The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
RON POPE LIVE AT THE ASTOR LOUNGE JUNE 2014

RON POPE LIVE AT THE ASTOR LOUNGE JUNE 2014

RON POPE

THE ASTOR LOUNGE, PERTH WA AUSTRALIA

JUNE 13 2014

After the chaos of the Carcass show yesterday The Rockpit took time out to see Ron Pope’s intimate acoustic outing at Perth’s Astor Lounge and the contrast couldn’t have been more pronounced. Yesterday we were at sea in a throng of sweaty Metalheads and this evening at Ron’s early show at the intimate Astor Lounge (a place we never even knew existed tacked on upstairs to Perth’s Astor Theatre) was a far more subdued event.

The first thing that struck us waiting for Ron to come on was the demographic of the audience which was predominantly 18 year old girls with a few curious couples and older individuals in the mix. The young girls sat in the stalls and sprawled out on the floor, phones in hand of the venue giving it a very laid back atmosphere.

 

Starting with a new track, n stage alone with just a guitar (and a keyboard set up for later) Ron immediately regails the audience with tales of Hotel Rooms and Dolphins in our river taking time to comment on what people see as ‘normal’ I their own hometowns.  

 

Tonight’s set is all about the beauty of Ron’s songs though and draws heavily on his back catalogue, focussing on the new release ‘Calling off the Dogs’ and ‘Atlanta’ and starting with a song about missing home. Atlanta is of course Ron’s own hometown, despite his usual billing as ‘Brooklyn’s own’.  

‘Calling of the Dogs’ first single ‘Lick my wounds’ may not have the sheen acoustically of the album track but it  still shines raw as it is, before ‘Tears of Blood’ from Atlanta mesmerises the gathering. He tells us that although a highlight of his usual electric set (that he played everywhere else in Australia) it was written originally as a country ballad: and acoustically it's beautifully haunting.

 

Throwing in new songs like ‘Explain’ and packing his set with anecdotes there’s something beguiling about Pope as he opens up to tell us all about himself and his songs. He loves the ‘Almost Famous’ movie and explains his love of the work of (The Band’s) Richard Manuel before easing behind the piano to play his favourite new track ‘Silver Spoon’ before heading into his favourite ‘old’ track ‘Fireflies’.   

We’re treated to some rarities too with ‘I Do Not Love You’ getting its only Australian airing this year before telling the younger members of the audience to check out The Band’s ‘I shall be released’: it’s a wonderful attempt to educate the kids and a nice touch. ’Wherever You Go’ gets a great reaction from the Lounge and there’s a real feel that Ron is making up his set as he goes, which of course only adds to the charm. Normally he tells us, with a full band and the crowd shouting it would be odd to play “a quiet sad song about feelings” but he does that tonight with a song that originally came to him while trying to write something else and taking a shower ‘In My Bones’ (which has a little of ‘Let it Be; in there) gets the phones held high and recording the moment, it’s another great song from 2012’s Atlanta that gains the best reaction of the night so far.

 

Ron plays on his own so infrequently he tells us it’s so refreshing and he even attempts a song for the one member of the crowd who’s been to all the shows this tour. ‘Porch Light’ is a song he did with The District and it flows and ebbs beautifully.  Closing with ‘A Drop in the Ocean’ again from the latest release seals a great night before Ron leaves the room, shaking my hand ready to take on the army of young girls in what will surely be an epic signing session…

 

Check out our review of 'Calling Off the Dogs' here.

Check out our June 2014 interview with Ron Here.

 

 

by Mark Diggins June 2014

 

WANT MORE? CLICK ON A LINK BELOW TO SEE OUR LIVE REVIEWS FROM 2013 AND BEFORE...

HARD ROCK & METAL LIVE REVIEWS FROM AUSTRALIA & THE WORLD 2014

www.therockpit.net is a proud supporter of local live music and unsigned bands

Issues with this page or if you have general comments about this site? Contact digg [at]therockpit.net