There’s a mythical creature drawn on the wall at Flow Old Bar and it comes from the unknown and “goes back from whence it came”.
On the last Sunday in May the mythical creature arrived in the form of Tim Rogers and his band to play what was and I hesitate… the perfect gig.
I often wondered what makes up the perfect gig. Everyone hopes to get to at least one in their lifetime and maybe you have to live a lifetime to get to one. You need to have survived a lot of bad gigs and lived through many average gigs. As Tim sang on “Youth” (new single) “youth was wasted on me”
So what makes up a perfect gig?
Everything has to come together at the right time, at the right place, at the right pace. However, in my view there are some essential ingredients.
A killer opening song
You must be able to say to yourself – I can now go home happy. Everything else is a bonus. Tim delivered with a cover of ’80s cult figure Mary Margaret O’Hara’s “I Don’t Care”.
This is a difficult song to sing when voice and instruments are fully warmed up but to take it on as an opening number was both bold and exhilarating.
Proximity - up front and personal
Flow is located a seagull’s squawk away from Old Bar beach. It is an inside/outside venue and holds a maximum of 110 people. It was sold out and the mid afternoon weather was pure Old Bar autumn at 21 degrees.
We arrived about 12.30pm and like A-grade celebrities we were shown to table number 26, barely 20 feet from the stage.
A great story – aunty on the chair, uncle and nephew sitting on the floor
Late in the show the sun began to squeeze its way through the vacant gaps so Shelley started to shade her eyes from the sun. “Is the sun in your eyes madam?” says Tim Rogers. “Come down and sit on the stage.”
“There is nowhere to sit,” says Shelley.
Someone then generously provided a chair and Shelley takes her place at the foot of the stage.
So I put my hand up to my eyes. “Is the sun in your eyes as well sir?” says Tim. So off I go and sit at the foot of the stage. “What about my nephew?” calls out the seated Shelley. So there we all three sit at the foot of the stage. Aunty on the chair, uncle and nephew sitting on the floor.
Great music, song selection and sound quality
Generally it should be a mixture of new and old material. All new songs is like turning up to a friend’s place for a party and it is house full of strangers. All old favourites is like staying in your daggy house clothes for one day too long.
Tim delivered the new album (An Actor Repairs) and towards the end (when we were sitting on the foot of the stage) came four or five classics including “Heavy Heart” and “You’ve Been So Good to Me So Far.”
It was agreed by all that Tim’s voice was at his best for years and the musicianship was flawless.
Tim’s band comprised of Clio on keyboards /vocals, Xani on violin/vocals and were a perfect foil for Tim’s eccentric style and mood.
The sound mix by Ryan Gosling (according to Tim) was smooth and clear and enhanced the strong acoustic feel, as most of the songs were stripped down from their rock band arrangements to the bare essentials (for acoustic fans another perfect gig ingredient).
Last gig of the tour – band having a great time
Tim was witty, clever, funny and self effacing. He never took the audience for granted.
He spoke to the audience, not at them.
It was clear there was great respect and generosity of spirit between the band.
They were having fun and of course, to be the perfect gig this needs to be the last show of a long tour, which it was.
Everyone was having a good time. They were happy, friendly and responding to the band. We had several friends come up to our table: “Just thought we’d say hello”.
The mood was good. The food was delicious and the service was great.
There must be an edge
You are never sure what might happen next. What song or someone might suddenly appear. Will there be tears before bedtime? Will raw emotion trump (excuse the pun) common sense? It was all there are more. Eccentric and eclectic
Tim began boldly and finished with pure class.
Venue, location, atmosphere, comfort, clear sound, great song selection, beautiful day, connections made, good crowd, great playing and singing all add up to the perfect gig.