The Countdown Spectacular 2 Awards

While we wait for news on next year’s show, here’s the totally unofficial Gusworld Countdown Spectacular 2 awards.

  • Best singer: Martha Davis (with Kate Ceberano an agonisingly close second).
  • Best preserved: Samantha Fox (runner up: Plastic Bertrand).
  • Act with most dedicated Internet fanbase: Rick Springfield.
  • Act most likely to be mistaken for a Gold Coast plumber on karaoke night: Graham Bonnet.
  • Most surprisingly impressive vocals: Ignatius Jones.
  • Biggest audience reaction for a headliner: Doc Neeson’s Angels (with Rick Springfield running close behind).
  • Biggest audience reaction for a non-headliner: David Patton.
  • Most welcome innovation: The Wolfgramm Sisters solo spot.
  • Most welcome exclusion: The dodgy Humdrum segment from last year thankfully didn’t make an appearance.
  • Most deserving of a second song: Sharon O’Neill.
  • Most obvious setlist exclusion: Kate Ceberano, ‘Do You Wanna Be’ (with Rick Springfield’s ‘I’ve Done Everything For You’ a rather close second).
  • Trick they should repeat next year: Mixing international and Australian acts.
  • Trick they shouldn’t repeat next year: Cutting the middle verse out of half the songs.
  • Countdown Spectacular 2: Wrapping up in Perth

    As I type this, the final Countdown Spectacular 2 concert will be wrapping up in Perth. If last year’s final show in Brisbane is any guide, there’ll be a few on-stage shenanigans worth noting, so reports from any attendees would be very welcome! Tomorrow, I’ll wrap up coverage with the Countdown Spectacular 2 Awards, my own take on the best and worst of the shows, and some speculation about likely outcomes for next year.

    Countdown Spectacular 2: Adelaide anyone?

    Another quick search of the blogosphere hasn’t uncovered details of what went on at the Adelaide show on Sunday. OK, the main variables seem to be whether Graham Bonnet gets two songs or not and how Martha rejects Molly’s proposal, but people need to know these things. Any comments from attendees much appreciated! I’m really regretting not booking the final show in Perth, would do it now if the total cost wasn’t north of $1000 . . .

    Countdown Spectacular 2: DVD, Doc and Daryl

    Once again, and reflecting Countdown’s production history, the DVD is being filmed in Melbourne. Possibly as a result, the show doesn’t kick off until 740pm, though as usual Melbournites show a complete inability to keep time and there are still people wandering in well after 820pm.

    Not too much has changed. The DVD filming requirement means that there’s rather more graphical video filler (as opposed to live shots) played on the main screen. Graham Bonnet, mercifully, seems to have permanently lost ‘Warm Ride’, and Samantha Fox repeats the short skirt outfit which Gusworld correspondents report made its debut in Hobart.

    Possibly also mindful of the cameras, Doc Neeson climbed into the audience for ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’, extending the song by several minutes (his back injury was rather evident when he climbed back on stage). An extra bit of vintage footage of Doc deep-sea diving has also been added earlier in the show, and the sequence of audience moments edited so that doesn’t incongruously end with Molly introducing Genesis.

    Changes in the second act were a bit less prominent. Molly’s proposal to Martha reached new heights of ridiculousness, with the crew bringing out a veil for him. Supernaut’s start was delayed for a couple of minutes due to guitar problems.

    During ‘Love Is In The Air’, Kate Ceberano returned with her Dancing With The Stars partner Jean-Paul to perform. Her red ballroom gown was a darn sight better than her standard outfit.

    BSG got a better audience response than anyone else on the tour, though Glenn Shorrock flubbed quite a few lyrics. Rick Springfield (back in black) didn’t spend quite so long in the audience, but made up for it by comprehensively smashing his guitar at the end.

    Random points:

  • Daryl Braithwaite, who was apparently watching from backstage, was dragged on just prior to the Countdown dancers and got the crowd to sing a few lines of ‘Howzat’.
  • Once again, the mic mixing during ‘My Generation’ was shocking. I hope the version on the DVD, due in November, is better.
  • A handful of bonus photos and some further ruminations will go up tomorrow.
  • Countdown Spectacular 2: Withdrawal symptoms

    For the first time so far this tour, there was a Countdown Spectacular 2 show (in Hobart), and I didn’t see it. A quick search of the blogspace and newspapers doesn’t reveal any information, so I can’t get the burning questions answered:

  • Was Graham Bonnet given his second song back?
  • Did the crowd finally shut up for Dave Mason?
  • Which T-shirt did Robin Scott choose?
  • What did Rick Springfield get up to?
    Any information much appreciated — I know that the last question in particular is being asked by hundreds of people across the world! In the meantime, a shameless plug for James’ review of Sydney.
  • Countdown Spectacular 2: I was only tongue-tied

    In Sydney’s Qantas Club today on my way to Melbourne, I walked straight past John Schuman and Hugh McDonald from Redgum, presumably en route to Hobart. I should have grabbed the chance to congratulate them and perhaps quizzed them for backstage gossip, but being the introvert I am, I said nothing. I’m always hopeless when I meet performers. And before everyone asks, no, Rick Springfield wasn’t anywhere in sight.

    Countdown Spectacular 2 Sydney: Late, great and loud

    Sydney has a crowding problem. There’s some football match at the stadium next door, so everyone’s late and we don’t kick off until 0745pm. Fortunately, there’s an early cut: Graham Bonnet, shoutier than ever and now officially the show’s worst performer, has ‘Warm Ride’ dropped.

    Other than that, there were no changes in the setlist or order from the Brisbane show, though some of the between-songs banter was trimmed.

    My Sydney friends didn’t want to spend $159, so for this show I viewed everything from a considerable distance in the upper levels, and concentrated on the video screens rather than the stage performers. The camera work is pretty good, though there’s perhaps a few too many band shots.

    By far my favourite camera moment was when journo mate Matthew JC Powell made an appearance in the crowd being hugged by Rick Springfield during his ‘Jesse’s Girl’ participation segment. Springfield, this time sporting a white sleeveless shirt with Orientral characters on it, also got the crowd to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him — a tricky task with ‘Jesse’s Girl’ still playing. (Rick’s birthday was on Thursday).

    Kate did a note and word-perfect version of ‘Trust Me’, and Martha remains utterly amazing. By the close, my cheapskate friends were mulling over travelling to another city to catch the show again. Clearly, my brand of madness is catching.

    Next stop for me is Melbourne next Thursday (I’m missing Hobart on Tuesday).

    Random points:

  • Sharon and M both returned to their Newcastle outfits, though Mr Scott also sported a cap. (I reckon he looks better without it.)
  • Kate alluded to Madonna’s rival cover of ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’, which also surfaced in 1984/5. “I reckon ours was better,” Kate commented, accurately.
  • The Sydney crowd seemed louder than its predecessors, though this also meant ‘Quasimodo’s Dream’ had a clear rumble of audience chatter throughout. Naughty audience!
  • The mic switching during ‘My Generation’ was pretty poor, with many lines being missed entirely.
  • Apparently, one reason for not featuring the finale in Newcastle was the possibility of complaints if the show ran past 11pm. If that was the case, why offer the Radiators an extra song in the first half though?
  • Several viewers of the Brisbane show have commented (via email or here on the blog) that they think the second half of the show lacks a little energy. I can’t say this particularly struck me, but I can see how that perception could emerge: several of the performers showcase ballads in their repertoire (Kate, BSG, Redgum, and pretty much all of Martha).
  • Thanks to everyone for the comments, keep ’em coming!
  • Countdown Spectacular 2 Brisbane: The photo gallery

    As promised, here’s some pics from the Brisbane show. I wasn’t in a particularly good position, my camera is pretty cheap, and I haven’t had time to do any digital editing. Apologies if your preferred 70s act isn’t here. Enough caveats, let’s commence.

    Buy, buy, buy.

    Note that it’s still the local acts who bother to produce merchandise (Rick Springfield, of course, falls in both camps).

    Countdown logo

    The logo rises and the show begins.

    Gavin Wood

    Gavin Wood: a little older, a little rounder.


    Katrina’s walking on sunshine, and I’m trying to work out how to switch on the flash.

    Samantha Fox

    Do we wanna please Sam? Yes.

    Sam and crew

    Sam and the dancers reach a climax of sorts.


    Ignatius Jones in crooner mode . . .


    . . . but leather is never far away.

    The hosts

    Molly and JPY fill the space between songs.

    Shake it!

    Referring to these women as bimbos upset one Gusworld reader.


    The fabulous Sharon O’Neill – give her a second song already!


    Talk about – pop music!

    Wa Wa Nee

    Paul Gray needed stimulation . . .


    . . . but not as much as a synth bass.

    No way, get fucked, fuck off!

    Doc Neeson’s Angels rock the first half to an end.


    Redgum in their newly-minted opening slot.

    Doug Fieger

    The evening’s longest guitar solo for ‘My Sharona’.

    Dave Mason

    ‘Quasimodo’s Dream’ is accompanied by spectacular visuals which I spectacularly failed to photograph.


    Apparently, they like it both ways.

    Molly & Martha

    The world’s least convincing marriage proposal.


    The Wolfgramm Sisters do their best ABBA impersonation.

    Les McKeown

    Rollermania (tartan scarves not pictured).

    Kate Ceberano

    This photo does not do Ms Ceberano’s remarkable wardrobe choice justice.

    Richard Clapton

    Richard Clapton, and part of someone’s head.

    John Paul Young

    John Paul Young: two years in a row and still near the top of the bill.

    Martha Davis

    Martha Davis can sing way better than I can photograph.

    Birtles, Shorrock

    Shorrock, Gobles

    I couldn’t get all the members of Birtles, Shorrock, Gobles in one shot.

    Rick Springfield

    Rick rocks the night to its conclusion.


    Better late than never: the ‘My Generation’ finale.


    We need more mics!


    Rawk and roll!