Photos courtesy © Gail Beckhouse
It is more than forty years since I first saw TMG perform live and, from that moment, I was well and truly hooked. I saw the band countless times in the 70s and 80s and through to the 90s, with Ted at the helm and I never lost that love I always had for this always highly entertaining band. Their shows had always been fun and upbeat and they never failed to get me dancing the night away. Ted Mulry was a charismatic front man, cheeky and with a quick wit that always brought a smile to your face. With Ted’s passing in 2001, I thought that I would never have the opportunity to see the band perform again and would have to remain content with recordings and memories but that all changed last year when the remaining original band members made the decision to reform the Ted Mulry Gang. With the addition of Ted’s younger brother Steve on vocals and Mark Evans on bass, the reformed TMG are back doing what they do best… what they have always done… rock!
2nd September 2017 would have been Ted’s 70th birthday and such a significant event couldn’t be allowed to pass unnoticed so TMG celebrated with a special show, once again at Revesby Workers Club, for Ted’s 70th Birthday Bash. And what a show it was! Once again, I made the pilgrimage from Melbourne to Sydney to be a part of the proceedings. The band has played numerous gigs since reforming and they were in top form, tight and a dynamic force as they paid tribute to their friend and fellow band mate.
Performing against a backdrop of video footage of the band and photos of Ted, it was a very fitting tribute as they performed a set of TMG hits and much-loved album tracks as well as a couple of Ted’s solo classics and more.
It was lovely to see so many familiar faces from many years ago and to once again see Ted and Steve’s mother, Alice, looking as radiant as ever and enjoying the show with one son performing in tribute to another.
It was a rather long day for a number of fans who had attended an earlier fan event at the club and a number of those fans had travelled a long way to be a part of this celebration in honour of Ted, me included.
The show kicked off in true TMG fashion with Herm Kovac’s now famous drum intro to ‘My Little Girl’, followed by ‘Wanted Man’ from the Steppin’ Out LP. ‘Naturally’ blended seamlessly into ‘Without You’, both from The TMG Album and the latter featuring some excellent slide guitar from Les Hall (and still one of my favourite TMG tracks).
Steve did his brother proud on lead vocals, channelling that energy and larrikin spirit that we had always come to expect at a TMG gig. I’m sure Ted would approve of the way his younger brother has stepped into his shoes.
Gary Dixon took over the vocals on ‘Lazy Eyes’, before the rest of the band walked off stage, leaving Gary to sing the homage to Ted with two of the singer’s biggest hits, ‘Julia’ and ‘Falling in Love Again’, with the crowd singing along in unison. This emotion charged part of the show always brings a tear to my eye and is a highlight for many fans.
With former AC/DC member Mark Evans taking over on bass, the band have a perfect excuse to slot in an AC/DC tune, ‘Long Way to the Top’ and, speaking of Mark, those with an eagle-eye would have noticed that he played a replica of the bass guitar used by Ted which was a nice touch.
It was a bonus to hear ‘You’re All Woman’, a song penned by Ted that was a hit for Sherbet in the early 70s and the inclusion of the very cheeky ‘Dinah’ brought loud cheers… not to mention singing … from the crowd who were clearly familiar with the lyric content. 😉 You will note that ‘Dinah’ is not mentioned in the set list I have given you below. That’s because it is not actually part of the planned set list but added in when the mood ‘fits’ and the mood certainly did ‘fit’ on Saturday night and the audience revelled in singing the ‘naughty’ lyrics. Some of us who were around then might recall the stir this little ditty was known to cause on some occasions back in the day but times have changed. We’re all a bit more relaxed these days.
The set closed with one of the band’s biggest hits, ‘Darktown Strutters Ball’ with the fans shouting for ‘more, more’ until the guys returned for the encore, a rockin’ rendition of The Stones’ ‘Brown Sugar’ and the finale, ‘Jump in My Car’.
Ted, as always, was greatly missed but I know he was there in the room with us and I think he would have been more than pleased with this celebration in his honour. Cheers Ted. Happy birthday, old friend. Wish you were here.
by Sharyn Hamey
Copyright © Sharyn Hamey 2017. All rights reserved
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and enjoy these photos from Ted’s 70th Birthday Bash, thanks to Gail Beckhouse
My Little Girl
Sha La La La Lee
Disturbing the Peace
Heart of Stone
Giving Up On Your Love
Gonna Be Somebody
You’re All Woman
Falling in Love Again
Rocking All Over the World
Long Way to the Top
Darktown Strutters Ball
Jump in My Car