Arts and Culture

Review: Mick Thomas and The Roving Commission

Posted on: Fri 15 Mar 2019

by David Cavanagh

Mick Thomas has been a fixture on the Australian music scene since Weddings, Parties, Anything sprang into being in 1987. In 1999 we had Mick Thomas and the Sure Thing and now Mick’s back with The Roving Commission to launch their new album “Coldwater (DFU)”, recorded in Memphis, Tennessee in mid 2018.

There was a disappointingly small crowd in the Spiegeltent, but that didn’t deter Thomas and the band from belting out a fine collection of songs, old and new. Father’s Day kicked off the set, as the band members made their way onto the stage, slowly adding to the growing wall of sound. Squeezebox, dobro, guitar, bass and drums complemented Thomas’ fine guitar and mandolin playing, and they were all given their chance to shine. A personal highlight was a splendidly rocky version of ‘Hobart Town’, but the entire gig was full of memorable moments from Thomas’ past, very ably supported by material from the new album, including a song about Ned Kelly, co-written with Paul Kelly, and another recounting the sad fall into bankruptcy in Ballarat of The Great Moscow Circus, simply titled ‘Died In Ballarat’.

The set lasted one hour, too short for a one-off performance from this great Aussie band, and the audience were left shouting for more, which, unfortunately, wasn’t going to happen.  This was an outstanding concert which demanded a much bigger audience than it got, but such are the perils of ‘Mad March’.

Mick Thomas and The Roving Commission played a one-off gig in the Fortuna Spiegeltent as part of the Adelaide Fringe.

David Cavanagh

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