Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Sun 4 Dec.
It’s hard to imagine how that could have gone any better. After twelve years away, george returned to Adelaide to thrill long-time fans and newcomers alike, delivering a show densely packed with flawlessly performed hits. It was evident as the band opened with the intricately playful Still Real that the time away had done nothing to diminish their combined talents and they set about showing the packed Governor Hindmarsh Hotel audience what they’d been missing.
Sibling duo Katie and Tyrone Noonan were both in fine voice, teasing one another and taking turns leading the band through their respective songs when they weren’t goofing on David Bowie or jamming on Smoke On The Water or Eye Of The Tiger. The band’s grooves were devoid of rust, and they capably deployed the driving and frequently complex rhythms that underpin their tracks with casual ease.
An early highlight came when Katie Noonan dropped out of Special Ones because the audience was ably carrying her vocal for her, and she could be seen to wipe a tear away at one point during the sing-along. Breathe In Now followed, and with it came another opportunity for the audience to join in, singing throughout before being invited to provide a harmony chorale to finish.
It was clear as the evening progressed that band and audience alike had been looking forward to this, with Katie Noonan remarking that they always have the best shows in Adelaide, eventually going on to list the many venues the band had played around town.
george closed out their main set with an enviable string of jams, turning in spirited consecutive renditions of Breaking It Slowly, Release, Today, Bastard Son, and Spawn, by the end of which, the audience had been whipped into a deafening frenzy. The band returned to encore with the Pauline Hanson-baiting Homebrew and left with a rocking That’s When You Come To Me.
The show was opened by Adelaide’s own Sarah King, who previewed songs from her self-titled debut EP, creating a warm and delicate relaxed piano pop vibe for those in the front who could hear her over the dull roar of chatting bar patrons. Sydney’s Jack Carty fared slightly better with his more upbeat pop folk, but only when Katie Noonan joined him for his penultimate track did the raucous crowd hush to take notice, an opportunity squandered as he extensively retuned for his finale.
While the support acts did their best, it was clear from the way that the audience hushed for Katie Noonan’s guest spot that they had eyes only for the headliners, and the faithful were rewarded with a frequently spectacular gig that was well worth the wait. Here’s to hoping that there’s more where that came from.
Image courtesy of Andreas Heuer @ AK Photography