Words by Tom Gaffney
Tonight marked the return of The Gov’s famous variety shows, curated by the delightful albeit cheesy entertainer Ross Voss. These shows championed Monday nights at the Ed Castle and Crown and Sceptre, bringing good times to 150 nights for the good Adelaide pub-goers. These nights were packed with incredible performers such as The Skeleton Club, James McCann, and Lonelyspeck, and gave local artists a ton of opportunities over the years to perform to a venue full of people.
This night completely packed out the Gov's main room, which felt like an incredible feat from the reprise of the showcase - though it was quite evident that a significant part of the crowd were holding out for the headliners Pink Noise Generator and the extra-special reformation of post-famous Adelaide band Vertical Hold. The bands provided a beacon of positivity to the night as they dispersedly performed at various stages throughout the night. Pink Noise Generator closed the night to an intoxicated, active crowd who rashly pushed chairs aside to make room for a hefty dance floor.
‘Variety’ described the night extremely well, with performers such as Fresh 92.7’s Liam Stapleton bringing out his obtuse comedy, complementing the vibe well with Guinness World Record holder for the most jokes told in an hour Taylor Goodwin. A definite highlight of the night was local folk-acoustic vocalist Tasha Zappala – probably the best act you’ve never heard of, as her super sweet vocal tones did wonders in swooning the crowd completely.
While there was a lineup packed with incredible musicians, confident comedians, and a huge potential for positive vibes, there was a slight aura of antagonism and tension between the crowd and performers at times – something you don’t really experience at a good-times gig. At a point of a spoken word act performing his art to the crowd – a small range of which were casually muttering to those around them – the artist passionately yelled a command of ‘shut the fuck up’ to the crowd. Performance piece? Maybe, but it left a couple of viewers a little disoriented.
If the night (hopefully) returns, it would be great to see more of a promotion of good vibes throughout the night by the artists. It was a solid return of variety shows to the Gov – picking up the pieces that the venue’s previous variety shows had left off over fifty years ago.