Adelaide rock royalty and heroes of people in pubs everywhere- The Angels returned home for two 26 track evenings, last Friday and Saturday night. At The Gov as apart of their aptly titled A-Z tour they performed a song for every letter of the alphabet, excluding ‘Q’, as according to Dave Gleeson “what band has a song starting with ‘Q’ anyway!”
Words & Photos by Kellie Leaver
The four-piece opened the evening with ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’, and the audience predictably responded with the iconic chant “No way, get f@!*&, f%&# off!” At times the crowd’s shouting overpowered the music, no truer could it have been that “it’s become the audience’s song, it doesn’t belong to the band anymore” as Doc Neeson once confessed.
The masses were admittedly past their prime much like The Angels themselves. Yet their energy and interaction with the music surpassed many younger crowds I have been a part of at recent gigs and festivals. The audience screamed the lyrics faultlessly back at the band and their sense of nostalgia and communal reminiscence could not be ignored.
The Angels’ performances of ‘Shadow Boxer’, ‘Mr Damage’ and ‘We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ were marked with searing guitar and thumping drums. It was difficult to decipher where one instrument began and another ended. A sweaty Dave Gleeson romped erratically on the stage before a proclaiming “It’s 12 degrees outside but it’s f#@%*g heating up in here!” Rick Brewster thought so too, removing his fedora during the intermission. Notably, he rocked harder than anyone I’ve ever seen rock in a fedora.
During the slower ballad of ‘Fashion and Fame’ and in the chorus of ‘Face the Day’ the band inspired intimacy with quiet tapping drums and Gleeson’s overwhelming croons were echoed by the crowds as he threw his curly locks back. ‘Marseilles’ and ‘No Secrets’ were tenderly executed with occasional outbursts of on-stage madness by Gleeson.
The Angels delivered a set that ticked all the boxes required of a classic rock gig. There was all the stench, energy and precision expected of experienced musicians from a late seventies and eighties band. They rarely deviated from the originals, remaining lyrically and musically faithful. The explosion of energy and noise overwhelmed both The Gov’s small stage and Saturday’s loyal crowd.