It was an extremely civilised Saturday night at the soundlounge; a darkened room, tables and chairs, a few high tables at the back and about a hundred punters to see the legend that is Saints and Aint’s guitarist Ed Kuepper. It was a bare stage. Three guitars, pedalboard, stompbox, a table, and a chair was all that was onstage before Mr Kuepper graced it – no acoustic guitars here – it was all electric.
‘Solo & By Request’ the show was called. I thought, as usual, it was just a way to name the show, not actually WHAT it was, and I was wrong. That was exactly what it was. Ed had barely been on the stage a minute, when the scream came from the audience ‘Memories Are Made of This’! Ed explained before playing that he would play whatever he could play or remember to play, as long as it something he had played before on some recording. But the proviso was that you had to know the album as well. One punter was caught out, but after giving her a hard time (in a funny way), Ed played the song regardless.
So ‘Memories Are Made of This’ (my current favourite Saints song) was the start. There was no shortage of songs for Ed to play throughout the night considering his 40 year music career, and with his penchant for endless writing, there must have been close to a thousand songs to choose from. Some requests were songs which Ed said he had never played live before.
I had some guitar envy; three guitars played in the first three songs. Songs like ‘Fireman Joe’, ‘Know Your Product’ and others required some audience participation to fill the gaps. The human horn section was great in ‘Know Your Product’ – not perfect – and maybe that’s why Ed took a bit of coaxing to do that song.
Old songs like ‘Messing With The Kid’, and ‘Brisbane’, were great and the sound produced by a guitar and a stompbox filled the room, sending the manager out to do many decibel checks throughout the gig. Even Ed’s version of ‘Highway to Hell’ got a run. ‘King of the Euro Disco’ was a favourite, and he wound up with the classic ‘The Way I Made You Feel’.
If you missed this gig, don’t miss the next one. It is a unique experience, unplanned, unscripted, and unlikely to work with anyone but Mr Kuepper. It could have gone on on night if the venue did not have to close.