Trial Kennedy @ The Corner Hotel
It was the last time. And you know what it’s like for the last time. Tears and fears and all the rest… But this time there was a lot of love, too. A lot of love for a band that has done the hard slug for over a decade on the Australian rock scene, who have made some darned fine tunes we can all sing along to and who are – at the end of it all – some really nice guys.
In what would become an epic set for Trial Kennedy, the sold-out crowd swelled before they took the stage and waited with baited breath to see the last glimpse of the heroes they followed for so many years. Support band, My Echo, prefaces their appearance with a heartfelt, “It’s an honour to play tonight with Trial Kennedy, they are a great example of what Australian music is all about.”
The set opened with Sunday Warning, instantly prompting the first of many sing-a-longs and just as many crowd-surfers. It was like Frenzal Rhomb at Homebake ’98 all over again. One wonders if the avid crowd-surfer did in fact have a TK tattoo on his arm or just an obsession with pointing to his bicep when frontman Tim Morrison happened to glance his way.
The band genuinely seemed happy at the reception, with guitarist Stacey Gray saying, “Thanks for doing this for us,” and Morrison adding, “We’re gonna play as long as we’re physically able .” And that they did. 19 songs in total, the band pumped out the tunes, Morrison’s voice stretched to capacity, and the crowd loved every moment.
All the favourites were there, like set opener Best Of Tomorrow, Strange Behaviour and The Great Escape, pleasing “all the people that were there with us from the start,” in Gray’s words. Colour Day Tours saw additional drums from My Echo, while original bassist Aaron Malcolmson joined his mates for his last two songs Tuesday Shoes and Warning. By the end of the set, the whole cohort was up there, every single musician from the evening’s festivities.
There was definitely something poignant about this gig. Yes, they’re breaking up and that’s sad but it wouldn’t be quite so sad if they weren’t still such good buddies. A loving peck on the cheek nearing the end of the gig showed more than enough man-love to ensure this break-up was not one of “creative differences” – these guys had done the hard yards, and they were giving it up while they still had the choice.
Trial Kennedy have some great songs, Morrison is a fantastic frontman and there is no denying Gray, drummer Shaun Gionis and newer member Richie Buxton are talented musicians. It is just a sad fact that in this musical climate, a prog-rock outfit budding with this much get-up-and-go still slips through the cracks. When Australia finally wakes up, they’re gonna kick themselves for not believing in Trial Kennedy.
BY JEN WILSON
LOVED: Feeling like more than just a fan.
HATED: That we will never see them play together again!