I’m trying to think of a way to start this review without using the word ‘old’. But when you’re 25 and the next youngest person at Marrickville’s Factory Theatre on a Friday is 45 it’s a word that kept springing to mind. The last time this happened I was at the Campbelltown Catholic Club watching the Wallabies game when a wily older woman wearing a sleeveless blouse and half of her JB ‘n’ coke decided to shake hands with my testicles. But I digress. While my cougar hunting (more accurately being hunted by cougars) days are behind me, I felt a little more at ease lingering behind the sound desk waiting for Models to take to the stage.
With the original line up back on stage, punters young and old were in for a treat as purveyors of Aussie art-rock Models tore through their golden back catalogue.
The original line up of guitarist Sean Kelly, keyboardist Andrew Duffield and bassist Mark Ferrie had assembled for this tour and there was a taste of excitement in the air. The crowd that had gathered were the same fans who were there to witness the band when they made their big splash in the 80s. Waiting in line to collect tickets before the show the bloke behind me, shirt ironed and hair gelled, nervously bounced on the balls of his feet for the door chick to let people in. Not that he’d miss anything, the bloke holding up the line was bass player Mark Ferrie himself, who for some reason couldn’t get into his own gig, something he later joked as the venue mistaking him for “Another old guy trying to hit on chicks“. What a good sport.
What fans were in store for was an epic, almost three hour set spanning the entirety of their career representing fan-favourite tracks from the likes of AlphaBravo to Pleasure of Your Company, to Local and/ or General. To keep it blunt, these gents were pretty fucking tops. I Hear Motion, Happy Birthday IBM, Holy Creation, The Truth About Scientist and That Guy went off. Though the band had a couple of kinks to iron out in the beginning in regards to timing, by the time they were four tracks deep the sailing was smooth. Not that anyone in attendance cared about someone mucking up a backing vocal or chord progression. The punters were there to have a good time, and they didn’t hold back their enthusiasm.
As far as their art-rock goes, Models still stand up fairly well. When speaking to Ferrie a few weeks ago he mentioned that rehearsals had spawned a few tracks. I’ll be honest, as someone with limited experience to the band I couldn’t tell you the difference. But it sounded great. Every note Ferrie plucked pulsed through the theatre. Every aching chord Kelly jammed on tickled those present with excitement. Every wailing keyboard solo filled your head with dreams of electric sheep. Sound guy, your game was on point mate. Continuing their set Pate Pedestrian, Man O Action, Two Cans to the Toucan and Unhappy were rolled out, their second set proving to be far tighter than the first.
Given the awe-struck look on people’s faces they would have been happy if the band continued for another hour. Despite a couple of wobbles at the start the band found their swagger and put on a damn good show.