Friday, August 31, 2007

Hoodoo Gurus - A rave review from The Guardian

The first live band I ever saw, The Hoodoo Gurus (the gig was at Wrest Point, 1987, supported by The Cockroaches, compliments of Pat Townshend's 92FM DJ freebie) are back on the road, and played what sounds like a storming gig in Manchester a couple of nights back. Looks like they won't be hitting London, but I'm sure they'd fill a hall if they did (hint)!

Anyway, here's the review:


Hoodoo Gurus

4 stars Academy 3, Manchester

Dave Simpson
Friday August 31, 2007


"The last time we were in this area was 13 years ago - but the urge was too strong," quips Dave Faulkner, addressing the Australian band's unexpected comeback. In the decade since they split up, pop has moved a long way from their style of paisley shirts and fast-paced pop-rock, laden with more hooks than a fisherman's weekend and laced with plenty of punk-rock edge. However, the Hoodoo Gurus' songs - and shirts - have remained the same.

Initially, they sound like an anachronism. After a couple of creaky openers, however, they hit their stride, and the thrills they once generated seem to have survived the difficult journey in the time machine. In fact, the Gurus' earliest - and spikiest - material sounds the best. From their debut, Stoneage Romeos, the wonderful Arthur cheekily remodels David Bowie's Jean Genie riff. Turbocharged by Mark Kingsmill's powerhouse drumming, songs such as 1987's What's My Scene are strong enough to retain timeless appeal.

When the audience start shouting requests (mainly in Australian accents), Faulkner responds that playing the same favourites every night would drive them "crazy." He almost shreds his larynx tearing through Where Nowhere Is, a head-rushing blend of MC5 and Buzzcocks. However, they give in to an enormous clamour for 1984's classic single I Want You Back, which sums up the audience's sentiments in four deliciously honeyed, high-octane minutes.

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