Live Review: John Farnham – 16th December, 2015 – Qantas Credit Union Arena, Sydney, Australia
Time has spared John Farnham, though perhaps not entirely: even the Australian legend himself made fun of his less than peak physical condition, and by the conclusion of the show he was a sweaty, panting mess. But that voice hasn’t aged a day: like an insect trapped in amber it has been preserved, and the man’s golden tones impressed more and more with every song he belted out.
Not that the gig was perfect, mind. Not only has Farnham’s voice been preserved, but so have his particularly un-P.C. values. The way he admitted to having a ‘dirty old man moment’ (presumably while ogling the younger females in the front of the audience) somewhat ruined things, particularly when he later dedicated the emotional ballad Burn For You to his wife, who he revealed was in attendance. Who knows exactly what she thinks about his dirty old man moments?
There were also moments when the pace of the show significantly slowed down. The ballad heavy middle portion of the gig dragged a bit, and though Farnham performed songs like Hearts On Fire and No One Comes Close with the requisite passion and emotion, it did feel a bit like wading through treacle.
Indeed, Farnham seemed at his most energetic while laughing his way through a rendition of Sadie The Cleaning Lady. “I want to dispel a rumour,” he said before launching into the mega hit. “I don’t hate this song. It’s just not the best song I’ve ever recorded.” Perhaps not, but it certainly is one of the few that can get a massive crowd chanting and waving in appreciation.
The final portion of the show proved to be the most enjoyable. Not only did Farnham stick to the hits – That’s Freedom and You’re The Voice made the setlist, because of course they did – but he also seemed visibly happier. Surrounded by a marching band’s worth of bagpipe players that seemed to materialise out of nowhere in time for You’re The Voice, the musician was beaming from ear to ear, blasting his way through the song that may well be his very best. Or at least, his very best known. It was a fantastic way to end the set proper; a perfect end to an imperfect show.
Age of Reason
Heart’s on Fire
Every Time You Cry (Human Nature cover)
No One Comes Close
Love to Shine
A Simple Life
Two Strong Hearts
Don’t You Know It’s Magic
Burn for You
Man of the Hour
Talk of the Town
A Touch of Paradise
Playing to Win
You’re the Voice