painkiller gig 22 dec

Painkiller gig last Monday night, 22 Dec 2008, Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst.

I went along to the gig with the same friend I first went to see the Church with in Dec 1987, exactly 21 years ago, when Under the Milky Way was first performed. What has happened to us in 21 years?? Well, he has two children and a business that keeps him mightily busy while I'm childless and footloose and work in a library and make music in my spare time.

...I really don't wish to give up my music. I attribute my latter-day confidence and sanity to music, and the relationship that music has had with me over all of these years.

This was Steve Kilbey's 2nd Painkiller gig, the first gig having been at the same venue on 10 September this year. On 10 September I came in on my own at around 10pm and was upset because a close friend had been crying on the phone to me. Hearing those songs for the first time in the delicate state I was in had a seismic effect on me, I latched onto the sound and power of the Painkiller set instantly and walked out of the venue a changed man, inspired, raw and opened up within.

I had the advantage of being fully familiar with the songs by the time of the Dec 22 gig. It appeared that there were a few less people in the audience this time. Unfortunately I didn't speak to any of the bloggers but I now know who a few more of them are via Steve Kilbey's blog and facebook so next time I will definitely say hello to a few people. The girl doing the merch told me to hang around for Steve to sign the book I bought. I didn't feel like hanging around so I left but I hope I can tail Steve somewhere before he goes off to Melbourne so that he can sign my book. I haven't commenced reading it. I'm determined to finish Jim Sharman's autobiography before I touch anything else.

The Painkiller set was classic Kilbey rock. The band sound was full and exquisite. My eyes, as I was dancing away, were fixated on Kilbey and his bass. I was aurally transfixed by Kilbey's lyrics and his melodies juxtaposed to the bass riffs. Steve Kilbey is a master of composition, not utterly dissimillar to J S Bach who was a genius of counterpoint, the way the melody and bass groove together in such a bedrock yet inspired fashion. The bass-playing of Kilbey's takes me in to a very deep place, and god I love that.

Not to take anything away from the other fine musicians. Rick Maymi provided a wonderful wall of sound and glided his way through inventive chordal shapes and picked notes throughout the entire set so that, along with the rhythm guitar and keyboard programmer, the band imparted to these songs a colossal mix that made for a magnificent live sound. There's an idiot on Kilbey's blog who's causing a stir in attempting to diss Maymi's guitar playing, failing in his ignorance to acknowledge that Maymi is a brilliant musician. Be at the gig, watch him play, listen to him play, and then you know. Some people however can't know that, it's beyond their ken, so they diss. Maymi was brilliant.

Kilbey's bass was out of tune at the beginning but I didn't pick up on that and neither did my friend who has razor-sharp ears. The backdrop slide-show was awesome and enhanced the impact of these powerful songs. Kilbey appeared a touch more laid-back than he did at the September gig where he evinced a one-pointed resoluteness in performing these songs live for the first time. The band looked like they may have shared a smoke or drink or two but in no way did that detract from the performance, the music was perhaps made all the more sensual and pungent for it.

A brilliant gig and night. I wish Steve wasn't moving out of Sydney. It's been great having him here all these years and attending these fantastic gigs year after year, whether it be solo, the Church, or now Painkiller. But life moves on. I may be outta here before long, too.


Chuckles said…
Hi Ross,

don't move anywhere before I get back! Only 8 days to go, can't wait. Diggin the blog (esp glam uke shot!), Christmas looked like fun. Take care, catch you soon...

davem said…
What a great review.
ross b said…
Hey Dave, thanks for the comment, really wish you could have been there!!

Chuckles I'm not going anywhere (fast) so contact me when you arrive back in Sydney!
Great review Ross!

Funny, I never realised what a huge Church/Kilbey fan you were, not even at uni until the bloggin'. Great thing, blogs are, love 'em.

Take care, all the best for the New Year. Let's hope it's a good one, with lots of good cheer :)
ross b said…
I was a fan then but i was a bit more into Jam & Cure etc. I'm a bigger fan than ever of the Church now!!

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