Many thanks to contributor Angie Paton for the following review and photos...
For the first time in over three years, the iconic ARIA winners and ARIA hall of fame members the Models played two exclusive live shows Friday and Saturday night, at The Flying Saucer Club, rapidly gaining a reputation in Melbourne as the place to see intimate type performances, amongst fans and also bands.
Models have been playing 'festival/ Day on the Green' large gigs recently, with three other sensational 80s bands- The Church, DEVO and Simple Minds. If you are a huge Models fan that has been following them since the release of their first album, brace yourself for regret, and to turn green with envy if you've missed the last of their recent gigs.
The Models line-up included ... are you sitting down? ... Sean Kelly (vocals & guitar), Andrew Duffield (Keyboards & vocals), Mark Ferrie (bass & vocals) and travelling all the way from New Zealand to play, the great Barton Price (drums & backing vocals). Eve von Bibra provided pitch perfect backing vocals & and those wonderful classic backing singer moves we've come to know with the stage presentation of the Models. You may know Eve as a singer from trio, The Chantoozies. And, if that's not enough rock stars for you, get this ... support band The Dames included the ARIA Award winning, self professed slick, and still oh so super cool, Mr. Dave Graney, as guest guitarist/backing vocalist. Lead singer Clare Moore was one of the first female drummers to make a name for herself in the Australian rock industry, playing drums for ARIA winners of the calibre of Kylie Minongue, Renee Geyer, Stephen Cummings. I wont mention the other rock stars in the audience, we cant have you feeling too bad missing out, but I will say it was almost impossible not to physically run in to a Model. (sorry couldnt help myself with that one ... yes I know it's mean, but the gig was a Models fan's idea of heaven).
Barton's drum playing was infectious. He'd jump up after songs; he was so pumped and energised by the atmosphere in the crowd, the songs, and being totally in the moment. All transferred beautifully to the audience. The whole band were totally ready to rock from start to finish, taking the crowd with them from the first chord played. They were super tight, with a solid bottom end, with every member giving and delivering a passionate 100%. What I loved to see the most was all the Models clearly enjoying themselves and having fun, in amongst their hard work. There was a tribute to James Freud to acknowledge his absence and honour his contribution to the band. (R.I.P James).
I dont think anyone left the building disappointed, or feeling let down by not hearing a multitude of their favourite songs, especially as some songs played had not been performed in public for many years by the band, or Sean solo. It can be easy to forget that Sean was not the sole singer in the band, it was great to be reminded of this by hearing songs sung by Sean, Andrew and Mark.
The show ended with 'see ya in another 20 years'. Let's hope it's not that long.
Sean Kelly continues to perform regularly, so it's worth keeping an eye out for him solo, or with Boom Crash Opera or as periodic member of Absolutely 80s gigs, that constantly tour nationally, and rotate featured artists. Not sure what the others are up to, but no doubt they are around. They're certainly not rusty with any part of their performances.
by Angie Paton