Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Reels - Reel To Reel


We were lucky enough to see Reels frontman Dave Mason perform a lot of these songs at the Sydney Festival, when he did a gig with seminal Sydney electronica outfit Severed Heads.  And it was divine.

These guys came from country New South Wales and delivered a bunch of quirky pop songs that found their way into my teenage heart.  I actually own a Reels apron - not your conventional band merchandise, but released to coincide with their Kitchen Man tour.  Dave Mason also used to sit on the steps of a Sydney courthouse selling flowers, in the year I went to university.  I even bought some from him, now and then.

This best-of covers all of their career - from the early quirky originals to the later, quirky covers of songs like This Guy's In Love With You. But I especially love this collection of songs for what might just be the most beautiful song I've ever heard - Quasimodo's Dream.  Take a moment.  Listen to it.  Don't you agree?



Damn, Mine beat to the punch.  Again!  But the night was so good it bears repetition, I think.  Seeing The Reels live doing some of these songs earlier this year was such a wonderful treat.  We saw them on a balmy, beautiful Sydney night in a partially outdoor venue set up for the Sydney Festival and set in the grounds of the Hyde Park Barracks in the city, all very conducive to what was a great night of music.

Years ago, I worked as an FM DJ and Quasimodo's Dream was a particular favourite of another couple of DJs, who would play it every show they did, to the point where it kind of ruined the song for me.  So as a consequence, I hadn't heard it for many years.  But it is no wonder it was voted one of the Top Ten Australian songs.  And their take on numerous covers is really cool, a favourite being Jim Reeve's classic According To My Heart (which is one of my Dad's favourite songs) The video for it is hilarious.  I also like their version of the Cold Chisel classic Forever Now, firmly claiming it as a hidden country gem.  And the track features the gorgeous Amanda Brown, from The Go-Betweens.

There is two distinct versions of The Reels, in my mind.  The first is the young band who did the great, quirky pop songs and the second is the synth-driven tracks of the latter years.  Both are equally impressive but I do prefer the more organic earlier version.  There are very few songs as uplifting as Love Will Find A Way.  It's a beautiful thing.

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