Lindsay Field, Sam See & Glyn Mason can lay claim to having worked with most of the greatest Australian musicians of the modern rock era. They have played on so many iconic recordings themselves, and performed on stage with so many of our biggest names, it must have been hard coming up with a set of only sixteen songs that could adequately cover, in their view, a cross-section of the greatest Australian rock songs ever put to disc.
The selection they eventually came up with was broad – ranging from Healing Force’s largely forgotten classic, Golden Miles, through to the more contemporary Walking On A Dream, originally by Empire Of The Sun.
In between those two aforementioned bookends we were treated to some radical acoustic reworkings of songs by Cold Chisel, INXS, Divinyls, Daddy Cool, Crowded House, AC/DC, Dragon, The Angels, Midnight Oil, Icehouse, Ross Wilson, and one Sam See original thrown in for good measure– Reasons – recorded by John Farnham on his most successful album, Whispering Jack. A song, See told us, that had made him enough money to buy Football Park and fill it with shoddily built cheap apartments!
The sometimes surprising reworkings of these artists’s songs were never less than beautifully constructed with all three singing lead at various times. Field & Mason played acoustic rhythm guitars, underpinning See’s frequent impressive lead breaks. The vocal harmonies were invariably note perfect and enhanced the lyrical power of classics such as Great Southern Land, Rain and Pleasure And Pain.
The clever intertwining of Daddy Cool’s Hi Honey Ho and Come Back Again was another highlight, as was a similarly successful merging of The Easybeats’ Sorry riff with The Angels’ Take A Long Line.
In between songs, the trio amiably engaged with the (criminally small) crowd, and Sam See’s incisive humour kept us all smiling as he introduced songs in his own inimitable manner.
The show ran a little over its allotted time but they still didn’t get to finish every song they intended to sing – to our collective disappointment, but possibly more to the annoyance of those in the massive queue outside waiting to get into the Glenn Shorrock show afterwards.
I’m sure Glenn would have put on a great show but I couldn’t help but think maybe the masses outside the venue had missed the opportunity to see an even better show by not coming along to the earlier show as well.
All up, a beautifully balanced set of blue-chip Oz rock ballads and brawlers.
Rating: 5 stars
Field, See & Mason performed for one night only at The German Club on Friday 23 February 2018.
Fringe tix: Adelaide Fringe tickets