[LIVE REVIEW] Easy Fever @ Forum Theatre, Melbourne 19/12/2017

That’s a wrap! What a year 2017 has been for live music in Melbourne and to finish it off with Easy Fever I felt like the luckiest girl alive.  What is Easy Fever I hear you ask? Take the most amazing songs ever written in the history of Australian music ie. The Easybeats and give it to five of the best muso’s in the industry, and you have Easy Fever.

With a duration close to three hours and over thirty songs it was a nothing short of amazing that all the band members were still standing let alone singing their hearts out by the final song. So here is my take on how it all went down, enjoy!

The demographic of the night was ‘mature’ aged music lovers, many having grown up with The Easybeats and similar bands from the sixties and seventies.  All out to enjoy themselves with a little singing and dancing, and I must say they were a very well behaved audience.

Put this All-Star band lead by Jak Housden (The Whitlams), Ash Naylor (Even), Dario Bortolin (Baby Animals), Dave Hibbard (Joe Bonamassa) and Clayton Doley (Divinyls) together and you have an ensemble made in heaven.  Add to this your singers for the night Chris Cheney (The Living End), Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon), Tex Perkins (The Cruel Sea), Tim Rogers (You Am I), and Kram (Spiderbait) and you have celestial greatness in its highest form. Opening the night’s proceedings was Phil singing Woman (Make You Feel Alright) and it went down an absolute treat.  Tim took over the vocals with She’s So Fine, channeling his inner Stevie Wright with ease.  His feet light as a feather as he produced all the trademark moves. For My Woman was up next with Tex taking the lead, he managed to stay upright until its completion when he had a small altercation with Dario’s speaker and took a tumble, but he was back on his feet giving the thumbs up in seconds.  Kram’s first song was I Can See, which saw them all warmed up and ready to unleash an amazing night of music history.

The boys made short work of so many songs, some of my highlights were Kram’s take on Sorry, with its palm muting giving that raspy heavy sound that works so well.  Wedding Ring by Tex, I’ll Make You Happy by Chris and Phil taking on the worldwide hit Friday On My Mind. Kram had plenty of opportunities to jump behind he kit, sometimes with such gusto that running repairs were required. If he wasn’t banging the drums he was banging his leg or clapping his hands keeping everyone right on beat, classic drummer behaviour. Guitarist extraordinaire Chris Cheney accompanied for many songs his spanking white Gretsch getting a thorough work out.  His singing was faultless all evening and his version of Guitar Band was standout.  Tim Rogers was the king of the costume changes, with enough stripes on his pants and jackets to out weigh all the zebra crossings in Melbourne.  His energy so intense I could see him giving the energizer bunny a run for its money.

Dynamic front man Phil Jamieson was superb, with a few jacket changes himself, he was vocally on point all night and drew the crowd in with his charm and charisma. While Tex took great pleasure in labeling him the ‘work experience kid’ he proved hands down he was a master of his trade.  While being a very authoritarian figure Tex’s singing added an element of surprise to the night, while demanding your attention right from the start, he was not imposing as you might imagine, just an exceptional singer doing what comes naturally.

After a brief intermission it was time to turn it up a notch with Tim giving us a killer version of Black Eye Bruiser. Chris looked so at ease with the Flash And The Pan classic Hey St Peter, definitely one of my favourites of the night. Down Among The Dead Men another stellar addition.  Kram did a fabulous version of the JPY classic Yesterday’s Hero, and Tex hit the St Louis nail on the head perfectly. Stevie Wright’s Hard Road brought all singers together to finish out the set. The brilliance of Vander & Young highly represented all night.

After cheers for more Tim returned with The Music Goes ‘Round My Head, then what we all wanted to hear Evie in its entirety, Kram took on part 1, Tex gave a soulful part 2 and Phil sealed the deal with part 3.  Captivating from start to finish it was Vander & Young song writing at its finest.  Good Times had all return to stage for a smashing final song, everyone dancing and singing enjoying every minute. Full credit must go to musical director Jak Housden who put together an absolutely amazing show, he and his band were sensational all evening, tight to the last beat.

With Melbourne the final destination on the tour Easy Fever now hangs up its reins, we can only hope it will back again someday, it’s the one ‘fever’ I would be happy to catch again!

Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale