review & photos: Lucas Packett @lucas_packett_photography
“..The Beatles smeared in Vegemite!”
It’s been 25 glorious pop n’roll years that have seen Even deliver 7 albums and 3 EP’s, along with thousands of sweaty, guitar laden shows to an extremely dedicated fan base. Tonight, it’s a celebration of these last two and a half decades.
In support of Even, Laura Imbruglia and her band The Bin Chickens, raced through a bunch of tracks from her new 2019 release, ‘Scared of You’, which was well received by the early punters.
Even were prompt in taking the stage after Imbruglia, welcomed warmly and enthusiastically by a packed crowd in the cosy surrounds of Brunswick’s Howler.
Opening the 24 song set with a trio of older Even material in ’24 Hour Cynic’, ‘Superglue’ and ‘Little Red Taxi’ then proceeding to move through material from most of their 7 Albums.
As always it is a sublime sonic adventure to witness not only the trio that is Even, but to be in the presence of one of this countries best guitar players is almost too much. Ashley Naylor, who is the principal songwriter, guitarist and vocalist takes us all to another time, a time that is filled with pop melodies, guitar hooks and rock n’ roll.
Tonight is much more than a walk down memory lane or nostalgia trip, but a reminder of this bands illustrious career and a band that are still making music, the likes of which is some of the best in their career.
Wally Kempton, Even’s bass player and vocalist, is an institution in Australia’s rock n’ roll capital, along with drummer, Matthew Cotter, described as the Charlie Watts of our town.
Moving through all the hits, ‘Black Umbrella’, ‘Stop and Go Man’, ‘Shining Star’, ‘To the Lights’ plus an extremely clever medley of ‘Life Gets in the Way/Rock and Roll Save my Life’, it was also a treat to hear the full 9 ½ minutes of ‘Return To Stardust’ from the recently released ‘Satin Returns’ winding up the lengthy show.
In finishing the night, Melbourne icon James Young and one time Even manager addressed the punters reminding us all of the value of Even describing and them and their sound as ‘The Beatles smeared in Vegemite!’
Returning for the encore with one last song ‘Don’t Wait’ from the 1996 debut album ‘Less Is More’ is the perfect way to conclude a perfect EVEN-ing.
Long may you run, Even.