Things Of Stone And Wood have reunited for a tour around Australia, playing the album in full for the first time. Fran, Kelli and I arrived at the Northcote Social Club tonight for the last few songs of opening act Club Hoy, another early 1990s folk-rock band (although I wasn't aware of them as they were before my time in Australia).
This was the first of two shows in Melbourne, and it was great to see Greg Arnold, Tony Floyd and Michael Allen back together playing live again. For this tour they were joined by multi-instrumentalist James Black from Mondo Rock and Rockwiz fame to round out the sound. You forget how many great songs are on The Yearning, and the crowd was singing and jumping along to "Share This Wine," "Happy Birthday Helen" (which Greg had us sing for the real Helen in Switzerland as it was her birthday today), "Rock This Boat," "Single Perfect Raindrop," "Rain Fell Down" and "Barkly Street." I also loved hearing the slower tracks "In Our Home" and one of my all time favorites "Beg." At the start of the set Tony was doing little factual intros for each song, and I must say that Greg was in very fine voice throughout the show.
For the encore they branched out to their other releases and sang "Churchill's Black Dog" and "Wildflowers" off of Junk Theatre, "Blink" off the underrated Whirligig, and closed the night with "She Will Survive" with Greg on acoustic guitar and Tony and Michael singing harmonies together on the other mike. It's such a special opportunity to get to see them live these days (especially with Greg living overseas), so I was very appreciative of this tour happening.
Here's the video for "Happy Birthday Helen," which was the song that really launched their career: