Rabz’ Radio Show September 2022: Live Performances

I’ve generally adopted a rule of thumb for live gigs – the bigger the crowd, the more disappointing the experience. The other golden rule is never expect your favourite tunes to be performed as you’d want to hear them – that way, you’ll never be disappointed.

Having said that, some of the most memorable live gigs I’ve seen have been by the following bands:

The Style Council (mainly because I’d “taken a trip” beforehand)

The Church (deafening – no wonder Kilbey has severe tinnitus)

The Cruel Sea

TISM (once, at the much loved Trade Union Club in 1989)


The Dandy Warhols

The Prodigy

Dr Feelgood (three times)

Honourable mentions – the Moffs, the Happy Hate Me Nots. Seen many times in pubs across good ol’ Surry Hills.  

Venues are often a very important factor in whether or not a gig is enjoyable. Don’t know how many of you ever had the pleasure of seeing a gig at Selina’s in Coogee, but my goodness, it was an experience and not necessarily in a good way. The Prodigy gig for example, was in January (’97?) and by the time we left, the auditorium would have been about 45 degrees, complemented by 93.1% humidity. We were so stuffed we actually blundered across to the beach and utilised the showers there (probably around midnight). There is nothing quite like catching a taxi from Coogee to Newtown at 12:30am on a Sunday morning wearing soaking wet black Levi’s drainpipes.

The most disappointing gig? Gil Scott-Heron, 1995. Did not play any of his signature tunes, instead he bemused the audience by solely playing the tracks from his latest album, none of which I (and presumably most of the audience) had ever heard before.   

The other side of live performances are studio gigs, where the songs will often most closely resemble their original recording. I thoroughly recommend Cats have a look through the catalogue of “Later … With Jools Holland” if you’re interested in catching some absolute classics performed live by just about any artist of any note since 1992.

Anyway, enough self-indulgence from me – here’s the two intro songs.  

Simple Minds – Glittering Prize, Newcastle 1982 (definitive line up)

INXS – Never tear us apart, Later Archive (1994)


Let’s see some interesting and obscure gigs posted in the comments, Cats!

67 responses to “Rabz’ Radio Show September 2022: Live Performances

  1. Johnny Rotten Avatar

    Ian Dury and the Blockheads at the old Capitol Theatre, Sydney, in 1982. Every song played was “Brillo” and performed better than the Studio version.

    Over 2 hours of amazing entertainment.

  2. Nelson_Kidd-Players Avatar

    I guess there’s two types of approach to converting a studio track to a live recording.

    1. The studio version is done with the tour in mind (or the song has been ‘road tested’ in a live setting).

    2. The studio version is locked in and then the band thinks ‘How the hell do we do this on stage?’

    As long as the end result is okay, I’m happy with either.

    For better or worse, I’ve seen U2 twice (Lovetown and Vertigo), and been able to see a concert end with their classic send-off. Like this.


  3. Nelson_Kidd-Players Avatar

    Double-checked on a setlist archive – both U2 concerts have ended this way for me. 🙂

  4. Nelson_Kidd-Players Avatar

    Caught INXS on their Kick tour. Michael spend have the concert in a devil costume (Devil Inside) and the other half in a lose shirt and bike shorts. For Mediate we were rained with paper from the roof of Rod Laver Arena. The text was a little ambiguous until I realised the notation was #8, a line from the song. Should have kept it. 🙁

    Still have the ticket, though, along with the Lovetown one.


  5. Nelson_Kidd-Players Avatar

    Anyone else on the setlist tonight? I’m turning into the headline act! :-/

  6. Maniac Avatar

    I had the luxury of seeing Pink Floyd back in 1994 at the former Foxboro Stadium. Needless to say, a great show.

    Ministry played at a smaller local venue a few years ago. Pleasantly loud, and with a full screen behind them for visual aide.

    I’ll be seeing Porcupine Tree soon at a brand new venue in Boston. Should be good.

  7. GreyRanga Avatar

    I’ve done my bit on the OT couldn’t wait and can’t link on my useless phone. For me INXS are the best Australian band by forever and right up there in the world. Never tear us apart clip from Prague is majic. Saw the Church, Radiators, Angels (I think), Mi-Sex and SplitEnz in a field at Windsor 1980. Some others as well. $10 for 10 bands.

  8. GreyRanga Avatar

    Saw INXS in Perth about 83, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd 88 and the Stones. Hate to say it but went to sleep during the Stones, burning the candle and all that. That must have been 87.

  9. lotocoti Avatar

    The only way to do Fool’s Overture live, at The Proms.
    Admittedly not as exciting as Chrissy Amphlett at The Tram.

  10. Bruce of Newcastle Avatar
    Bruce of Newcastle

    I haven’t gone to many live shows. But here’s one. I can’t recall exactly which of the live sets I was at, but it wasn’t the last one, which is this one.

    Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms (Live, The Final Oz, Australia, 1986)

    That’s Sydney Entertainment Centre. I would’ve put up Telegraph Road, which is what they opened the set with at the show I was at, but I can’t see a vid for that one. It was epic, the sound quality even in the far corner where I was was like having the best French champagne squirted in you ears.

    Sorry can’t stay around for more live goodness. I get up at 5:30 because I have Cafe customers to attend to. 😀

  11. thefrollickingmole Avatar

    Various Bindoons, the bikie run outdoor concerts in WA.
    Pouges at Cargoes. Seeing McGowan shitfaced and getting spat on by some of the punters.

  12. 132andBush Avatar

    The Cruel Sea, This is not the way home

    “Have any of you girls got a didgeridoo?”

    Great riff with the slide, soft hands on the drums.
    One top Aussie song.

  13. GreyRanga Avatar

    Going to see the Brumbies playing the Rebels in Melbourne. Wandering along heres all the people going into Rod Laver. Never saw so many good looking ladies going to the footy. They were thinking why is this half pissed slob going to see Michael Buble’.

  14. Tintarella di Luna Avatar
    Tintarella di Luna

    The Wallabies crushed by the Springboks – bit of biff in the mix too

  15. GreyRanga Avatar

    Saw Joe Camilleri at the old Basement. Top performance.

  16. Rabz Avatar

    Forgot to mention Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Enmore Theatre 1990 (?)

    Majestic, especially City of Sanctuary.

  17. GreyRanga Avatar

    I really only listen to live performances if I can these days purely for the freshness. I no longer care if there are mistakes, it just adds to the feel. As long as the singing is not off and I appreciate the variation in the delivery.

  18. Nelson_Kidd-Players Avatar

    That Dire Straits tour was massive; 30 dates in Melbourne alone. Would have been my first concert had I, which I didn’t. Should have. I remember watching that last Sydney date live on the teev. About 5 seconds after the last note, Mark Knopfler was not letting the reporter’s microphone get in the way as he jumped into the driver’s seat of a white Porsche 911 convertible and high-tailed it out of there. 🙂

  19. GreyRanga Avatar

    I’d put up Led Zep doing Kashmir at Knebworth if I could. Has to be in my top 5.

  20. Bruce of Newcastle Avatar
    Bruce of Newcastle

    Ok, will do this one since he’s a friend.

    Creatures by El Duende (2010)

    Seen this single live! The brown dog is Ruby. Whenever I visited she’d come over and put her head in my lap and look at me with big eyes. She went to God earlier this year.

  21. P Avatar

    The first live performance I ever went to was Johnnie Ray at the old Statium Sydney, 1955, the highlight for me being the supporting act of Stan Freberg.

  22. eric hinton Avatar
    eric hinton

    Some early ‘Twerk… Ruckzuck.

  23. Wally Dalí Avatar
    Wally Dalí

    Youse blokes don’t know you’re alive.
    Midget in a Nightclub.

  24. GreyRanga Avatar

    NKP the mention of U2 is enough to send me into a crazed frenzy. They are almost as bad as the Gallagher bros. Have you seen that clip of Jimmy Page showing the Edge(wanker 9th dan) and Jack White how to play Kashmir. The Edge(wanker 9th dan) didn’t have a clue. The Edge(wanker 9th dan) only got that rank coz Paul Hewson gets the wide White Belt coz he’s an even bigger tosser.

  25. Crossie Avatar

    The first live concert I went to was the Rocktober in 1972 at the
    Sydney Stadium. Lots of acts but none of them were as good as their studio recordings or maybe I just expected too much.

    That turned me off live concerts until Bon Jovi toured in 1988 and my daughters and their friends were all agog to see them. A friend and I chaperoned five teens/pre-teens and we all had fun. The concert was at the Entertainment Centre and as we walked to the adjoining car park the whole band came out the stage door and did an impromptu encore right there and then. The kids were thrilled to bits.

  26. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha Avatar
    Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Eric Burdon and the Animals, at the Comb and Cutter, in Blacktown, in 1980. IIRC.

    The Angels, again in Blacktown, when they first began THAT version of “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again…”

  27. GreyRanga Avatar

    The first concert I attended I was 4yr old, forced to listen to C&W, never been the same. I appreciate talent but the genre leaves me cold. I remember like it was yesterday. The great musicians of C&W are as good as anyone, I can’t stand how it sounds if its not the best.

  28. GreyRanga Avatar

    ZK2A Eric Burdon, what a voice. So powerful without trying.

  29. Wally Dalí Avatar
    Wally Dalí

    You Am I are the seminal live band.
    Been over the hills and back.
    Keep on playing thru the haters and sledgers. I’ve been a bit religious seeing them over the last twenty odd years, and they’ve gone from wig-out improv to pure power pop to menacing cold hard reproductions of the back catalogue, right now i’d reckon Tim has never sounded better technically, Davey Lane has got on top of his shoegazer art-rock defences, Andy is alright as ever… Rusty has dialled it way back, but probably escaped the grim fate of frantic drummers a la the Who, Spinal Tap.
    I think you’ll only ever love You Am I if you grew up in the boonies in the days before mobile phones, and got blooded in brick wall pubs in the days before digital desks and smoking bans.

  30. Crossie Avatar

    Some visiting pop group performed at the Opera House in the mid-90s, can’t remember who, and I went to see them with my husband and his sister. Halfway through concert I turned to my husband and was horrified to see that he was fast asleep. The band was loud enough that nobody could hear him snoring.

    The next band we went to see we’re the Shadows at the Darling Harbour international theatre about 10 years ago and it was the greatest live show I ever saw.

  31. Crossie Avatar

    Saw Shania Twain a few years ago and she was good but would have loved to have seen her in her prime as in this live performance.

  32. Crossie Avatar

    Two legendary guitarists live on stage together.

  33. johanna Avatar

    Many, many great live gigs by local bands in the 70s and 80s. Agree with Rabz that the venue is all important – and yes, Selina’s is a shocker.

    I haunted places like The Bondi Lifesaver, the Trade Union Club, the Oxford Funhouse and the Manzil Room, among others.

    The Church, Dragon and Cold Chisel produced outstanding, almost studio quality music live on their best nights. OTOH, for excitement and energy Radio Birdman, X, The Saints and some of the lesser known punk/new wave bands were unbeatable. I saw the Birthday Party (Nick Cave etc) at the Trade Union Club once, but they were in their smack phase and played poorly in between going behind the speakers to throw up.

    Just a small selection – the JJJ ‘What’s On’ segment in those days sometimes took the announcer half an hour to read out, it was a magic time to live in Sydney.

    Didn’t see many overseas bands because I hate huge venues and big crowds. Pink Floyd and Dire Straits at the Entertainment Centre were pretty good. The most memorable was, oddly enough, Bryan Ferry backed by most of Roxy Music. It was at the Sydney Stadium just before it got knocked down, and the musicianship was just brilliant, with Ferry in top form. The other standout was Tangerine Dream at a smallish venue in Canberra.

    As for albums and youtube clips – too many favourites to list them all. But Slade Alive plus clips of them playing those songs never gets old. Status Quo were one of the tightest rock bands ever live, Santana’s Soul Sacrifice at Woodstock is magnificent, and Whacko Jacko’s song and dance act is the best of its kind.

    And for a lighter touch, here is Flo and Eddie with Uncle Frank’s band explaining the finer points of groupie culture, live at the Fillmore East in 1971. NSFW! 🙂

  34. Crossie Avatar

    This one is from a few years ago at The Grammys.

  35. GreyRanga Avatar

    Saw Johnnie Diesel New Years eve North Perth Tavern when he was still pouring gas at that servo in Dog Swamp on Charles Street. In those days he was called Johnnie Diesel and the Joy Boys. Bet he doesn’t like to be reminded.

  36. GreyRanga Avatar

    Crossie I’m too old for that. Whow.

  37. Crossie Avatar

    I love this version of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly even more than the original recording.

    The Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

  38. P Avatar

    In the mid 80’s my husband and I with our sons went to a club in South Western Sydney to see the Dutch Swing College Band, but were blown away by the supporting act The Shadows – Riders In The Sky.

  39. Crossie Avatar

    GreyRanga, which one? Miranda Lambert?

    Country isn’t what it used to be.

  40. GreyRanga Avatar

    Crossie I put up a clip on the OT earlier of Mark Knoffler and Hank Marvin playing Going Home. Brilliant. Think I called it homage to the great. Also look on utube for Mark playing with Chet Atkins. The sound they make is sublime. Being able to hear and appreciate these musical genuises is humbling.

  41. GreyRanga Avatar

    Yep Miranda. Could get into a lot of trouble there.

  42. Crossie Avatar

    The Shadows were note perfect in the concert we attended. Hank kept bringing out a different guitar for each number. He even joked that he wanted us to see his whole collection of guitars seeing as we paid for them.

  43. GreyRanga Avatar

    The Shadows a supporting act? Music Legends!

  44. Wally Dalí Avatar
    Wally Dalí

    Met Hank Marvin at a Teenage Fanclub show at the Rosemount.
    It’s amazing how nice famous people are when a fan says gday.

  45. Crossie Avatar

    GR, I must have missed your link. I knew of the Hank/Mark Knoffler duet for some time and wish I could have seen it live.

  46. Crossie Avatar

    When I need a pick-me-up I play this really loud and when I’m driving alone. I prefer Duane Eddy’s original recording but since this is a live show here is the performance from Glastonbury.

  47. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha Avatar
    Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Russell Morris, at a nightclub in Adelaide, in 1978. I should have worn two condoms, later that night. The young lady I went home with, gave me a present that would have eaten through one condom without drawing breath…..

  48. Sancho Panzer Avatar
    Sancho Panzer

    I haven’t seen Acca-Dacca since they incited a near riot at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in the early ’80’s.
    This is from further afield.

  49. Sancho Panzer Avatar
    Sancho Panzer


    September 3, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    The Cruel Sea, This is not the way home

    “Have any of you girls got a didgeridoo?”

    Great riff with the slide …

    Quite so.
    Unfortunately he is no longer with us.

  50. Wally Dalí Avatar
    Wally Dalí

    learnt today that Big Jim has passed away. He was one of the old school, absolute lovely lovely man. The last time I heard from him was six years ago, when he reached out to me after buying a Rickenbacker, and I sent back an album which we’d done with Tony Italiano from DM3.
    Anyway, still sad news.

  51. Nelson_Kidd-Players Avatar

    The other form of live performance: the sound check. Casual as.

  52. Katzenjammer Avatar

    A few memorable gigs

    Ray Charles at Melbourne Festival Hall in 1967, where he introduced his young protege, Stevie Wonder.

    Thenolius Monk, Roland Kirk, Jaki Byard and others, Melbourne, 1971.

    Joe Cocker, 1972, last gig before deportation.

    Also worked in lighting electrics and follow spot on gigs like Tommy in the Myer Music Bowl, (1973)

  53. Entropy Avatar

    My first awesome concert wa midnight oil supported by captain matchbox. Circa 1982, the Oils were still very much a Bondi beach band, not political, not that I would have noticed. Other notable evenings include The Angels and The Sportz.

    Australian rock music since the decline of the pub music scene is pretty sad.

    Anyway, speaking of Kilbeys, does anyone remember the Crystal Set?

  54. Rufus T Firefly Avatar
    Rufus T Firefly

    I know this is mainly Rock n Roll stuff, but around 1980 I went to the Gold Coast for a wedding.
    We wandered past Seagull’s, (I think that was the name), and they had the “Phillip Morris Jazz allstars”.

    It cost $5 entry, and the artists included a young John Faddis, (trumpet) and Niels Henning Orsted-Pedersen, (Bass).
    It was an exceptional concert, played in front of about 50 people, all drunk, (us included).

    In 1977, I took my brand new girlfriend to Adelaide Oval to catch Fleetwood Mac. They were fantastic!!!
    Got me in the good books, well and truly.

    A local Adelaide band we used to catch regularly in the 80’s, were the Bodgies, at the Angas Hotel in town.
    The two Morrison brothers played guitar and they had a drummer as well. They played blues mainly, “Dust my Broom” was always a favourite. They produced a great sound.
    Usually, there would be 50 or 60 people listening. A good night out.

    The link is to song called “Grand Junction Road”, which, if you are familiar with Adelaide at all, might touch a nerve.


  55. Rabz Avatar

    does anyone remember the Crystal Set?


  56. Davey Boy Avatar
    Davey Boy

    Coloured Stone at Tracks (Epping Hotel) of all places, in the late ‘80s. Great live band.

  57. Adelagado Avatar

    Most disappointing was Stevie Wonder. He barely played a full version of any of his songs. We just got bits and pieces. The atmosphere never reached any great heights.

  58. johanna Avatar

    Just catching up with the clips.

    132andBush says:
    September 3, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    The Cruel Sea, This is not the way home

    Awesome. A gig anyone who loves music would want to be at. Everyone is having a blast.

    This is why I can’t be bothered with stadium rock for the most part.

  59. Rabz Avatar

    The Cruel Sea, This is not the way home

    Max’s Petersham 1989. The first time I ever saw them. 🙂

  60. Rabz Avatar

    Thanks for the posts, Cats.

    Compare the pair:


    Live Studio

    The latter – the studio version is magnifique, but nothing beats Miss Ellie’s passionate pitch perfect belting, paired with her exquisite visage. 🙂

  61. eb Avatar

    Loudest was The Stranglers at the ANU Refectory, saw Crowded House at the Macro Polo Club in Queanbeyan when they were just starting off, Hunters & Collectors at the old Civic Pub in Canberra (a crowd of about 50!). The Angels, Cold Chisel, and Icehouse at the Canberra Exhibition Park for the princely sum of $7, caught Doc when he stage-dived!

    Mark Knopfler, Madness, Duran Duran, Split Enz, Lene Lovich, Martha Davis….

    Many blissful hours spent in blissful escapism from the ordinariness of everyday life.

  62. The Beer whisperer Avatar
    The Beer whisperer

    The Cruel Sea, This is not the way home

    My brother completely despised Tex Jerkins. I can only assume they crossed paths at some point.

    I must admit that I found some pleasure in Tex sounding off at some Liberal for some slight, begging the question as to what skeletons dance in his closet.

  63. Rob Avatar

    U2 – 1981 Slane, Co. Meath – as the support act U2 surprisingly stole the show from a fading Think Lizzy. Previously I’d seen U2 a few times in the old Dandeloin markets on Saturday afternoons and thought the lead guitarist was great but the lead singer a tool.
    Hunters and Collectors – 1987 Selinas
    The Pogues – 1988 Enmore Theatre
    Pink Floyd – 1988 Entertainment Centre
    Wedding Parties Anything – 1988 Kardomah Cafe
    Ed Keuper and The Yard Goes on Forever – 1988 North Annandale Hotel
    Yep. 1988 was a great year. Sadly though, I missed The The at the Hordern Pavilion.

  64. Rabz Avatar

    Thanks all, some great acts listed above and some gigs I wish I could have seen.

    NKP – that Skyhooks soundcheck video is fantastic. Shirl was an absolute legend and one of the most distinctive voices in the business. Taken way before his time.

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