Retro-rock/folk band The Basics returned to Adelaide last night for a one-off show which marked the beginning of the 2014 Sessions season of live gigs at the Space Theatre.
Despite being touted as the “best band you’ve never heard of”, it was clear from the turnout that band members Kris Schroeder, Wally De Backer (aka Gotye, of “Somebody That I Used to Know” fame) and Tim Heath have a loyal fan base here.
The rows of seats have been removed from the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Space Theatre and replaced with a few café-style tables and chairs, which means only about 80 or so people can comfortably sit down for the performance. The centre’s website does warn seating is limited at Sessions shows, and at least half of last night’s audience had to stake out a place on the theatre’s hardened floor (which unfortunately meant they were sometimes blinded by the stage lights), while latecomers stood in darkened corners along the outer edges of the room.
Relief came when the trio called on fans to stand up and dance, which led to the creation of a mini mosh pit. As more and more people joined in the toe-tapping, hip-swaying dancing, the temperature rose dramatically and one audience member soon learned that champagne glasses and mosh pits don’t mix.
There is no denying that Schroeder, De Backer and Heath are extremely talented, natural performers. Looking more like Bible salesmen than musicians (in their white shirts and black pants and ties), they handle their instruments with ease, and their cheeky banter between songs adds a comedic element to their performance. It was clear from the onset that Schroeder is the comedian of the group and many audience members fell victim to his sarcasm.
During the one-hour show, the band played songs from music legends such as Creedence Clearwater Revival and Richard Berry, delighting fans as they transitioned flawlessly between the old favourites and new tracks.
Their eclectic style of rock fused with folk songs may be an acquired taste, but it’s hard to resist swaying along. The dancing also helps to momentarily ease the discomfort of the seating arrangements, which did mar the Sessions experience for this reviewer.
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