Over the years, there have been string of frontmen who have gone out on their own solo tours – yet, honestly, how many of these can you recall being successful in their own right, without having to play their own band’s hits in order to keep the crowd interested? Fortunately, on his recent ‘The Endless Cycle of Maintenance Tour’, Tim Rogers, lead singer of You Am I, proved that if your solo stuff is good enough, people listen. And listen we did.
Kicking the night off at the Soundlounge in Currumbin, Brisbane-based guitarist and singer Dana Gehrman lured us in with her blend of freshly constructed covers and originals. Her sassy attitude and husky voice ensured a rather gravitating stage presence and she seemed the perfect introduction to Tim’s much-anticipated show.
Now, I don’t know many men who can pull off either full-velveteen suits, or on this occasion, embroidered white flares, two earrings and a sailor-like jacket, but Tim Rogers always manages to do so. The minute that tall, lanky man walked on stage, everyone stopped talking and – more importantly – tuned in, giving him their undivided attention.
Opening with ‘I Left My Heart All Over the Place’ followed by the somewhat biographical ‘Umpire’s Boy,’ you’re immediately reminded that Tim doesn’t just sing songs, he feels them with all his heart. Like a foul-mouthed Banjo Patterson with a drink his hand, Rogers continued to mesmerise the attentive crowd reeling out favourites such as ‘Dinosaurs’, ‘Weeds’, and ‘The Paragon Cafe’. The night was all about Tim and his stories – which are either slices of Australiana or actual slices of his life. His hilarious banter and self-deprecating humour in between songs, as well as the intimate space of the Soundlounge, really made you feel as though you were in his living room being given a private show.
Midway through his set, Dana reappeared for an emotionally-charged song about making drunk phone calls to past lovers (something we can all relate to, lets be honest) and the onstage energy between these two, who harmonised wonderfully together, could be felt throughout the room.
The occasional shout-out for a song or cheeky comment from the adoring fans, was met with sharp, witty remarks and retaliations from Tim who appeared to be in his element – enjoying the audience interaction and joviality. Amongst his story-like solo work, he also played a few You Am I songs like ‘Damage’,‘What I Don’t Know ‘Bout You’ ‘Heavy Heart’ and ‘Jaimme’s Got A Girl’ as well as ‘I Got Burned’ from his Bamboos days, a period, he remarked that almost killed him, given the amount of boozing and partying he did on tour.
Reappearing for an encore, Tim wowed everyone with a side-splitting song, he described as being his own adaptation of a Mills and Boon novel – a fast-paced, tongue in cheek ballad, yet finished off the night with the old favourite, ‘Cant’ Get it Together’.
Unlike the name of his show, Tim Rogers is certainly in no need of any maintenance, he’s a well-oiled machine, whose magnetic stage presence, heart-felt songs and incredible story telling ability will, without a doubt, remain a stalwart in Australian music history for years to come.
IMAGES (c) Peter Wheeler Photography