Paul Gray (Wa Wa Nee): Can’t Control Myself – I Could Make You Love Me – Stimulation – Sugar Free
Pseudo Echo: Stranger In Me – Don’t Go – A Beat For You – Destination Unknown – Living In A Dream – Listening – Love An Adventure – Funkytown
Go West: Don’t Look Down – Let Love Come – Faithful – Unknown Cover – I Want To Hear It From You – Waiting In Vain – I Want To Watch You (?) – Man On Fire – Goodbye Girl – Vertigo – Tracks Of My Tears – Call Me – We Close Our Eyes – King Of Wishful Thinking
An opening question: why is there always some idiot who repeatedly yells out the name of a band’s biggest hit between every song? Calm down, buddy. There is no chance that Go West won’t play “King Of Wishful Thinking”. But if you yell it one more time, there’s a good chance I will hit you.
I’d also quite like to hit the woman next to me, who dances determinedly throughout the Pseuds’ set. It’s not that I object to: it’s when she strokes me on the head and suggests I dance as well. Not wanting to block the view of the thirty rows behind me, I decline. (She has a scary resemblance to the psycho dancing chick played by Sybil Azur Joey gets stuck with in the Friends episode The One With The Routine.)
All the performers would like to hit Jimmy, the sound mixing guy. The concert started 30 minutes late because of a botched sound check, and every performer spends some time miming to Jimmy to turn up their monitors. I have to say, the sound seems OK from where I’m sitting, but I sympathise with their frustrations. Who knew retro touring could get so violent?
I’ve seen all these bands before in some context. Paul Gray was on the 2007 Countdown tour, and Brian Canham from Pseudo Echo was on the 2006 version (and disgracefully given just one song). Go West I’ve caught previously at Butlins and on the Here & Now tour. The big attraction in all three cases is to get a longer set from all the bands involved. As Richard Drummie from Go West put it: “It’s a pleasure to be here in Perth to play more than five songs for you for once.” (The pedant in me notes it was actually four songs last time around.)
The high point of the night for me was probably Pseudo Echo (and a surprising number of people seemed to agree, leaving before Go West even hit the stage). With mainman Brian Canham joined by original member Pierre Pierre and two other blokes, we got a solid greatest-hits set, minus the slower tracks (hence no “Try” or “Dancing Until Midnight”). Loving that synth bass. Still hating the lyrics in “Don’t Go” all these years later. Brian Canham’s ability to stay in tune while casting filthy looks at the side team is fabulous. The chick who invaded the stage could do with losing some weight. Of course, so could I.
Paul Gray remains impressive, though he’s maintained the approach he used on the Countdown tour of finishing with “Sugar Free” rather than “Stimulation”. His Mac is also very visible onstage. Loving that Prince-emulating falsetto, and the filthy look he gives some latecomers (it’s no mean feat being late when the show itself starts 30 minutes behind schedule). Wonder what naming rights issue prevents him from simply touring as ‘Wa Wa Nee’.
Go West are also fab — Peter Cox has an amazing voice and Richard Drummie a nice line in humour. I wasn’t that fussed on the covers — nothing wrong with them, but hearing the newer material was better. And if you can’t love the power chords in “We Close Our Eyes”, there’s something definitely wrong with you. Security were quick to get rid of another stage invader this time around. All in all, a good night.