Pony Room, Manly and the Hoodoo Gurus at the Fishos

A couple of BotF members had the good fortune to connect with their ’80s and university roots with a very solid night out in Manly.

We were able to reacquaint ourselves with the Pony Room, which is a relatively new bar in Manly, for a couple of pre show libations and victuals. The Pony Room prides itself on minimalism with style – whether it is the drinks menu on a wine bottle or a Wednesday taco special (4 varieties). The retro feel of couches and school desks is complemented weirdly by nooks and crannies with wallpaper made of sheet music. Very hard to describe, so get down yourself one evening or afternoon and get into it.

Less difficult to describe is a night in a crowded, hot Northern Beaches live music venue listening to a red hot Hoodoo Gurus play through their classics. Quite simply, it is as much fun as you can have with your clothes on. The Hoodoo Gurus were outstanding and age has not wearied them to any extent. The entree of The Break was entirely appropriate (Martin Rotsey, Jim Moginie and Rob Hirst (ex Oils) and Brian Ritchie (ex Violent Femmes)) as they regaled the crowd with a suite of surfing, stomping instrumentals.

27 years after their first album (and still our favourite), Stoneage Romeos – the Hoodoos are still releasing new music. The first (adequate) song was not familiar and we wondered whether we were in for a night of new material. That was immediately dispelled with a stirring rendition of Tojo. The boys kept up the pace all night with a fantastic spread across their entire collection. They spanned their first (Leilani) and last (Crackin’ up) singles with the all the goodies. They work as hard as they ever have and it is just great to see the band members having as good a time as the audience. A final triumverate of My Girl, What’s my Scene and Like Wow Wipe-out is as good as it gets. That said, we’d already been regaled with 1000 Miles Away, Waking Up Tired, The Right Time, Arthur, Come Any Time, Bittersweet, Death Defying et al.