For an album and performance to be truly brilliant, it needs to capture the spirit of a time and place – in all its essence. Thursday night at the opening party of season 3 of The Newport Record Club with BOYS REVISITED did just that. And it was insane.
In 1980, rock n’ roll group The Boys’ self-titled album went to number one on the Western Australia ARIA charts. With a collection of solid 80’s rock songs that imprinted themselves onto most people’s record players and created many ‘first time’ memories for easily half of the Perth crew in that era, The Boys were – and still are – local legends.
To pay tribute to a band and an album that impacted on so many lives, BOYS REVISITED was formed to give a once off exclusive show at The Newport Hotel. Featuring only one of the original members that played on the album, drummer Frank Celenza (Baby Animals) and songwriter Paul McCarthy (The Jackals, The Wishers, The Fortunados), the band was made complete with the talents of bassist Eddie Parise and guitarists Chris Travaglini and Michael Basham.
Playing to a sold-out crowd of both dedicated old school fans and new enthusiasts who probably dug the 80’s album out of their parent’s record collection, BOYS REVISITED put on a performance that was memorable and explosive. For most of the 500+ fans that attended The Newport Record Club that night, it was a moment of pure nostalgia.
Opening up with the very appropriate titled track The Memory Lingers On (the only song that wasn’t on the original Boys album), and continuing through to Same Game and hit When You’re Lonely, Paul McCarthy was able to revisit the album he wrote 35 years ago and perform it live for the first time in all it’s entity. The performance was raw – that 80’s pub music vibe that hit home to every single fan there as they sung their way through the set with huge smiles spread across their faces, reminiscing old but not lost memories. And whilst it wasn’t pitch perfect, McCarthy and the band delivered a tastefully contagious performance fuelled by a punchy rock/pop sound and charisma that filled the room with a pumped-up energy that just made you crave more.
BOYS REVISITED did the 80’s Boys album justice, continuing through to Leave it All Behind, Hurt Me Babe, Why Do You Do That, Doesn’t Matter and finishing off the set with One Way. It’s not the first time I have seen singer/songwriter McCarthy play before and whilst his last live show with The Fortunados was good, there was something different about seeing him perform these Boys songs he had written all those years back. He really came alive on stage, positively beaming ever step of the way; simply put – he was in his element, big time.
The atmosphere on the night fitted perfectly into the opening party of Season 3 at The Newport Record Club, creating a surreal night for both fans and newcomers. If this show was anything to go by, I’d imagine the next 13 shows are going to be wild; ignited by the imagination, dedication and wonderfully crafted talent of many local artists.