Jamie Lidell at The Forum, Friday 9 January

January 12, 2009

It might be too early to call this the “Best Gig of 2009” when the only competition from my end was Mystery Jets last Sunday and my performance of “Even Flow” on Guitar Hero the other night, but it’s tempting.

I’d heard good reports of Jamie Lidell’s live shows and the promise of a “5-piece band” got me all excited. There was a good feeling the moment I entered the venue. It turns out that Jamie Lidell has quite a following here in Sydney – much more so that I had realised. In fact, the place was jam-packed and I haven’t seen a more enthusiastic crowd in a long while, or one that knew the song lyrics better.

The main support act was Ray Mann 3, a local trio spinning out charismatic soul jazz jams that went on for about 10 minutes each but never got dull. But as is usually the case, the crowd was there for the main show and they were treated from the moment the band entered the stage. Here’s a quick summary of their costume style for the evening:

– 70s porn star drummer with aviators and mo
– Keyboardist looking like Keith Richards’ eccentric brother
– Guitarist/bassist in 70s motor racing gear
– Saxophonist/vocoder looking like Seth Rogen in a Billy Ray Cyrus t-shirt and all-white tracksuit

The show started off well but occasionally got lost in the quirks. The vocal vs vocoder battle in one song went on a bit too long and Lidell’s self-sampling in “The City” was a little bit indulgent. But then it all kicked into a higher gear mid-way, with energetic versions of “Another Day” (a crowd favourite), “Wait For Me” and others.

The most enduring impression is of Lidell’s amazing charisma and energy. The guy didn’t stop – bouncing, dancing, emoting. He gave it his all and his live vocals were nearly flawless. For someone who loves technology, he doesn’t need any artificial enhancement in that department.

Sydney loved him and we like to think he loved us back. He certainly gave us something to remember.


One comment

  1. his nyc show @ bowery last year had the exact same energy you describe, even as nyc audiences tend to be lacklustre at times.

    definitely was one of my top gigs of 2008 (especially since 2008 was a pretty big gig year for me)

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