As a 90’s teenager who was obsessed with 70’s rock and metal, I never spent much time listening to Triple J and as a result, was a late comer to the band You Am I. In 2001 I tagged along with a good friend and his Rogers obsessed sister to the Tivoli Hotel in Adelaide and my mind was blown away by the performance of Tim Rogers with his amazing stage presence, pure charm and the hugely energetic, embodiment of all that is rock and roll.
That gig catapulted You Am I to the position of my favourite Australian band and I quickly formed a Tim Rogers obsession that annoyed the majority of my friends. However I soon started to believe that there was a hit and miss element to his performances. I would talk up how amazing You Am I and Tim Rogers were and drag people along to gigs to see one of the best live bands in Australia, only to be disappointed by a ‘miss’.
I had yet to see Rogers do a solo show and reading the reviews of this tour in the lead up to his Adelaide gig I was concerned that it would not live up to the high expectation he had set for me with that 2001 performance. I am glad to say that when Tim Rogers played at the Governor Hindmarsh on the 20th of September it certainly was a hit.
The night began with Catherine Britt who performed solo for the majority of her set. Opening with the haunting murder ballad ‘Sally Bones’, she proceeded to impress the audience with a sweet yet commanding and full bodied set of storytelling songs in a mix of country, soul and blues. Before each song she took the time to explain how they were inspired and this just further complimented her down to earth, story teller nature.
She talked of her home town before performing ‘Charleston Road’ a song that had me reminiscing about my own country town childhood with the lines “Do we ever stop missing our childhood home, no matter how far away I roam, I know I won’t”. Catherine’s humble and approachable nature made her performance an intimate occasion that not only entertained but allowed the audience an opportunity to connect with her as a personal and emotive songwriter.
Near the end of Catherine’s set Tim casually wanders out onto the stage and joins her in the sweet duet of ‘Troubled Man’ before the rest of Tim’s band joins in and sets the tone for what is yet to come with a dose of rockabilly and I begin to hope that there will be no break between performers and Tim Rogers and his band will continue to play into the next act.
This however wasn’t the case and it is soon obvious as to why. The first few songs of the second half of the evening were a very mellow and relaxed offering of soothing country and soulful blues flavoured tunes. Rogers was reserved initially, moderately swaggering as his smooth vocals charmed and captivated.
As the night progressed the music took on more of the rock element we are used to seeing from a Tim Rogers show and it wasn’t long until we started to see some of Rogers’ signature rock and roll moves to accompany the rise of intensity in the band’s sound. Soon after the band change direction again and head into a psychedelic, homage to The Doors, driven by keyboardist Cameron Bruce. This shift doesn’t seem that hard for the front man to make, as he impersonates Jim Morrison, while still maintaining that witty Rogers sense of humour.
The night returned to a more intimate setting as guitarist, Shane O’Mara accompanies Rogers with a selection of sweet, sensitive tunes. Rogers gives an honest and heartfelt thanks to all that have supported him and for having the opportunity to perform and create music for over 20 years. Perhaps this sentiment came from the fact that it was his birthday (Catherine Britt presented a cake to Rogers as we all sang happy birthday) and he was feeling nostalgic or maybe it was just that moment of tour inspired clarity that had him yearning to express his non lyrical thoughts. In either case it was a sweet moment that only further built that connection us Rogers’ fans hold.
As I mentioned I was a late comer to 90’s Aus - Rock and as a teenager was more obsessed with 70’s rockers so I was delighted to hear the band bring the night to an end with Led Zeppelin’s Misty Mountain Hop, giving drummer Gus Agers the opportunity to belt out some Bonham style beats on the kit.
Tim Rogers and his band certainly did put on an amazing show, which regained my confidence in his live gigs, at least for now. So fair warning to all my friends, you will be dragged along to a Tim Rogers gig in the near future, as I hold bated breath in the hope that he continues to surpass those high expectations he set for me over a decade ago.