By Pete Malatesta
Kuepper's gig at Sydney's Annandale hotel on August 2 was an eagerly awaited show. The hotel filled early giving, the support act a good audience. Juliet Ward played acoustic guitar and sang, accompanied by the plaintive guitar of Tim Rowlinson; with suicide and death the prominent themes, they produced a sweet, melancholic sound. The set was warmly received.
A short break, a crowd surge, then Ed Kuepper and band quietly took the stage. What followed was a feast of musicianship and songcraft.
The play list was extensive, but in the words of Kuepper, "I'm not going to name any of the songs; some of you will know them, and if you don't it doesn't matter anyway." It didn't!
The audience was beguiled by a rich mixture of styles and moods, from the power of early Saints, the avant-garde "jazz-rock" of the Laughing Clowns, to songs from Kuepper's solo period and more.
Finishing with the haunting "Everything I've Got (belongs to you)", Kuepper introduced the band, thanked the audience and left the stage.
No manipulated build-up, no early departure to allow for the de rigueur return to perform encores. Ed Kuepper had promised a two-hour journey of the music from his career, and he delivered.