The Hoodoo Gurus’ retrospective Vivid event, Be My Guru, Evolution Revolution, was an extraordinary, multimedia concert experience from no ordinary band. A rotating lineup of the eight past and current members of the Hoodoo Gurus (save for new recruit, Nik Rieth) rocked up a storm at the Powerhouse Museum, toasting to a frenzied and fun-packed 28 years.

The concert was held in the temporary exhibitions hall (which did wreak some havoc with the acoustics) and some exhibits had been set up about the band, including vintage guitars belonging to Dave Faulkner and Brad Shepherd, and Rick Grossman’s precision bass that he used with the Gurus as well as Divinyls and Matt Finish. There were also posters chronicling every one of Faulkner’s bad haircuts, as well as VIP passes, setlists, signed memorabilia, vinyl, CDs, clothing and two dinosaur figures from the Stoneage Romeos era.

For the two-hour show itself, songs were played mostly chronologically and with limited introduction. Stoneage Romeos and Mars Needs Guitars! got the most airtime, but the Gurus – laidback and cool – made the whole set seem so enjoyable and effortless. Songs like ‘Arthur’ and ‘(Let’s All) Turn On’ saw the guys acting like young rebel rousers and trading dirty blues riffs. The exuberant pop of ‘Like Wow – Wipeout’ and ‘What’s My Scene?’ whipped the crowd into a frenzy. ‘Bittersweet’, meanwhile, seemed both vibrant and apt, as this was the last chance fans would have to see the retiring Mark Kingsmill at the drums.

The diehard fans were treated to rarities like ‘Snake Shake’, while the newer ‘Crackin’ Up’ was electric. But the most spine-chilling energy came when all eight members – Faulkner, Shepherd, Kingsmill, Grossman, Roddy Radalj, James Baker, Clyde Bramley and Kimble Rendall – joined together for three encores. Despite the difficulties with the venue, the whole show was like being on an out-of-control nostalgia train. In the end, Vivid Sydney proved to be the right time for the Gurus’ trip through history.


Originally published on 25 May 2015 at the following website:

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