Having been lucky enough to catch both Jon Stevens & Kate Ceberano in concert previously, I had a sense we’d be in for a treat as they teamed up for Steven’s current tour, promoting his new album Starlight. Just a few seconds into the show, as Kate’s guitarist extraordinaire bother Phil Ceberano and his band kicked erupted into a blistering cover of the Hendrix classic Fire, I knew I was on the money and it was going to be a great night of soulful music and driving rock. Phil’s band worked through a powerful set, the highlight of which was a great rendition of Van Halen’s Jump, before Kate took the stage for an abbreviated greatest hits set.
Time has diminished none of the sass or power of Kate’s voice, which was as smooth as ever as she worked her way through some of her best loved songs, including Brave, Pash, the reggae infused Bedroom Eyes and early track Young Boys Are My Weakness, as well as her Jesus Christ Superstar smash, I Don’t Know How to Love Him.
Jon Stevens was next up to the stage, ripping into new tracks Guilty and Hold On, the latter featuring a blistering trumpet solo and hooking the crowd immediately with his new material. Stevens was as energetic as ever, with his ten piece ensemble in tow, featuring three guitarists, bassist, drummer, three piece brass section and a couple of backing singers… and boy did they rock Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Stevens has enjoyed a lengthy career, both solo and fronting some of our countries most successful bands in Noiseworks, INXS and more recently, Dead Daisies, so you could be forgiven for thinking this may turn into a nostalgia fest, but it was anything but that as we were treated to selections from all those eras, but looking ahead also with his most recent work on the Starlight album, which sees him collaborating with former Eurythmics guitarist Dave Stewart.
Dead Daisies rocker It’s Gonna Take Time was a standout of the evening, along with a great version of Noiseworks Miles & Miles. One of the highlights of the night was new track Starlight, even when plagued by technical issues, it still stood out as an incredible moment. Unfazed by the technical glitches, Stevens was in fine form throughout his set, affable and working the capacity crowd. He left the stage at one point to circle the audience, stopping to hi-five and hug his fans and the crowd lapped it up.
Steven’s wrapped up his solo set in top gear, powering through the Noiseworks classics Touch, Take Me Back, No Lies and Hot Chilli Woman, along with the INXS rocker Kick, before leaving the stage, only to return moments later with both Kate & Phil in tow for the finale. Kate & Jon performed Everything’s Alright from their turn in Jesus Christ Superstar (hard to believe they worked on this show together 25 years ago, they’ve remained close ever since and this was one of the best renditions I’ve heard), before closing out the night with a cover of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, and awesome set closer, Take You Higher.
Review by Peter Lanyon
Check out the photos from the show