Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 19/08/97

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Bananas, not in pyjamas

As a rule, I don't go to concerts much. This is for two reasons:

However, on Sunday last week I made an exception to my rule, to attend a concert by another band on my faves list, Bananarama. For those of you who aren't keeping track of what the girls are up to, there's only two of them these days (Keren and Sarah), and they're not signed to their original label any more, but they still tour and record. I should know; I must be one of the relatively few people in Australia who actually bought their last album, Ultra Violet.

This, tour, though (organised by retro supremo Frazer Bourke) was billed as 'The Greatest Hits Tour', notwithstanding the fact that the album of the name name was released almost ten years ago. I didn't have any great expectations on the technical level; I already know that Bananarama live performances are heavily dependent on backing tapes. But I was hoping to get to dance to a stack of classic tunes from the 80s, and possibly a smattering of the band's newer material.

My hopes were largely dashed by one simple factor: the girls were on stage for a grand total of around 40 minutes. Granted, I wasn't expecting a three-hour marathon, but 40 minutes for $35-odd dollars seems a tad excessive.

As well, the selection of material was a little strange. As near as I can recall it, this was the set list (though I've probably missed one or two):

  1. Venus (biggest Nana hit ever; from True Confessions, 1986)
  2. Nathan Jones (minor hit with Supremes cover from Wow, 1987/Greatest Hits, 1988)
  3. Every Shade Of Blue (dance hit from Ultra Violet, 1996)
  4. I Heard A Rumour (big hit from Wow)
  5. Boom Boom (not sure of the title; this is one of the band's newly-recorded tracks)
  6. Love In The First Degree (big hit from Wow)
  7. Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (early Nana hit from Deep Sea Skiving, 1983)
  8. Venus 97 (newly recorded remix; performed as encore)

As a greatest hits selection, this is highly suspect. It gives solid representation to the band's SAW period, but ignores everything they did between 1989 and 1996, and most of what they did before 1986. In particular, there are no tracks included from the 1984 Bananarama album (pictured above), which included such sterling numbers as 'Robert De Niro's Waiting', 'Cruel Summer' and 'Rough Justice'. I can't really sanction a set list that includes 'Nathan Jones' (no matter how much I like the song) but ignores 'Robert De Niro's Waiting'.

For all that, it was great to stand in a not-too-crowded room of like-minded people, a mere four feet or so from the stage, and engage in naff dance moves to an SAW beat. But it could have been so much more.

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