Tim Rogers and David Lane at the Canberra Theatre Centre
They were good. Tim was funny. They played well. They played ‘Gone Gone Gone’, ‘Beautiful Girl’ and ‘Damage’ off Dress Me Slowly, a pleasant surprise. Tim rendered ‘Berlin Chair’ and ‘Jaimme’s Got a Gal’ and ‘If We Can’t Get It Together’, which were the three tracks that got whoops from the crowd, but the less well-known tracks were my preferred options. Like ‘Not an Option Now’; hardly obscure but hardly a chart-buster, David Lane’s one lead vocal was the superb track from his superb album from a couple of years back, Atonally Young. (Get it!) Otherwise we got more Roger’s solo stuff than You Am I stuff, but plenty of both. Four tracks (four!) from What Rhymes With Cars and Girls, (‘Under the Flightpath’, ‘Left My Heart All Over the Place’, ‘Hi, We’re the Support Band’ and ’28’), a scattering from more recent efforts including a delightful ‘Beau Geste’ from 2008’s Dilettantes and ‘Part Time Dads’ from Rogers Sings Rogerstein. (This is a non-exhaustive list — I don’t keep notes.) ‘One Drink At A Time’ came up, so to speak. We got ‘Some Fella’s Heartbreaker’ off of Spit Polish and ‘Paragon Café‘ (I ate there a few week ago) off… well, I first heard it on The Temperance Union, the bonus CD that came with early copies of Dress Me Slowly. ‘Wise Words’ from The Luxury of Hysteria was introduced as being inspired by his psychiatrist, or something. (It begins ‘Wise words ain’t always kind words’). Umm… Can’t think of anything more… There was a Rockpile cover in the encore, which was, oh yes, followed by ‘Heavy Heart’. I like that one well enough but would have preferred something more obscure.
Given the breadth of Tim’s output, it was a reasonable sampling. Given the nature of the venue (I found myself sitting down in a comfy seat four rows back from the centre of the stage) I did not expect an adrenaline-soaked rock ‘n’ roll fuelled high, and it wasn’t; it was a mostly polite evening of listening to an amusing, sometimes charming, sometimes spiky guy play and sing with his mate (who happens to be a truly — did I use the word ‘superb’ already? — superb guitar player).
I don’t want to go and pretend I’m 20 again. I don’t want to hear the old stuff. I want the new stuff. So I enjoyed the mishmash of old and new they played, because even an old song is new if it hardly ever get an airing. I don’t want another version of ‘Heavy Heart’ or ‘Berlin Chair’, but they were really the only ‘obvious’ selections, and for that I am grateful.
And a lovely evening was had by all.
Best one-liner of the evening: ‘I’m not an alcoholic. Alcoholics go to meetings. I’m a drunk.’
Worst mental image: Tim and David jumping up and down on their beds in Young (NSW) in their ‘tighty whiteys’.
Plug of the evening: Tim notes, literally out corner of his mouth, that the stage show centred around What Rhymes With Cars and Girls is likely coming to Canberra in the near future.