Although the local constabulary were set up smack bang out the front of Suttons House Of Music, it did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of punters who ventured out on a cool Autumn night to see folk/rock legend Mick Thomas & The Roving Commission. Seats were at a premium and all gone by 9pm as Raised By Eagles warmed the stage for the main act. Playing their country pop rock, it’s the perfect entrée before Thomas and his quartet take to the stage.
A small group of lads give Thomas a cheer as he walks towards the stage, and a raised hand from the legend acknowledges their kind gesture. It’s not long before the infectious sounds of the band have you tapping your foot as old crowd favourite ‘Mondays Experts’ is played early in the set. The poignancy of ‘Gallipoli Rosemary’ shows what a class act Thomas is when it comes to songwriting. He sings “I’m gonna put you with a rack of lamb…I’m gonna put you in a rabbit stew”. One can’t help but think of the great Paul Kelly with such classic ‘Aussie’ lyrics.
‘Knockbacks In Halifax’ has the ‘go’ button well and truly pressed for the die-hard fans and the room is starting to rumble. The thing about people who follow Thomas is they really know how to let their hair down, and two lads up the front are having an absolute blast which is great to see.
The angelic vocals of Aileen O’Halloran are a fabulous addition to the Roving Commission and her duet with Thomas in ‘Most Of The Time’ is another highlight of the night. Squeezebox Wally chimes in beautifully like the welcome neighbour who drops over for a beer each night. The sing-a-long of the night is definitely ‘A Tale They Won’t Believe’ and although many of the crowd are seated, their faces are alight as the folk rock classic is strummed out through the venue.
One of the radio classics for Thomas with Weddings Parties Anything was ‘Father’s Day’ and it is still as popular as ever with its squeezebox melody ear-worming you. Another classic ‘Away Away’ closes out the set list. Thomas is drenched in sweat and will not be leaving the venue without an encore. Luke Sinclair from Raised By Eagles joins the band for three songs to close out a cracking night. Please come back soon Mr Thomas!
Where: Suttons House of Music
When: Saturday, May 20
Reviewed by: Glen Anderson