Forum Home Forum Home > Progressive Music Lounges > Live Performance Reviews
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Southern Empire CD Launch, Adelaide, 22 May 2016
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Southern Empire CD Launch, Adelaide, 22 May 2016

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
David64T View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: January 19 2013
Location: South Australia
Status: Online
Points: 275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David64T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Southern Empire CD Launch, Adelaide, 22 May 2016
    Posted: February 27 2017 at 05:01
OK, I realise I'm a bit late with this review (over 9 months late in fact) but I'd like to post something brief if just for posterity. My memory has been jogged by the fact that Southern Empire (the current band of Sean Timms, previously of Unitopia) have two more gigs scheduled here in Adelaide during the next two weeks (a third was scheduled for last night but was cancelled a shortly beforehand). I suspect that the nature of the group means that gigs are few and far between (I don't think they've done any gigs since the CD launch).

The venue was the HQ complex on West Terrace, Adelaide. Turnout was respectable though not packed. Having seen a similarly-sized turn-out at a gig by the Crimson Projeckt a couple of years ago, that's no surprise - hopefully the turnouts are enough to keep Adelaide on the tour map for Australian and overseas performers. The "support" act was a good choice - Andy Salvanos, who took the opportunity to put on a bloody good solo show with his Chapman stick and got a very good reception from the crowd too.

I didn't yet have their CD, so the music SE played on the night was almost all new to me apart from "How long" (from a Prog magazine sampler CD). The band seemed to make a good fist of their blend of prog/prog-metal material on the night; unfortunately Sean's keyboards were too often drowned out by the guitars and drums, which was a real shame - the texture of the music as heard on their CD was very much lost, at least where I was standing (on a balcony well back from the stage and just off from the centre).

I would have happily traded the longish "honky tonk" keyboard solo from Sean partway through one song to hear a more assertive keyboard sound throughout the whole of the gig. Throughout the concert the lead singer (who did sing well) also played guitar, riffing around behind the lead guitarist - for myself, I'd rather have heard more keys throughout and less guitar. As far as I'm concerned, at any future gig, I hope the lead singer leaves his twin-neck guitar at the side of the stage and instead switches to keys at least some of the time...

Guest musicians contributed violin and flute from the right of the rather dark stage and were a welcome addition (when they could be heard). That said, I'm very reluctant to be too critical of the performance on the night - as far as I know, it was the first gig by the band (and their only one to date I believe) and I wouldn't underestimate the task of coming to grips with some of the musical passages, however capable the band members are.

The bass player does deserve a mention - he was high in the mix, but deserved to be, nimble and all over the place (in a good way) - he would be an asset to any band he was in. The harmony vocals sounded good too but like Sean's keys, they were too rarely heard. Their epic song "The bridge that binds" seemed to go forever and I found myself waiting for it to end (to be fair, that might partly have been a result of my unfamiliarity with it).

After working their way through their album, they encored with a couple of covers: Comfortably Numb, which they pulled off quite well, and Siberian Khatru, which didn't work so well - after a nimble introduction by the guitarist, it was turned into a bit of a grungey rave-up and went way, way longer than it should have - I couldn't wait for it to finish and started walking toward the merch table to purchase the CD. They may have done at least one other cover too, but that has escaped my memory since the night of the gig.

The future will tell I guess what Southern Empire go on to do - hopefully, Sean can keep the band going and we will see a few more recordings (and live performances) from them.

EDIT: to correct a wildly incorrect date


Edited by David64T - March 01 2017 at 05:32
Seasons Of Change - weekly programme on community radio: http://seasonsofchangeradio.blogspot.com.au/
Back to Top
Aussie-Byrd-Brother View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

Joined: October 12 2011
Location: Melb, Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 6967
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie-Byrd-Brother Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2017 at 06:10
Great review, mate!

Do you know if there's any chance the band are considering playing any Melbourne shows in the near future?

I'm rather embarrassed to say that although I've had their CD for months, I still haven't given it a spin yet!
Back to Top
David64T View Drop Down
Forum Senior Member
Forum Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: January 19 2013
Location: South Australia
Status: Online
Points: 275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David64T Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2017 at 06:45
Originally posted by Aussie-Byrd-Brother Aussie-Byrd-Brother wrote:

Great review, mate!

Do you know if there's any chance the band are considering playing any Melbourne shows in the near future?

I'm rather embarrassed to say that although I've had their CD for months, I still haven't given it a spin yet!
Thanks! Smile I'm planning to go to one or both of the upcoming gigs (both are at a venue within the Adelaide Oval) so will post something about them too if I can. It's a shame that their scheduled gig last night was cancelled though. Apparently they promised that the setlists at each gig were going to be different.

I only know what I see on their FB page and I've not seen anything there about gigs outside Adelaide. That said, it would be nice if the gigs here turn out to be a dry-run for a tour - you never know. Nice to see them in action again anyway.

I'd suggest you give your CD a spin, yes - Sean's songwriting skills are good, there are some good tunes in there and it's very polished. The reviews of their CD here on PA are mostly on the ball I think - they show their influences I think (I hear Dream Theater and Spock's Beard in particular, and Unitopia not too far away of course). Not all of what they play is to my taste to be honest - but I do like enough of what they do to check them out further; and, all in all, it's good to have Sean Timms and the band giving the prog rock tree a shake locally.

Seasons Of Change - weekly programme on community radio: http://seasonsofchangeradio.blogspot.com.au/
Back to Top
T.Rox View Drop Down
Special Collaborator
Special Collaborator
Avatar
Honorary Collaborator

Joined: July 06 2004
Location: Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 9399
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote T.Rox Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2017 at 20:34
Have played SE's "Forest Fire" on my rock show Rock or Bust! on 107.3 HFM in Perth. Remiss of me not to have played more from the album.

And of course there would be almost zero chance of Southern Empire playing in West Oz, I imagine Unhappy
"Without prog, life would be a mistake."



...with apologies to Friedrich Nietzsche
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.01
Copyright ©2001-2014 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.078 seconds.