Tash and I met up at the Northcote Social Club tonight for the sold out launch of The Basics' upcoming best-of album Ingredients. As was the case the last time we saw them play in July, it was only two band members- this time Kris, who is home briefly from working with the Red Cross in Kenya, and Tim. Unfortunately, Wally was away overseas since he is about to start the European leg of the Gotye tour. While the three of us were catching up and having dinner Kris stopped by our table for a quick chat, which was nice of him.
We entered the band room just as Mustered Courage took the stage. They were a four piece bluegrass band with members playing guitar, bass, banjo and mandolin. I found it a bit random to be listening to traditional bluegrass in Melbourne, but they sounded good. The standout songs for me were "Bullet" and their cover of Seal's "Kiss From A Rose."
As the curtains opened Kris and Tim came onto the stage to big cheers from the crowd. It was nice to have Kris back but he was self-admittedly very nervous at the start. For the evening Kris was on acoustic guitar and Tim played electric guitar. The set featured many songs off of their last full length album Keep Your Friends Close, including "Fear of Failure," "The Day Mairead Goes Away," "Keep The Door Open" and "What Do You See In Me?"
As expected there was lots of funny banter throughout the nearly hour and a half set. Besides some old favorites like "Second Best" and "Hey C'mon!," we were also treated to a few songs off their other soon to be released rarities album Leftovers. Kris played a beautiful version of "All or Nothing" solo, and Tim even put on an accordion for a few songs, which resulted in amusing versions of "With This Ship" and "Hey There!," as well as the always lovely "Hey Rain."
The best part of the night though was when they pulled down a screen from the ceiling and tried to Skype in Wally midway through the show. While we could see and hear him, Wally couldn't hear us. This resulted in Kris typing messages to him on chat and then giving up on the video call altogether. Fortunately Wally prerecorded "Just Hold On" and Kris and Tim played along to the track, managing to stay in time for most of it as the audience was treated to some funny chat messages from Wally.
For the encore they played a rocking version of "Call It Rhythm and Blues" and then finished with Tim singing "Have Love, Will Travel." For a year where we thought we wouldn't be seeing them live at all, we have been lucky to catch two "Silver Basics" shows. Hopefully next year we'll get to experience all three of them physically playing in the same room together. In the meantime, we have two new albums to look forward to in November.