The Annandale Hotel
Friday May 2, 2003

Richard Sharman

A feed of salt and pepper squid washed down with a few coldies in Chinatown was the perfect appetiser what followed at the Annandale.

First up was a fairly standard four piece guitar band – singer guitarist, bass, guitar and drums, bluesy garage type sound, shades of Johnny Thunders or Bruce Springsteen at times. I am not sure of their name due to the lead singer’s tendency to mumble their name – but a good introduction for the night.

The Annandale started to fill with a diverse crowd – obviously some there for X and others for Fourplay. Fourplay are a string quarter – but before you think chamber music this is a very different beast: these guys (and girl) rock!

They played a mixed set of originals and covers; most notable being The Beastie Boys Sabotage and also a tribute to the late great Nina Simone with a version of My Baby Just Cares For Me. Fourplay really got the crowd to its feet – some crazy dancing up the front. The only downside of the show was that Steve Lucas and Ian Rilen from X were too busy watching them perform which lead them to coming on stage late!

On to the main event! X hit the stage and tonight they were a very different beast to their show at the Surry Hills Excelsior about a month earlier. Even for the change of pacing, X were still at their rocking and roaring best. Steve Lucas was in fine form with his voice shrieking with awesome power, Rilen’s bass was thunderous, Geoff Holmes' guitar was lean and dirty and Cath Synnerdahl was a powerhouse behind the drum kit.

Highlights of their set included "Degenerate Boy", "Mother", "Dream Baby", "Movin’ On", "I Don’t Wanna Go Out" and "Don’t Cry No Tears".

A couple of members of Fourplay joined X on stage for a couple of songs adding their wild string sounds to the wall of sound X were pumping out. Unfortunately midnight rolled around all too soon and X were forced to cut proceedings short. But what a fiery set they played – once again demonstrating them to be one of the greatest live bands I have had the pleasure of seeing.