By Wal Reid
Artist: The Mockers
Date / Venue: Friday January 20th, 2017 - The Powerstation, Auckland
It was cheaper than buying a time machine off EBay, as nostalgia ‘reared its ugly head’ last night at Auckland’s Powerstation. Eighties pop band The Mockers took the stage to a packed house after their first New Zealand tour in 30 years.
Speaking of ‘time travel’, the noticeable ‘mature’ audience of Gen X’ers tapped and danced their way through the lively set, which was nothing short of astonishing – yeah, it was schmaltzy, but in a good way.
“It’s good to be alive,” muttered Fagan, continuing, “Tonight, Simon, we’re going to be The Mockers.”
Involuntary raising of fists, lyrics of past recalled and uncontrollable toe tapping gave way to classic hits such as Cleopatra, Alvison Park and mega-hit Forever Tuesday Morning, including a raucous sing-a-long which at one point, had the audience not wanting to finish and the band eyeballing each other for their cue to finish.
It was a reflective journey through The Mockers back catalogue. Fagan the raconteur resplendently decked in quasi Hip-Hop meets op-shop attire. A sartorial mish-mash, he sang and commentated, weaving stories comprising the year and location of songs.
God only knows how it managed to retain it after all these years, as the band belted out less known hits, Far From The Madding Crowd, Another Boring Day In The Amazon & Friend Of A Stranger striking a chord with the diehard punters.
The band were in fine form. The youthful Brett Adams on guitar filling in those recognisable notes, while Phoenix Foundation drummer Chris O’Connor deftly striking the drums, was unlucky to resemble a manic skin-bashing Ned Flanders.
Bassist Geoff Hayden was solid and keyboard maestro, Aussie-based Tim Wedde rounded out the band’s retrogressive sound.
I’d liken the night to a ‘maiden voyage’ (again). The band resurrected after thirty years greeted as ‘prodigal sons’ a miracle itself, but a timely return that has seen many bands doing ‘legacy’ tours – personally, I don’t mind the idea.
I was sceptical. The sheer brazenness, transplanting those hits into the 21st century, however after the first four songs, myself and my date nodded sporadically at each other – no words needed, you just know.
Ending the evening on a high, we waited for the band to disembark the stage for the obligatory encore songs that included a fitting tribute to ex drummer Steve Thorpe on the touching Sleeping Through the Storm.
Never underestimate the potency of a timeless hit song – it’s powerful – It’s the Mockers to a tee. Props to the guy in the crowd with the mullet, that silhouetted coif was standout.
“See you in another thirty years” quipped singer Andrew Fagan, spritzing his face with what looked like an atomiser. You just got to love the 80s.
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