Despite the dreary Melbourne weather, Max Watts was certainly warm and inviting on Friday night, giving the promise of an incredible show.
The whole venue giving off a very jazz club type vibe, certainly a difference from what was about to walk on stage and get the crowd dancing.
Little Murders was up first, giving the crowd that had already started together a quick, sweet set of pub rock and punk songs, with great stage presence and catchy tunes that got a few people at the very front of the room dancing, drink in hand.
A very fitting support act for the night and definitely opened the flood gates for what was to come.
As the crowd grew larger, so did the anticipation. People standing around everywhere, waiting to be taken on a journey. Which is exactly where we were taken, a journey into history.
Hugh Cornwell is certainly a seasoned musician, with more than 40 years of experience under his belt, his stage presence certainly gave off the impression that performing was second nature.Touring to promote the singers newest solo offering MONSTER, Cornwell gave the crowd an eclectic mix of tracks from his many solo albums, including title track Monster, giving the audience a little bit of back story behind the track.
“I wrote this song about somebody that George Lucas himself has said that if it wasn’t for this man, there would likely be no Star Wars. This song is about Ray Harryhausen, special effects artist”
With 9 solo studio albums in his repertoire, it was great to see the mix of time periods and music that was given to us in the first half of this 26-song set.
A brief intermission, giving the audience the chance to take in the gravity of what they’d just witness and then it was time for the real trip down memory lane, with an incredible selection of songs from Cornwell’s days as front-man for The Stranglers.
This set definitely showcasing the singer’s roots in the New Wave/Punk scene, it was evident to see that he still enjoyed playing these tracks, giving us some historical insight between songs.
Particular highlights from this set would definitely be Peaches a song that makes it hard not to sway around to the beat, with Cornwell’s signature growling intro.
And of course Golden Brown arguably the bands most recognizable song to date, had the whole crowd singing along and reveling in the moment of hearing this song live, some for the first time, and some maybe even for the second or third.
Ending the night on probably the punkiest song from the singer’s discography Tank, still giving the crowd something to dance to till the very end.
Just being able to witness the years of experience and hard work was something to remember and getting a musical history lesson was a treat.
It’s no wonder that Hugh Cornwell is still someone who is very much loved around the world.
Review Contributed by Haleigh Torrance