An Evening of Tom Waits Songs -Stewart D’Arrietta and Band 4.5K

‘THE GOV’ Governor Hindmarsh Hotel – 8pm March 8th 2020

Review by Gary Clarke
4.5K⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ?

This show was for one night only. It featured Stewart D’Arrietta (vocals, keyboards) supported by the band consisting of Rob Pippin (guitars) Mark Meyer (percussion) and Shaun Duncan (double bass and electric bass).

D’Arrietta is a master of the tribute/homage having performed Tom Wait’s material for more than a decade. He is also the man behind (and in front of) the ‘My Leonard Cohen’ show and he co-developed/performs with John Waters in ‘Lennon Through the Looking Glass’. Add to that the high calibre SA Music Hall of Fame’s Pippin and Meyer, augmented by the sublime bass of Shaun Duncan, and tonight’s performance had some serious pedigree! The stage was set for a great night out at The GOV.

The husky ‘Tom’ entered the stage followed by the band and they launched into Wait’s enigmatic spoken word “What’s He Building In There”. They then continued to rattle off a host of Wait’s best tunes including ‘Red Shoes’, ‘Step Right Up’ ‘Franks Wild Years’ and a heartfelt and moving rendition of ‘Kentucky Ave’ that had this audience utterly enthralled.

The band were sublime and despite not having worked together previously they didn’t miss a beat, providing expert musicianship to an extraordinary performance. We also heard Stewart’s soulful tribute to one of Tom Wait’s significant influences, poet/writer Charles Bukowski. A song written by D’Arrietta entitled “Bluebird”.

Things started to really hit the straps when they launched into a rocking ‘Heart Attack and Vine’. Then it cranked up another notch with ‘Get Behind The Mule’ featuring solid bass, driving percussion and wrenching guitar work, pushing Stewart’s gravelly vocals to their limit. The Audience were enraptured and with a little encouragement from Stewart, we sang along to ‘Table Top Joe’. We continued the singalong with a gorgeous version of ‘Martha’. Fifteen songs, and that was only the first half of the show!

Returning from the break D’Arrietta soloed ‘The Piano Has Been Drinking’ and I suspect it wasn’t alone.?. We were treated to brilliant performances of some of my all time faves including ‘Hold On’ and a ripping version of ‘Going Out West’. Pippin’s lacerating guitar solos took it to another level. They toned it down for a truly beautiful ‘All The World is Green’ and the melancholic ‘Heart of Saturday Night’ demonstrating their warmth and versatility.

It was a great night and a lot of fun. D’Arrietta continued to regale us throughout the evening with good natured and informative banter. Finally, to raise the tempo yet again we were treated to what must be one of the best performances ever of Wait’s hard driving hit ‘Big In Japan’!

Two and a half hours of solid Tom Waits for under fifty bucks. What a bargain! And they still came back for an encore of ‘Tom Traubert’s Blues’. A fitting end to a wonderful night of music.
4.5K ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ?

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