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Moving Pictures rocked the State

August 7, 2011

When I told people I was going to the Moving Pictures reunion concert at the State Theatre, I got several reactions.

1.  Who?  (that was from the young ‘uns – ‘You mean someone sung What about Me? before Shannon Noll’)

2. Who? (Oh them, I’m suprised they had enough songs for a whole concert)

3.  I hate that song. What you mean there were others?

4. Oh wow. You lucky thing!

5. OMG!

I find it sad that so many people equate Moving Pictures with that one song.  Sure, What about Me? was a huge hit but it was not representative of the band’s main style and sound.

On Saturday 30 July in the most gorgeous State Theatre, Moving Pictures reminded nearly 2000 people of exactly how much they rocked back in the eighties, and again thirty years later.

Kevin Bennett (one time Moving Pics guitarist, Chasin’ the Train, The Flood) was the support act and despite his jokes that we were only going to see the Moving Pictures Show band, and not the real thing who had retired to the Bahamas, and it had been an Alex imposter introducing him, we weren’t going to be fooled. Kevin was in fine voice, though his guitar wasn’t always cooperating, and there was just a little too much talking between his tunes.

Because really…we just wanted the real thing.

The set opened with a high-energy rendition of ‘Nothin’ to Do’ and Alex Smith leaped around the stage as if the thirty years had never passed.

Then it was straight into one of my favourite songs, The Angel and the Madman.  At this point, it seemed as if we would be trapped in our second row seats right in the middle, and I was already itching to get out and dance. But the row in front of us were firmly entrenched in their seats, along with the row behind.

During the next song or two, a couple of women danced down the aisle to the front of the stage, waving a cardboard sign that read ‘We Love Gaz’ along with a vinyl record and took their place in front of Garry Frost.

Very quickly, a staff member of the State Theatre was down beside them, gesticulating earnestly for them to return to their seats and not clutter up the front of the stage. They ignored him for a few minutes, then gave in and returned to somewhere behind our rows. But within a song or two, they were back down the front, calling out to Garry, and scuffling again with the wired staff member.

When Alex said if you’ve waited 30 years for this, I think the least you can do is come down and dance,’ I looked at my friend and said, ‘Let’s do it’ and we sidled out of the row down to the front of the stage. Gaz’s groupies reappeared beside us, while the other people at the front tried to remain inconspicuous. Not us – we were there to dance.The power play was over.

I really couldn’t imagine spending the rest of the concert sitting down.

So by the time we made it to the front of the stage, the band was already into the seventh song of the set and were rockin’ out. There’d been a couple of songs from their early years that were never released in any form, songs that I had no recollection of and probably had never heard live.

The boys seemed a little overwhelmed by the crowd’s enthusiastic response, and at one point Alex took a photo of the audience, saying ‘They’re not going to believe this back in England.’

The Matinee album wasn’t featured a lot during the set, though it was a pleasure to hear the ballad Goldrush again. The only other songs off the band’s second album were the ubiquitious Sisters of Mercy, and the single Back to the Streets.  But for me,  Back to the Blues and Booze Again was missed.

In Saturday Love, Alex jumped off the stage and ran into the audience, but the microphone didn’t want to follow him, so he stopped short at the third row.

Then we were into So Tired, and the audience wasn’t tired at all. From around that song onwards, the audience was singing every word of the songs, and I thought by the end of the night I would have no voice left.

By now the crowd was whistling and yelling and cheering, the women lining the front of the stage were capturing the action with digital cameras and mobile phones and the band were loving it. Could it really have been that long ago that we saw them play together? The mosaic of music and medley and those long-forgotten chords stirred the memory of our youth and made it seem like only yesterday.

Then came the anthem ‘What about me?’  Everyone knew the words and I think the audience sang a better version that that horrible insurance ad.

Wings, as always, was beautiful and during Winners, a drunken blonde face-planted herself on stage, then staggered up to join Alex at the microphone as a back-up singer for the song.

And then they were off the stage. Could it be over so soon?

Immediately the audience started the time-honoured tradition of whistling, screaming, and stamping until the ban reappeared for an encore:  a cover of Van Morrison’s Wavelength followed by the all-time favourite Bustin’ Loose.  The audience was bustin’ loose and the band was bustin’ loose.

And then Alex said  ‘See you in another 30 years’ and then they were gone.

But we were still buzzing, and donned our VIP passes for the after party. Okay, it wasn’t exactly what I’d call a ‘party’. Just lots of people gathered in the foyer waiting to chat to the band. No food and a cash bar.

But I caught up with Alex so I could add another photo to the collection and get the first one signed.

All in all, I didn’t want the music to end and I really hope I don’t have to wait another thirty years to see Moving Pictures play again.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Karina permalink
    August 7, 2011 3:56 am

    Loved reading the review ! I could feel it !!!!! Wish I could have been there to bust loose!!

  2. August 7, 2011 6:14 am

    So glad you had an awesome night!

  3. August 8, 2011 12:05 am

    Nice review Diane! Love the photos too!

  4. Enid Wilson permalink
    August 10, 2011 6:10 pm

    Did you rock too? Seem great fun!

    Chemical Fusion


  1. Are you ready to bust loose with Moving Pictures? | Write on Track

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