The Members

By Clare McCabe  

Artist:  The Members, with support from Roofdog and The Caveman

Date / Venue:  Saturday November 9th, Kings Arms Tavern, Auckland

Oh what a treat.

Several weeks ago I was asked to interview the legendary Rat Scabies prior to the upcoming NZ tour of The Members. And last night I got to see The Members play live at one of my favourite Auckland venues. Musical highlight of the year? I suspect so.

By the time we arrived after 9pm the place was pretty packed with a reasonably older crowd - so packed that they even opened the other bar which meant purchasing drinks proved to be easier than usual - thanks guys.

First up were the very enthusiastic The Cavemen complete with shirtless lead singer who showed off some fantastic Iggy Pop-style dance moves. Then we had the Rancid-inspired Roofdog who presented some great ska tunes - and was that a hint of Nick Cave in one of their numbers?

Earlier in the evening, I noticed Mr Scabies enjoying the support bands from the garden bar talking with the fans and enjoying a wine or two. Autographs were being requested and record covers signed. Love it when the band members get in amongst the fans.

Honestly though, it was The Members that everyone was here to see. And off they went. Starting with the instrumental Electricity (which always reminds me of The Shadows), JC, Chris and Rat then followed with so many great tunes I lost count. Soho-A-Gogo, The Sound of the Suburbs and the mighty Solitary Confinement had everyone singing along. JC took over vocals for a round of The New English Blues and had a little chat with the crowd. On a side note, loved your YOB cap there JC. Then we had the punky classic Police Car and At The Chelsea Nightclub which caused another loud rendition from the crowd. Midlife Crisis was also thrown in there and then "one more." shouted the crowd, but no, that was it until next time.

How can three (older) guys still make so much noise live? Perhaps it is the addition of the extremely youthful-seeming (and talented) Rat Scabies on drums that has amped up JC's and Chris' enthusiasm? Now I remember why I love live gigs so much, especially at small venues like the Kings Arms where everyone gets up close and personal with the band. And especially when you know ALL the words to most of the songs.

"It's been awhile", said Chris, "since we were here last - a long while" - (1979 was the last time I believe and they played at the long-departed Mainstreet - this according to the legendary Barry Jenkin who also happened to be in attendance in the garden bar last night and had attended their previous gig).

So much fun was had (by band and audience) that I suspect it will not be such a long while until they return. Thanks JC, Chris and of course Rat. See you again soon.