from the Midnight Oil album ‘Blue Sky Mining’. He played solo, and it was a very touching rendition of a great song.

It was an immensely satisfying gig. Bummer if you missed it… don’t miss them next time. Woof!

Be first to comment