Tuesday, January 8, 2008

(non) forgotten bands :: Hunters & Collectors

“You don’t make me feel like I’m a woman anymore”

Melbourne’s Hunters & Collectors, arguably one of Australia’s finest exports, were at their prime in the mid to late 1980’s and finally called it a day - after a few waning years of unfocused mediocrity - in 1998. Their best single was certainly “throw your arms around me”, but here’s a video for a song that’s perhaps a bit more indicative of what they were all about… “say goodbye” has all the horns, semi-shouty vocals, prominent bass lines and cutting guitars of a classic H&C tune. Plus, singer Mark Seymour channels The Fonz in the video!

Video :: Say Goodbye by Hunters & Collectors

“Throw your arms around me” and “say goodbye” form part of Hunters & Collectors’ cache of great relationship-based tunes. However, they were also political, and though perhaps not as up-for-it as fellow Aussies and part-time travel mates Midnight Oil, H&C did do their share of ranting (by the way, Peter Garrett, the baldy/ gargantuan former front-man of the Oils, was recently appointed Australian Environment Minister following his party’s November election victory. A bit of a departure from the days of those wildly flailing hands and on-stage scaffold jumping - or not?).

Recently I noticed that Mark Seymour has himself a sustainable solo career and, upon initial review, he sounds pretty good. Though, with song titles like “Jerusalem”, “Hell broke free” and “Feel the Lord” it would appear he’s had a “visitor”!?!

The top-five-Australian-bands-from-a-bygone-era-compiled-by-someone-who-has-never-been-to-Australia are…
1. Hunters & Collectors
2. The Church
3. Midnight Oil
4. Hoodoo Gurus
5. The Go-Betweens

Of course, Australia has had its less-than-stellar moments, having foisted both Air Supply and Men at Work upon the world-wide masses. But who am I to complain? I stood by idly as Canada unleashed, on an unsuspecting world, the likes of Gino Vannelli, Platinum Blonde, that guy who “wore his sunglasses at night”, Headpins (actually, I liked them - Darby Mills rocks!) and, most recently, Nickelback. Sad, sad, sad.

For Hunters and Collectors, their music stands the time better than most - Human Frailty (1986) and Ghost Nation (1989) being two essential albums.


Stuart Anthony Fenech said...

No 'visitor' for Mark :) Jerusalem is a Steve Earle song, longing for peace in that part of the world. Hell Broke Free is about a relationship and Feel The Lord is taking the piss out of happy clappers.

mesmith said...

ah! thank you.