Live Review: Eskimo Joe, Katy Steele

13 May 2019 | 12:58 pm | Ted Dana

"This might be the earliest they’ve ever played 'Black Fingernails, Red Wine' in a set."

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With the Eskimo Joe boys’ rapt attention side of stage, Katy Steele opened the show to a solid early crowd. Sharing some of her stories behind songs like Right Side Of The Road, about when she first moved “to the Big Apple” and “fell in to a heap, a glamorous one though”, punters didn’t seem to be as connected. While Steele’s talent is undeniable, the pace of her set was considerably slower and seemed out of place supporting the trio of Stu MacLeod, Kav Temperley, and Joel Quartermain that makes up Eskimo Joe.

Eskimo Joe opened up their set with some light-hearted banter about being hometown boys, to which Quatermain proclaimed he was “from Freo tonight!” 

Temperley teased, “So what football team do you support?”

Quartermain sheepishly replied “Essendon Bombers…”

Temperley announced they were there to play 2006 album Black Fingernails, Red Wine from start to finish, “Let’s do it!” 

After opening with Comfort You and New York, Temperley said this might be the earliest they’ve ever played Black Fingernails, Red Wine in a set. While “not wanting to ruin the magic of rock‘n’roll”, Temperley described how musos tend to feel for at least for the first three songs - “you’re basically shitting yourself”. So before going on stage, they have a huddle, which usually involves psyching each other up with, “Let’s just get through the first three songs, and the rest of the set will be fine.”

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McLeod jumped in, “So now we’re out of the danger zone!”

The crowd had gone from zero to a hundred and were hanging on each lyric. The wiser faces in the crowd sang along, with the more youthful still enjoying themselves despite likely not benefitting from having listened to these songs at home on repeat for a fair chunk of the last 13 years.

Even with short breaks in between to share intimate stories and segue into the next song, the night passed very quickly. Before everyone knew it the boys were rounding out the album with Suicide Girl and How Does It Feel before ambling off stage, the crowd beginning to stomp, clap and bang on the barrier for their encore.

Temperley emerged saying good-naturedly, “We were always going to play more songs,” before belting out Foreign Land and closing out the eight-song “encore” with From The Sea.