Simon Day @ The Retreat, Melbourne (Sun 29 Aug 2010)

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Surreal. It’s not often you meet a childhood hero at the local pub playing to about 40 people.

When I saw that Simon Day of Ratcat was playing at The Retreat, well, I just had to go. As any of my friends can attest, I’ve been a huge fan of Ratcat since I was about 15. The This Nightmare album was by far, the greatest indie album released at the time (1989). Go Go and Dead Dog Standing were my two faves, but the whole album is gold. Seriously- if you don’t know it- do yourself a favour.  Even if you’re one of the many who didn’t get into Ratcat’s hits, this album is a winner.

When they hit the ‘bigtime’ in the early 90’s with Tingles and Blind Love, I was as chuffed as can be. The first time I saw Ratcat was at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre supporting INXS on their X tour in 1991. After that, I saw them at the Qld University of Technology cafeteria with about 5000 other screaming kids in ’92. I got a massive wall-size poster (seriously- it’s huge- doesn’t fit in my house so is in storage in Brisbane) signed at that show- Simon wrote “Hey Sam, stay cool.” I got it laminated and still have it.

So, onto the show…. He played 2 sets- the first was mostly non Ratcat material and fairly laid back.  His voice sounded great and he seemed really relaxed and happy to be there.  It was super weird seeing him up there doing his thing in front of so few people (most who unfortunately seemed pretty disinterested in the show), considering the last time I saw him, it was in front of thousands of screaming fans.  Sure, that was 20 years ago, but still, weird.

The second set had much more Ratcat gear in there.  Baby Baby, Don’t Go Now and That Ain’t Bad were obviously the points where the audience pricked up their ears a bit.  The look of recognition on most was pretty amusing… “Hey, I know this song…. wait, isn’t that that guy from that band?…. oh yeah- now I know who this is…”

Some of the other Ratcat songs from the set included Don’t Go In The Water & My Bloody Valentine (both from Tingles). There may have been some stuff from This Nightmare, Insideout & Easyrider, but it’s been so long since I’ve listened to those records that I couldn’t say for sure.

It was a shame that more people weren’t there, but there was little to no advertising.  I just happened to see it was on because I wanted to go to the pub and saw it in tiny writing in the street press.  I had a bit of a fan moment after the show and had a chat to him, and got a photo. He was absolutely lovely. I really didn’t want to come across as a mad stalker fan, and was worried that he’d be a tool (aren’t most ex-famous people?), but he was great.

He was there playing support for Suzie Stapleton, who was pretty damn good.  She came on and did the last few songs with him (including That Ain’t Bad), and then he got up with her band later and they did a version of Getting Away (From This World) that was originally on Tingles and then on Blind Love as well.

Baby Baby

Don’t Go Now

That Ain’t Bad

Getting Away (From This World) – with Suzie Stapleton & Band

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went to this 8 years ago

6,571 views