Standard zoo hours be gone – bring the people, the picnic rugs and baskets, cram them relatively orderly into some open grassed areas together with a few bands on stage and you have yourself a little something known as Zoo Twilights at the Melbourne Zoo.
Not having attended for a few years (no real excuses…) but it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the idyllic outdoor settings and check out a favourite band. In this case, Something for Kate.
With the sun still shining amongst the threat of ominous clouds, The Orbweavers got things off to an angelic start with delicate folk tunes. Perfectly fitting for the zoo, with songs that weaved tales inspired by local flora and fauna and keeping with local nostalgia, the stories of industry and manufacturing continued the storytelling. Thoughtful, heartfelt and full of knowledge and history. For a Friday evening however, this was a little subdued but there’s no pleasing everyone when you’ve got a crowd ranging from toddlers right through to grandparents in tow.
But the pace picked up, with guitars and bass plugged in, Clint Hyndman’s drumming being anything but gentle and the gorgeous sounds of an REM cover (The One I Love), perfectly suited to the melancholy vocal tones from Paul Dempsey. Without a moment to spare, the rolling drums and all too familiar guitar of Electricity kicked in for a taste of some true to form Something for Kate
Celebrating their 20th year together in 2014, you come to expect nothing but great things with the evening offering a decent helping of the more recent sounds from the band’s sixth release, Leave Your Soul to Science ranging from the melodic sounds of ‘Survival Expert’, while the big sounds and crescendos of ‘Eureka’ flowed effortlessly into the handclapping opportunity for the evening with ‘Monsters’ from the days of Echolalia, always a special moment as the song that got me listening to Something for Kate.
Overcast and breezy was the name of the game as the sun set for the evening, but attention was given to the animals with a special dedication to the giraffes with ‘Private Rain’ and later ‘The Fireball at the End of Everything’ for the African Wild Dogs.
But the humans were not forgotten, the unmistakable syncopated drums and guitar cueing the uplifting sounds of ‘Miracle Cure’ and flying back to the past with ‘Aeroplane’ just for a touch of nostalgia.
A simple thank you could have signalled the end, but the band returned for a triumphant encore including what has become a bit of a staple in giving Calvin Harris and Florence Welch the rock treatment in ‘Sweet Nothing’, and breathing a big sigh of relief that ‘Déjà Vu’ wasn’t left off the set list.
There may have been a few first gig attendees and age was certainly no barrier to winning over a few new fans with another stellar performance, exemplified by one of the toddlers I saw doing her absolute best to mosh along (her mum and dad must be so proud…) and just as well, because those younger fans are going to miss out on benefiting from the recent news of an anniversary tour.
Timing wise, it was definitely odd to be wrapping up proceedings just after 9pm, and consumption wise coffee and macaroons were a little atypical for rock. But then there was nothing normal about this, particularly with animals beyond the human kind in attendance.
Bring on July to officially celebrate the 20 year mark…ticket successfully secured for the anniversary tour!