Sorry to go all philosophical on you, but is there a window for regret? As in, is it possible to suddenly feel a pang of regret not doing something that happened a year ago, or is that just a sign of mental instability? And is it regret if you never planned on doing the thing at the time? Or is that yearning, or something similar.
The reason I ask this is because I have been listening to Powderfinger. As many of you will remember, Powderfinger and Silverchair decided to team up and embark on a music tour extravaganza in 2007 called “Across the Great Divide”. The tour was a massive success, and rightly so: two of the premier Australian rock bands of the last decade on a double bill for the ages. However, despite my love for Silverchair, I was much less of a fan of the ‘Finger, and so chose not to go. Instead, I caught Silverchair at the Big Day Out a few months later, staunchly applauding their songs even as everyone else threw missiles aimed at Daniel Johns’ head.
But a few days ago, urged on by Brennan Meyers’ drunken revelling (don’t worry Brennan, I don’t expect you to remember), I popped a few Powderfinger albums on the old iPod and had a listen. And I have to say, what I heard blew me away.
See, if you are only a casual Powderfinger fan, you may be under the impression that all of their songs sound the same, and that they are pure pop-rock at its finest (or worst, depending on your stance towards pop-rock). Tunes like “Already Gone” and “My Happiness” have that kind of instant likeability that doesn’t seem to bode well for the longevity of the song or band’s popularity (see: Hey There Delilah, Plain White T’s). Yet listening to virtually their entire discography, I was pleasantly surprised with how varied their musical influences seemed to be, whilst simultaneously resulting in a good, catchy rock song. Take the album “Internationalist”; it combines the anthemic (“Already Gone”), the old-style punk (“Don’t Wanna Be Left Out”, “Good-Day Ray”), the guitar-crunching (“Belter”) and the hauntingly eerie (“The Day You Come”) to create one brilliant piece of work.
In fairness, their latest album is a bit of a slip-up (shouldn’t it really be called a slip-down?), with the undeniably boring track “Lost and Running” being a fair indicator of the rest of the bunch. But we can cut them some slack; after all, even Bob Dylan has released a bad album once in a while.
So to return to the point of this post, as soon as I had stopped listening to “Vulture Street” I was rueing my lack of faith in Powderfinger’s musical ability circa. March 2007. The opportunity to see two pantheon-bound bands play together doesn’t come around too often. But there’s a silver lining to every cloud, as Jerry Seinfeld may or may not have once said. For the ‘Finger are one of the main drawcards for next year’s BDO, and guess who’s going?
(Along with what seems like the rest of Australia.)
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