Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Fri 10 Nov.
It’s another trip back to a golden era of Australian music this evening, as Ed Kuepper and his well-credentialled band of brothers, The Aints, are putting on a show comprising songs from The Saints’ first three albums. As an extra treat, the special guests for this evening are Harry Howard and the NDE, featuring Dave Graney, Clare Moore and Edwina Preston. They do a great job in starting the evening’s proceedings with a bang. There’s no reason for the crowd not to be up for this.
Kuepper acknowledges the healthy-sized Gov gathering before the four men in black launch the show with This Perfect Day from The Saints’ third album, Prehistoric Sounds. Enthusiastic pub-like applause and whooping follows. Kuepper smiles and drawls “Thank you. Thank you very much”. So, we are all on the same side then; let’s start this party. The Prisoner comes next, in a couple of guises.
The Chameleon features some attractive and interesting moments from the three-piece brass section and, according to Kuepper, it’s the first time this particular arrangement has been played in Adelaide. He exhorts the audience members to get into the show and provides a perfect opportunity with Everything’s Fine, which features a fun singalong. “Max Bygraves would be proud,” Kuepper laughs.
The set progresses, and the audience is getting what it wants, without getting too involved in proceedings. It’s The Aints, playing The Saints, and it’s loud. Very loud. The brass section makes every effort to be heard amid the din. The same can be said for the keyboards of Alister Spence. Paul Larson’s (The Celibate Rifles) drums and Peter Oxley’s (Sunnyboys) bass are, along with Kuepper, making just about as big a noise as The Gov can take.
Kuepper and his mates depart slightly from the promised three-album setlist, and they play a few songs that didn’t make it onto the original records. SOS 75 begins a set-within-a-set that also includes other “new/old” songs such as the lurching Demolition Girl Part 2, The Church Of Simultaneous Existence and Red Aces, augmented with some nice brass.
It’s back to more familiar territory as the show moves towards its inevitable outcome. Songs like the haunting Brisbane and Messin’ With The Kid help to gently raise the level of mild crowd frenzy.
Everyone in the room knows it is coming, but there is still a roar of approval as the first chords of (I’m) Stranded fill the room. It’s an emotional climax to the evening but this band ain’t done yet. Maybe they are hoping that the crowd will finally explode into a mass of thrashing bodies. There’s time for a couple more before The Aints say farewell to Adelaide.
The band has been fabulous; Kuepper has played and sung like a man possessed. It looks like he’s had a good night, and he has probably been the hardest working person in the room. Well played.
by David Robinson
Image courtesy of David Robinson