It’s always a splendid occasion when Jeremy Neale is in town and Saturday night was no exception. With support from local mates Crepes, Brisbane’s sweetheart had the Ding Dong crowd dancing all night to new songs and old favourites alike.

Crepes were finishing up a song as I arrived, and it was clear the slacker pop 5 piece had gotten the room toasty warm with their chilled guitars and vocals. They kicked into their single ‘Cold Summers’ very quickly then asked the sound guy if they had time for two more which, fortunately, they did.

Jeremy and his band took the stage and quickly kicked off with two cuts off 2013’s In Stranger Times EP, ‘Merry-Go-Round’ and ‘A Love Affair To Keep You There’ before getting into some ‘deep cuts’ and knocking out a new song intended for his next album. Charles Sale on guitar helped out a bit on backing vocals showing off some incredible falsetto while Izzy Mellor on keyboards stayed uncharacteristically quiet, having unfortunately lost her voice to laryngitis.

After tuning up without a mute function on his pedal (or, as Jeremy called it, ‘amateur hour’) they belted out ‘The News’ and ‘Swing Left’ before a request from the audience changed the whole vibe of the room as Jeremy and band kicked into ’Stallion Rider.’ Why ‘Stallion Rider’ has never even been nominated for, let alone won, the Grammy for Best Metal Performance I’ll never know: it’s much more metal than anything Tenacious D have ever done and the whole crowd moshing was evidence of that.

After a few more old songs and a killer rendition of latest single ‘Hold On Together,’ in which Charles Sale did a surprisingly excellent job of being Phoebe Imhoff, Jeremy invited anyone that knew the words to help sing Go Violets’ parts for ‘In Stranger Times,’ resulting in more than 20 people getting up on stage for an exciting finale.

Ever a showman, Jeremy Neale knows how to give his fans exactly what they want. It’s for this reason that if you aren’t seeing him whenever he’s in town, regardless of which of his many projects he’s performing with, you are definitely missing out.

Wes Fahey

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