Gareth Liddiard is currently on a solo tour to celebrate the 13-year anniversary of his LP ‘Strange Tourist’. The album was recorded in 2010 by Burke Reid. The reissue is a double gatefold vinyl featuring remastered audio by Aaron Cupples and new album art. Liddiard is one of Australia’s most critically acclaimed, peer-revered songwriters and is the frontman of cult acts Tropical Fu*k Storm, The Drones and Springtime.
In the dimly lit Factory Theatre a seated crowed is assembled, it’s like a bit like being in a confessional booth for the musically deranged. Liddiard, takes the stage somewhat unobtrusively, setlist and 2 VBs in hand, and it takes a few seconds for the audience to register that he has swaggered onstage.
From the first strum of his guitar, it’s clear this isn’t going to be your run-of-the-mill acoustic set. Liddiard’s songs, dripping with sardonic wit and a devil-may-care attitude, land like a punch to your solar plexus. His lyrics, a mix of the poetic and the profane, are delivered with a snarl and a smile.
Between songs, Liddiard’s banter is as sharp as his songwriting. He regales the audience with tales and surveys (!) At one point asking the crowd to vote on their thoughts about Jim Morrison – whether he was an icon or an idiot or both (both wins.)
His storytelling is a whirlwind of absurdity and dark humour. He fluffs the lines of ‘Did She Scare All Your Friends Away’ and quips “I’m glad my agent isn’t here” someone in the audience shouts “Play LA Woman!” to which Liddiard muses on whether an impromtu Comedy Club has been established at the back of the venue.
It’s as if Mark Twain and Hunter S. Thompson had a love child that was raised in a Western Australian pub.
For me, what sets Liddiard apart is the raw honesty of his songs. Tonight’s performance reflects that – it eschews polish and pretence for something far more real and visceral.
Gareth Liddiard Strange Tourist 13th Anniversary Tour 2023
Tickets on sale from tropicalfuckstormrecords.com
Sat 18 Nov King St Newcastle NSW
Sun 19 Nov Torquay Hotel Torquay VIC
Wed 29 Nov Old Museum Brisbane QLD
Thur 30 Nov Thornbury Theatre Thornbury VIC