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Reviews of The Palace, Melbourne, Oct 24 1997 Print E-mail
Friday, 24 October 1997
Peter graciously allowed me to film (low end VHS) this concert from his side of the stage, and also take pictures from there. That's why the photos are a bit different this time around.

Melbourne - October 24th 1997

The Palace


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Photo and montage by Matt ( )

Set List

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Thanks to John Brown for grabbing this off the stage !
  • Columbus
  • Comedown
  • An Interlude
  • Bel Air
  • Ripple
  • Dome
  • NSEW
  • Old Flame
  • Hotel Womb
  • Under the Milky Way
  • Day of the Dead
  • Destination
  • Two Places At Once
  • Almost With You
  • Grind
  • Roman
  • Reptile
  • Myrhh
  • Tantalized (last song of first set)

  • Constant In Opal (first encore)
  • Is This Where You Live?

  • In A Heartbeat (second encore)
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All photos in this section were taken by Brian Smith. The references to the pre-show dinner at the Big Mouth refer to the Seance members gathering for a spot of socializing, which was organized by Al. As a special surprise, however, I invited the band along as well ! Marty, Tim, Jane (Tim's wife) and Trevor Johnstone arrived and gave everyone a night to remember.

John Brown

I gritted my teeth all the way through the Black-Eyed Susans, their style of music seems to be all about trying to be 'real' and 'gritty', I found it too much, especially that song about 'a bottle of red'. Just say it once! The Church did a great set. Everyone seemed to want to get as close to the stage as possible, even before they started playing. I got jabbed by a cigarette, and almost came to blows once...

stage1s.jpg 8.64 KI had never seen the Church before, they were as I had imagined them based on what I had heard from Seance, no more or less. I don't agree that they started off too slowly or quietly, Columbus really rocked. I enjoyed the main set a lot more than the encores, Tantalized had pretty bad sound quality. Pete did a great job but came a distant third in the popularity stakes. Marty did all the rock-wank moves with consummate grace and skill; Steve was, well, the Borg :-) I was suprised by the lack of dialog between songs - there was less than at the Sydney show, it seemed. No technical hitches I noticed, although Peter seemed mixed a lot lower than Marty on a lot of the songs, especially Tantalized. The opposite to Sydney?

crowds.jpg 9.74 KI had been hoping for some new songs, especially as I'd heard one at the sound check earlier in the day. No chance. The setlist also seemed identical to the Sydney one. But in their favour, they all played incredibly, hardly any muffed lines or notes, you would have thought they'd practiced for the days, I guess they did back in Sydney, but they only played a few of the songs in the soundcheck, and even fewer in full. I had a lousy time trying to take photos, I managed to work my way up to the front on Peter's side, then some security goon lunged forward and tried to grab my camera off me. So I worked my way round to Marty's side, where I got lots of photos of the audience's hands and heads. The audience was incredible, they got right into it, a girl in front of me fainted (possibly from the heat), they clapped in time through one of the songs, the cheering and cries for more after Is This Where You Live had to be heard to be believed. Steve's phrasing diverged dramatically from the albums on some songs, esp. Ripple, a bit much for comfort. The lyrics sounded different in parts of Destination and Is This Where You Live, did anyone get them? [Brian : If that's the only lyric changes you noticed then you weren't paying attention ;-) ! ]

Some notes: The set was probably a bit under two hours. Highlights for me were NSEW, Old Flame (I didn't realise the opening melody was a bass guitar), Hotel Womb, Day of the Dead (Tim's drumming really kicked, and this was the most 'jam-my' song of the lot) and Grind. At Margot's show, Pete said that after Is This Where You Live?, Steve didn't want to play any more songs and said to put on some music instead, but Pete argued that it was too late to back out, and thus saved the day....

marty4s.jpg 5.73 KAlso at Margot's show, Margot commented that all these fans had gathered at the Palace well before the show trying to meet their idols, when Marty and Tim were having dinner with the Seancers, Pete was having dinner with her, and Steve was enjoying an ice-cream just down the road :) A great, great shame that they played nothing from Seance, although I wasn't expecting any. To hear Electric or Disappear would have been fantastic.

Thanks to Brian for giving me a back-stage pass which I used for Tanya and Gary as well. I ended up wishing I hadn't gone, though, after I left all my precious copies of NSEW behind :-( - thanks again to Brian for retrieving some of them.

Thanks to Trevor, his tireless promotion of the GS/WSL single probably made more money for the band than the sales of MATS in the USA did!

Al Cementon
Thanks to all who came to BigMouth on Friday night. Had I've known there'd be so many I would've grabbed more tables.. but all seemed to go OK, Marty and Tim didn't turn green and froth at the mouth mid-show. For those who didn't make it, suffer!! (heheheh) Don't worry, you were all well represented in the spirit of Seance.

After BigMouth 'twas a stroll down AcklanSt in the warmish Melbourne evening to the Palace. Most of us probably didn't notice Henry Rollins was giving spokenword next door at the Palais and Deborah Conway (ex-DO RE MI) was playing just up the road.

Then the BlackEyed Suzans...heavy dark groove, music born from too many beers and cigarettes at a wooden table in an outdoor garden at a local pub.

mwleaves.jpg 10.67 KAnd then the Church. You're not going to get a list outa me because I don't remeber. The first couple were a bit flat with loud drums, but then it picked up, and picked up bigtime. They played Bel-Air and that was it... I lost it from there... just too busy dancing and losing my voice. Apparently they played for well over 2 hours, but it felt like an eternity in an instant... which ended In A Heartbeat. I'd never heard that live before. If you think that rocks on record, well that, kind people, does not come close to what I heard on stage last Friday night.

Saturday died with heat exhaustion

Sunday evening in a welcomed breeze brought a handful of Seancers to the Public Bar, North Melbourne, and an intimate sitting with Margot, Peter and a couple of familiar faces that I have trouble putting a name to. Yummy sounds in a cosy room.

Then off to bed and a needed kip ('sleep' to non-australians).



ok, here's my perspective of the evening. firstly, a minor complaint re: the venue : the Old Lion in adelaide where i've seen them play twice is superior to the Palace in terms of acoustics and viewing imho. Surprisingly, considering melb's much larger population, the old lion hotel's capacity also seems on par to the palce also.

THE PRE SHOW DINNER : What can one say? thankfully, didn't have to drink Vic Bitter - Coopers Ale (brewed in Adelaide and apparantly Marty and Trevor Boyd's favourite brew) was available. had a great time discussing things church with everyone at the table ; great to meet other down to earth people that just so happen to be obsessed by the same music and soundscapes that have become such a major part of my life. this wasn't the time or place for high brow intellectualism (not that i don't enjoy these kinds of analytical discussions) ; it was a chance to affiliate, relax, and enjoy oneself. not to mention an opportunity to mingle with a couple of unexpected celebrities. I was at Tim's table ; at this point the only factual info i can really remember him saying was that the new material has more of a live feel to it. i went over to Marty (who was at the other table) and asked him about his collaboration with Brix Smith from the Fall. It seems that the songs he wrote with her weren't recorded, due to lack of interest from record companies. I'll let the people with better memories fill you in on what was a memorable dinner.

marty2s.jpg 6.75 K THE GIG : yes, as people have mentioned from the sydney show a slow start i thought. apparantly it was just me, but i also thought that the actual volume for the first third of the show just wasn't loud enough. as those who were there will testify however, things picked up though! highlights for me were "day of the dead" and an enormous version of "roman". perhaps because a lot of the other songs i've seen them do live before.

BACKSTAGE : didn't think i'd be able to get backstage, but thanks to John's (from NZ) backstage pass i somehow snuck through. didn't chat to PK, but met SK for the first time. he looked understandably tired, but doesn't look 43. couldn't resist telling him we were born on the same date ; he seemed a trifle melancholy when he told me he was exactly 20 years older than i. I stutter quite badly sometimes - BTW Brian, i didn't hear you stutter at all, and congrats on a fantastic performance on JJJ - ; it's nothing to do with nerves; it's just a part of me, and steve mentioned that when he's stoned that he sometimes stutters. i told him that when i get stoned my speech improves, but one can't be stoned 24 hours a day! (no answer from steve when i said this). (thanks john for helping me out with saying my name :)).

all in all, a night that will remain in my memory for a lifetime. sorry for the lack of insight / descriptive imagery, i'll let the experts on this list handle that.

Monica Green
I guess I wanted to try to be the first to report about the Melbourne concert because it was a great concert.

Not just that but it was great meeting: Gary, Laureen, Albert, Hayden, John, Jonathan, Tonya, Matt (not Green), David, Michael... um did I forget anybody oh well I already knew Brian, and my husband of course. (17 or 18 in total including special guests.)

Trevor Boyd whose Fanzine will be jammed pack next Issue was also there. And this was all pre-show tea. Pity those of you who didn't make it to Big Mouth's because Marty and Tim . You might know his name from Welcome.

The opening act The Black-Eyed Susans finished with a rockin' song which was quite enjoyable (so was some of their other songs... I didn't hear the whole set so I am not saying "all".) I quite enjoyed watching the Keyboard player and the Bass player had to be one of the most lively Bass players I have ever seen.

Then... well I can't say anything I've been left speechless and well... if you know me that's pretty amazing!

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