Last night I saw Steve Poltz play at the Northcote Social Club, supported by Bushwalla.
Before the show I met Paul Cashmere, a music journalist from Undercover. I have read Undercover for many years now, so I was a bit excited to meet Paul. He interviewed Steve Poltz a few days ago, and now I’ve got fast internet, I will check the interview out.
Like Gregory Page, who supported Steve Poltz last year, Bushwalla was a friend of Steve’s and he was also an interesting and clever act. I had never heard of Bushwalla until last night – I was impressed! He is a bit of a poet slammer, a bit of a hip hop artist, a beatboxer, and a bit of a clown (juggling skittles and twisting the hula hoop while rapping). He was a lot of fun. I will definitely be looking out for him again when he comes to Australia. You can find more about Bushwalla at his website. Bushwalla had some seriously devoted fans who sang loudly to all his songs and cheered him on. It was great to see these four girls there.
Steve Poltz wowed me again. I don’t think his set was as long as last year though. He played for about two and a half hours, but not as many songs were included. Still, it was brilliant to hear his new songs, including some that he had written in the last few days. He plugged his iPhone into the microphone to read the lyrics ofrGShe marveled at the tecyhnology of the iPhone 3GS one song, as he had just written it upstairs before the show. Afterwards he marvelled at the technology of the iPhone 3GS and showed us the feature of the voice playback. The automatic robot woman inside the iPhone read his song out! It was very funny.
Steve, despite turning 50 in February, has youthful good looks and boyish exhuberance on stage – jumping around, bobbing his head earnestly to his guitar, and grinning. He loves playing live, and regularly thanked the audience and his crew for the experience. I love an artist that is so openly grateful for playing live music, no matter how many gigs they’ve done previously.
There was a lot of energy in the songs, and the songs were always so creative, with funny and often meandering stories interwoven with the simple guitar playing. Steve played a number of love songs, and these were sung with such heart. Just beautiful. His songs are honest, apart from the ones he concocts from imaginary stories, but even these have a strong creative honesty about them. He is a brilliant storyteller, and as I mentioned before, he is like a musical Roald Dahl.
Steve did a duet with Bushwalla during the support slot, and during his slot. He and Bushwalla played an amazing version of TLC’s Waterfalls – where Bushwalla beat boxed and freestyle rapped. There was a moment where they both broke into a verse from Caberet. It was fantastic. ‘Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to…’
There were two moments where Steve acknowledged me from the stage – during his appearance on stage in Bushwalla’s set he gave me a wave, and at the end of his set he thanked me for coming again.
After the show there were USB sticks with recordings of the night’s show for sale. I have the CD from the last show I went to and I love listening to it. So of course I wasn’t going to miss out on getting the USB. I love the idea of having a take home show – you can relive the moments. As I was waiting to get the USB stick, my night was spoilt for a minute (for the second time actually – the first was the incessant talking by a few audience members through Steve’s set – it’s the HEIGHT OF RUDENESS!). A rather drunk and older man came up to me as I spoke to a girl about the night’s show. He touched me several times around the chest area, and made sizzling noises. Ssssss. Ssssss. Inferring I was hot to the touch (not hot to look at hahah). He did this about five times, grinning at me. I asked him what he was doing. ‘It’s hot in here’ he said. ‘You’re looking sweaty’. So I told him to stop touching me inappropriately and to go away. I was quite polite about the whole thing. Fortunately the other girl was there to see the whole thing, and one of his friends was there too and told him off. As was leaving the venue I mentioned it to the barman and security guard, asked them to keep an eye on this man as he was touching me inappropriately. They said they would. Weird. Ssss!
Fortunately my night was only spoilt for a minute because I spoke to Steve Poltz nd he made me feel special and all the negative feelings about myself went away. He hugged me and recalled my Myspace blog, thanked me for coming and said I was amazing in the front row, that I looked so happy listening to the songs. I sat down the whole show apart from the final song, because standing up for that time would have made me very sore. I was glad he saw me having a good time. The show was amazing and I had a lot of fun. He is a very talented artist.
A few other things from the show:
– he is releasing a new album on 18 February. Some of the album is being recorded with Malcom from the Sleepy Jackson and Bob Evans bands.
– he had business meetings on stage – discussing the price of merchandise and how he and Bushwalla would sing Waterfalls.
– he doesn’t want to charge too much for his music.
– he teaches songwriting and sets a challenge to write a song featuring two rather random words. He has made a song featuring ‘butter’ and ‘jacket’ (about Marlon Brando’s Last Tango in Paris and anal sex). Youtube it.
The songwriting challenge has sparked creativity in me. I am going to try and write a poem a week using a seried of random words or a sentence. See how I go. I will blog them here.
Finally this is a photo I had taken with Steve last night. Thank you Steve for coming to Australia again. Hope to see you play again soon. I love being so inspired by an artist.