Gurus Apologise To Melbourne: ‘We Completely Misread You’
News posted Thursday, April 26 2012 at 09:00 AM.
Related: Hoodoo Gurus, Dig It Up.
The Hoodoo Gurus have apologised for cutting their set short at their Dig It Up! invitational in Melbourne yesterday (April 25).
The Gurus performed their 1984 debut Stoneage Romeos in its entirety, as well as a three-song encore, including 'Be A Woman', 'Television Addict' and 'Be My Guru', but a misunderstanding between crowd and band saw them wind up their set after about 80 minutes. The band had planned to perform a second encore, but decided to pull the pin when they couldn’t hear the audience cheering from their dressing room.
Lead singer Dave Faulkner, who’s been battling a chest infection that’s affected his singing for the past few days, posted the following statement on the band’s Facebook wall last night:
Tonight, we watched The Sonics play and they got a great reaction - so much so that when we walked on stage it seemed like there was hardly a murmur of excitement for us. That was a bit disconcerting to us but, nevermind, we were gonna give it our best shot. We played 'Stoneage Romeos' and were quite enjoying ourselves but, again, it felt like "you guys" were all just kinda hanging back and checking it out. We honestly thought you had pretty much had your fill of entertainment and were pretty much worn out. I now know that was completely wrong and that in fact a lot of you were really digging it. The people in front of us, though, were not moving or cheering very much, reinforcing our feeling that we were "surplus to requirements". It didn't matter - we tried our hardest and put everything into it.
The real misunderstanding started after that: I thought that we would be only be getting asked (by you) for one encore and that we would embarrass ourselves by trying to push for an extra one - it didn't sound like anyone even wanted ONE because there wasn't much cheering from where we stood backstage. I had planned on playing 'Be A Woman' for The Sonics and 'Television Addict' for the 188.8.131.52's if we got a second encore but as that didn't appear likely, I wrongly concluded, I decided to play them as the first (and only) encore instead of the songs I had originally planned for the encore (which some of you might have seen written on our setlist below the 'Stoneage Romeos' set).
So we came out for the encore (without much apparent fanfare) and we played 'Be A Woman', 'Television Addict' and 'Be My Guru' and after that it finally seemed like there was some cheering. We went up to our dressing room at the top of the building thinking to ourselves, "Great! At last - we've got some reaction." Unfortunately, from that dressing room we couldn't hear ANY of the continued cheering in the room and NO-ONE TOLD US. We were completely unaware of the strong reaction and we undressed and were towelling down. It was only after ten minutes that we found out that there had been such a strong demand for an encore and by then it was all too late.
We would have like to play more and I'm very sorry now that we didn't. We completely misread you, the audience, and were oblivious to how much were enjoying yourselves so again, I'm very sorry about this misunderstanding.
I really mean every word of what I just wrote but I also really mean this: nobody was shortchanged tonight. It was a fucking GREAT day of rock'n'roll by everybody and anyone that thinks they didn't get value for money is kidding themselves. We played ‘Stoneage Romeos’ exactly as we said we would which in itself was a unique thing. In no way was this a "regular" Hoodoo Gurus gig and we always knew that we couldn't play many of our other songs because ‘Stoneage’ was the principal focus of these shows.
I'm sorry that we disappointed some of you (maybe many of you) but it was certainly not our intention however I do think we played a good show even if it wasn't as long as you would have liked.
Highlights from the Melbourne leg of Dig It Up! included:
– The Lovetones performing songs from an upcoming “greatest tits” in the Attic Bar, complete with psychedelic 12-string wig-outs and some seamless instrument-swapping from bassist-keyboardist Matthew Sigley. Belles Will Ring’s Liam Judson guested on guitar.
– Dream Syndicate singer and Paisley Underground spearhead Steve Wynn, who inadvertently created a fire hazard by packing out every last inch of the Attic, including the staircase. Wynn enthralled devotees with cuts from 1982 debut The Days of Wine and Roses, including classics 'That's What You Always Say' and ‘Tell Me When It’s Over’, which prompted a huge response from the crowd. Wynn's pick-up band included The Fleshtones’ Keith Streng.
– The evergreen Redd Kross, whose hyperactive drummer Roy McDonald (no relation to brothers Steve and Jeff) entertained us between songs with relentless stick-twirling and Keith Moon faces. If the one-two-three punch of ‘Pretty Please Me’, ‘Jimmy’s Fantasy’ and ‘Lady In The Front Row’ weren’t enough, they played ‘Linda Blair’ from Born Innocent; a song from a forthcoming new album that more than stacked up to the rest of the material; and finished with ‘Crazy World’, which sparked an audience sing-a-long. Someone outside described it as an “out of body experience”. (As an aside: where in the world was guitarist Robert Hecker? His replacement though, was more than adequate.)
– Despite looking “fairly grumpy” at Sydney Dig It Up! and putting in a frustrating performance at
Altamont The Gasometer earlier this month, Royal Headache’s Shogun was in fine form and full voice up in the Attic Bar. He ripped his shirt off towards the end of the set and cut no less than two songs short: ‘Surprise’, which he said was being played too slow, and an inspired cover of ‘Teardrops’ by Womack & Womack, which barely even got out of the gates. Jeff McDonald from Redd Kross looked impressed.
Dig It Up! concludes with a sold-out show in The Hoodoo Gurus’ native Perth this Saturday (April 28).
(Photo by Chris Turner)