Friday, 27 November 2009

The B52s bomb at the Enmore Theatre as lead vocalist Kate Pierson covers for Cindy Wilson

It was going to be a big night. I was taking 13-year-old Miss Hissy to see the B52s at the Enmore, and we were excited.

For the past month, The 'best of' the B52s CD has been on high rotation in our house, with Miss Hissy dancing around the lounge room in a wild retro dervish.

By the time we got to the Enmore last night, her anticipation was at fever pitch.

The place was packed with balding 50-something men, wearing loose fitting shirts and jeans, accompanied by their worn and weathered spouses. Ageing is a bugger.

Let's face it. We were all there to capture, freeze and frame a glimpse of our youth.

The parties where Rock Lobster was played over and over and over again on the record player, the stylus skimming across the vinyl as the floorboards bounced under the weight of stomping feet.

Or singing aloud to Love Shack on the car radio on the way to the beach.

This was what we wanted. To be young again. Just for a couple of hours.

We missed the first support act, Mental as Anything, which didn't bother me. The Proclaimers were up next and delivered a solid 45-minute show, featuring all the hits (I think they only had three). These blokes are more Scottish than Scotland. Are they identical twins? The highlight was a rousing audience sing-along of 500 Miles.

The B52s rocked onto the stage at around 9.30pm. The first thing we noticed was the sound. It was friggin' loud and, to my sensitive ears, sounded like a chainsaw competing with a jackhammer.

It felt about 50 decibels louder than the Proclaimers. And the bass was almost too painful to bear. It shook up my innards like a milkshake.

Not a good start.

To make matters worse, as the second song reached its crescendo one of the two female singers, Cindy (the one with the blonde beehive), suddenly left the stage.

This threw everything into disarray, with the two remaining singers - Fred and Kate - having to improvise while they waited for Cindy's return. But she didn't come back.

So, the show went on with Kate doing a bloody sterling job, while Fred looked like he'd rather be anywhere than the Enmore.

The room warmed up when the band launched into the old favourites Roam and Planet Claire. The highlights were, of course, Love Shack and Rock Lobster.

However, our dancing was curtailed by the security people who wouldn't let us stand up in our seats (we got up and danced anyway towards the end - Miss Hissy needs to know that sometimes it's OK to challenge those arseholes who wield the 'this-is-the-rules' stick).

As the show came to an end, the guitarist Keith thanked us all and explained that Cindy was dehydrated. I think the band was just grateful there hadn't been a riot, though some disgruntled punters walked out during their performance.

I suppose the moral of this story is to not seek where you know deep down you will surely not find.

The B52s looked just as old and tired as the audience. Maybe it's time to retire to the Bahamas guys?

PS: Miss Hissy still had fun - especially after I plugged her ears with tissues and bought her a $50 T-shirt featuring a picture of a youthful B52s.


Anonymous said...

should have been at Bimbadgen last saturday. Not as loud sound, but great, great fun and cindy starred, especially in give me back my man, which is one of a small number of songs I can think of that feature seabirds. apparenjtly the bars were closed as the B52s came on cause the staff assessed the mood of the crowd and thought we had had enough. Dannyboy

Shayne said...

I wish I had been there. I am going to save up so Miss Hissy and I can go and see the B52s in New York. Thanks Danny Boy. You might be blind, but you see so much more than the regular dog.