Gig Review: Tommy M & The Mastersounds @ Kiama Leagues Club

by Callum B. Downes

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Lined from front to back with tables and chairs occupied by the rowdier residents of Blue Haven retirement village, or maybe just the ones who traded their medication for an ounce of blow and a Viagra, Kiama Leagues Club was all set for the annual Bingo Bonanza last Friday night. The last thing these gentle elderly souls expected would be a sudden invasion of debauched youths, led by an excessively excitable band of talented musicians, who would inspire them to abandon their lucky streaks and “jump and jive” like 1925. But that’s exactly what they got.

After forcibly entertaining a generally unresponsive audience during their opening song, mainly due to a poor seating arrangement that left less room for dancing than a train platform in Mumbai, The Mastersounds, led by drummer and vocalist Joe Mungovan, encouraged the docile bingo enthusiasts to get up and dance. Cue the debauched youths, who broke out into such unholy egg harbouring (1920s term for dancing) that the old fogies could not help but join in until they were shouting “32, buckle my shoe!”. Apart from the two fat ladies at the bar.

Missing two vital limbs of The Mastersounds octopus, including keyboardist and front man Evan Kerr, the remaining six band members masterfully produced a remarkably phat reggae sound for their return to The Kiama Jazz and Blues Festival. The great lengths to which these brave band members ventured became brutally clear as lead guitarist, Jayden Masterson, began to bleed out onto his musical weapon after one too many, literally shredding, solos. Such bravery earned him the nickname “Leonidas, Spartan King” from the crowd of apparent Greek historians.

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“Leonidas” (Jayden Masterson) receiving inadequate first aid attention.

Like any self-respecting cephalopod, The Mastersounds octopus grew it’s missing limbs back in explosive style, with the unanticipated return of the Jedi, Evan Kerr and a crazy good saxophonist whose name escapes me, during the climax of a rocking tune. Rather than reinstating peace and order to the musical galaxy, the pair armed themselves with a portable mouth organ and sax, instilling further chaos amongst the crowd with their catchy melodies. Joe acknowledged the grand entrance with a pause and a, “whose this guy?” before nonchalantly drum rolling back into the groove of the song.

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Evan Kerr dominating the mouth organ!

The band evidently thrived off the party vibe of the crowd, as Evan busted moves to rival the Charleston, much to the delight of the mature age admirers. Sweat streamed from the beard of the head-banging drummer, ribs rattled to the slap and hum of Tommy Masterson’s bass guitar and at one point I shuddered at the thought of the trombonist’s arm dislocating from its socket and ejecting through the walls without a safety parachute.

Overall, it was a typically fun show from these guys, so be sure to check them out on Facebook and get along to their next party.

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