The Tote, Collingwood
19 November 2010
I went with my friend Phin, and met two lovely girls Carmen and Sarah there – they are fans of Bob Evans, Josh Pyke and Kav Temperley from The Basement Birds, and have been reading my blog for a few months. It was nice to meet them in real life. I also made a new friend, Sinead, who flew all the way from Perth to see the show – that’s dedication!!
I have never been to The Tote before – earlier this year it was on the verge of closing forever to it being deemed ‘high risk’ and consequently being charged high liquor licensing fees. Fortunately it reopened, allowing the iconic venue to continue to hold bands. I love The Tote – it’s intimate, and very rock and roll – walls coated with old band posters, and filled with music lovers.
The show opened with a quirky band called Oh Deanna. The band is a four piece, fronted by a cute girl in a cute dress singing equally cute lyrics. Their music reminded me a bit of The Mouldy Peaches. I thought she sang with spunk – it was delightful.
Next band up was Jimmy Tait – another four piece fronted by a girl in a nice dress. To be honest, their music did not have an impact on me – maybe I need to listen to their music on CD?
Bob Evans came on last – he played solo and acoustically – it was simply wonderful. Bob Evans (Kevin Mitchell) is the absolute nicest Australian musician ever. So funny, so lovely and so obliging.
He didn’t stick to a setlist, instead writing down a list of songs of is he can play, and some covers, and played what he and the crowd wanted.
He joked he had a 90 minute set which would comprise 45 minutes of music, and 45 minutes of banter. I’ve always enjoyed his stage banter, and last night’s banter did not disappoint. Granted, most of it consisted of the crowd yelling out songs they wanted him to play, and him saying he didn’t know how (Crowded House, ACDC, Jimi Hendrix, some of his own stuff…). I was reminded of how many songs of his I love. It seems like every song of his is my favourite!
His set opened with an old favourite (of mine), Nowhere Without You. Other songs played were Stevie’s Song, Friend, Sadness and Whisky, Darlin’ Won’t You Come, Pasha Bulker, We’re a Mess, The Great Unknown, Rocks in my Head (according to him, ‘a fucking depressing song’, associated with gin), Brother O Brother, (my favourite) Hand Me Downs, Power of Speech (he stumbled through the words, laughed a lot and ended it prematurely, citing ‘when requests go wrong’ – so funny), Don’t You think and Someone So Much. He was not confident recalling the words to Everything Goes, so for a second, I held up the lyrics in front of him, though he couldn’t see them.
I love the way he plays the harmonica. Here is his harmonica holding bay.
He also played a few covers. Lily Allen’s Not Fair – again – LOVE THIS, Lucinda Williams’ Lost It (beautiful lyrics: ‘I I give you my heart will you promise not to break it?’).
There was this funny encore moment where he asked whether he should go off stage for five minutes, and come back for the encore. He decided not to do the five minute break, and build suspense for the encore by standing on the side of the stage, in clear view, the crowd chanting for more, and him winding his arm and the crowd’s excitement. Here’s Bob on pre-encore break
He returned to the middle of the stage, saying that he’ll miss his (fake) flight to New York for this encore. So funny!
During the encore, he played one of my other favourite covers, See Through Dress by Red Jezebel.
He had lyrics printed out again, and this time invited me up on stage to hold the lyrics for him. Oh. My. God. So I am not the most agile of people when I my skin is sore/when I wear skinny jeans. And last night, I was cursed with the two situations. Sore skin and skinny jeans. So I found it very difficult to get up on stage. I ended up hoisting myself up over the speaker, which angled downwards, sliding face down the speaker, landing on the power pack on the floor of the stage. Graceful, and classy. And painful! Bob Evans made a comment that I looked beautiful making my stage entrance! Photos of my grand arrival maybe to come.
So then I stood up there awkwardly, holding the lyrics in front of him, singing along. Part of it was recorded on my camera, and Sarah also recorded the full thing on her iPhone. I sang ‘you thought I’d be fine but I’m a crazy old fuck’ with him into the microphone.
Wow!!! It was so exciting, and I can’t quite believe it happened!
(Excuse my jiggly tummy and undone button – I think the button was due to the speaker dive!)
Thanks to Sinead and the lovely guy for taking photos and video, and also to the guy for getting me the song list and lyrics. Sarah also took photos and video – can’t wait to see them. Thank you!
These are the See Through Dress lyrics:
And the song list he signed:
He was obliging enough to pose for a couple of photos with me, and with friends. Such an awesome guy!
It was such an amazing night! I am on a high 🙂