Review: Ball Park Music at the Gov, Adelaide, Thursday 13 October
Seeing Ball Park Music play at the Gov on Thursday, it became clear that the Brissie band has had the chance to really get their live sound down pat. Their tour to promote their new album Every Night The Same Dream represents pretty much their ninth Australian tour.
This time, the five-piece are doing the rounds with a double-whammy of support acts. First up was Sahara Beck, whose powerful voice filled every nook and cranny the Gov had to offer. She was followed by the four mops of hair that call themselves The Creases. The Brisbane outfit have been receiving a lot of airtime recently with their single Impact, but their set was also peppered with a number of other catchy tunes that anyone with an interest in Australian music might recognise.
When Ball Park finally hit the stage the audience was full to bursting with arts students and young, semi-alternative professionals, and the band gave them exactly what they wanted. Some bands prefer not to play all of their hit singles; they’re either sick to death of playing the favourites over and over, or their stubbornness prevents them from bowing to the pressure. Ball Park Music is not one of those bands.
Some bands prefer not to play all of their hit singles; they’re either sick to death of playing the favourites over and over, or their stubbornness prevents them from bowing to the pressure. Ball Park Music is not one of those bands.
Their long set was a surprising reminder of just how many singles had peaked high in the public consciousness. Perhaps this has something to do with the sheer volume and frequency of albums the band gives to the world, but it’s impressive nonetheless.
Up first was Literally Baby, one of the band’s earlier singles. They kept up the tempo with other ironically happy tracks like Everything Is Shit Except My Friendship With You and Sad Rude Future Dude. As the tracks kept coming, the crowd kept up with every word of each wordy song, and the band sounded so good that the live tracks sounded almost exactly like their recorded counterparts. Bassist Jennifer Boyce’s excellent harmonies were a particular highlight.
Things then took an emotional dive with lower-octane tracks Surrender and Coming Down giving the audience a good chance for a croon. Sam Cromack’s solo acoustic version of It’s Nice to Be Alive was a refreshing spin on an older track, and led nicely into Whipping Boy from the new album.
Adelaide’s attention was captivated by Ball Park Music as the band played a solid 20 tracks, each performed to perfection. But, sadly, perfection can come at a cost.
The band may have nailed the musical aspect of their live show, but as a result they’ve lost some of their quirkiness. A few years ago at Falls Festival in Lorne, Cromack wore a backpack on stage and halfway through the set pulled a bunch of grapes out if it and fed them to himself and the crowd.
Tonight at the Gov, that weird and wonderful spontaneity had all but disappeared.
Nevertheless, if it’s music you want then you won’t be disappointed by Ball Park Music’s live show. A couple of new singles bobbed amongst a sea of old hits, and if history repeats itself the newies will only strengthen their live repertoire.