At the height of their career, The Cruel Sea were multiple ARIA winners (Best Group, Best Single, Best Album, and Song of the Year) – they certainly haven’t lost any of their prowess and on tonight’s evidence are a much tighter, slicker unit – while still sounding like they’ve just gotten out of bed.
One of Australia’s most popular and prolific frontmen, Tex Perkins, was in superb form, verging from croon to scream and back again – while wooing as many ladies as possible with his charismatic swagger.
The Cruel Sea have quite a huge back catalogue to pick and choose from, and tonight’s set-list varied from chilled-out indie beach rock to foot-stomping rock ‘n’ roll. Better Get A Lawyer, Anybody But You, and Too Fast For Me showed these guys meant business. The gritty sonic assault that was The Delivery Man certainly delivered – this is as authentic as Aussie rock gets. Further proof was offered with the likes of It’s Alright and Hard Times resulting in arms waving and heads nodding silently in approval.
Wrapping up the main set with what is arguably one of the great Aussie anthems, The Honeymoon Is Over – to some rightly rapturous cheering, we still had a good 30 minutes to go. After a brief break, the boys were back and treated the Metro to three bluesy/swampy instrumentals, including the outstanding reggae flavour of 4. Tex wandered back onto stage and launched straight into the epic This Is Not The Way Home. Leaving the stage again to a screaming packed house, it was no surprise they came back out to finish it all off with the balls-out dirty rock of Cocaine.
The Cruel Sea, now granddaddy’s (or uncles) of Aussie rock, show no signs of stopping, even with the members various other activities – fingers crossed for another gig/festival slot sometime soon.