Living Colour, Dirty Pagans, Fyre Byrd @ The Gov, Adelaide 17/12/2018

“Who cares if it’s Monday?” screams the pink plaid wearing frontman of Living Colour, Corey Glover. The boys are back and it’s in celebration of their thirtieth anniversary of their smash hit album Vivid. With production credits including Mick Jagger, it spawned five singles and hit number six on The US Billboard charts when people actually bought records. The peculiar aspect about Living Colour though is that it’s the live performances that have made the band famous. It’s why people still come out on a school night to watch the musicianship, artistry and showmanship of this legendary band.

Getting the crowd warmed up tonight is Fyre Byrd. Hot on the heels of performing with the headliners in Perth on Saturday night, they turn the temperature up with first single Take Me Out. The sizzling track Anywhere I Am Is Home follows as the performance of Josh Samtre on guitar and vocals sets the stage ablaze. Drummer Daniella Breeze’s drum work sounds like a volcano erupting molten lava. This band is hot stuff right now after recently supporting Skid Row and as vocalist Josh puts on some shades then casually throws them away, one can only think ‘hold onto them shades, cause the future is going to be bright’.

Dirty Pagans are fast becoming Adelaide’s premier cult band. Joint winners of the Best Heavy Act at the SA Music Awards recently, they have a loyal passionate following and they are out in force tonight. The boys have been working on new tracks and they sprinkle them in the set. Starting with Visions In My Mind, the band throw in two new songs they’ve been working on, Gypsies Breath and Pagans Blood. Colourful front man Matty Dee, dressed with wide brimmed hat and faux fur  leopard print jacket, is the front man this band deserves. They please the hardcore following with faves Down Below, sung by bassist James Russo and The Man Who Killed The Gods to an adoring crowd.

Then it’s the imitable headliners themselves, a band that’s always entertaining, as they come onto the stage and quietly declare “We’re back” before getting the groove going with Middle Man. A little ‘try it and see’ version from guitar extraordinaire Vernon Reid of The Beatles Lady Madonna and it’s clear to see the band are in a grand mood. Drummer Will Calhoun can hardly been seen behind his gigantic kit however he can be heard and as one part of a rhythm section, with Doug Wimbish, who almost play their own tunes yet still perfectly sync with the rest of the band.

Desperate People sounds as fresh as the day it was released, the bass work by Wimbish is mesmerising as he makes the bass purr and whine all at once. Of course though, Glover is the front man, the showman who gets the crowd to sing and clap like a circus ringmaster.

A lot of the setlist is naturally from the classic Vivid however they do bring songs from other releases such as Come On and This Is The Life, each one loving welcomed like an old friend. After a mesmeric bass solo the big boys arrive; Glamour Boys with a Caribbean twist, starts with clapping hands before the lovingly shared Love Rears Its Ugly Head.

The guys are showman, they’re entertainers, they’re from the days you went to a show and got blown away. The heavy sounding Cult Of Personality is greeted with cheers before the band finish by asking What’s Your Favourite Colour? to a extremely gleeful audience, many of whom will be wearing headaches in the morning. Then again, who cares if it’s Monday, this is Living Colour.

Live Review By Iain McCallum

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