Third Stone. The Gov. 24 Mar 2017
In general, I don’t do reviews of cover bands, since it’s too easy to be swayed by the excitement of the music that you love (that’s being covered) rather than observing the music for itself, and in my mind at least, it detracts a little from those making original music. However, in the case of Third Stone, I’ll make an exception, partly because this is not an ordinary cover band, and partly because there is some extraordinary talent to behold.
Admittedly, I’ve been a fan of these guys for quite some time, having first come across the guitarist Jimmy (as opposed to Jimi) almost 20 years ago. I was completely blown away by the virtuosic talent I saw. It was in original band The Loving Tongue (which still exists today, though live shows are a rarity!) that I first fell in love with this dude’s sound, and I’ve followed him through a variety of projects he’s had in Adelaide and beyond ever since. I guess you could say I’m something of a groupie, but I don’t mind that when the music is so good.
Needless to say, Jimmy is a fan of his famous ’60s namesake, and Third Stone pays tribute to the music of Jimi Hendrix by pulling together a bunch of his tunes into a spectacular show. Now, a lot of cover bands try to emulate the band they’re covering to varying degrees, with costumes, personas, and all manner of gimmick, and that’s cool if that’s what you’re into, but Third Stone have always stood apart from that, as there’s no dress-ups, no pretending to be Jimi, Mitch and Noel, and not even a note-for-note reproduction of their music. Theirs is a tribute in the humblest of fashion, played by an artist who is actually up to the task. I’ve seen them many times before, and know what I’m in for; tonight at the Gov is no exception to their usual excellence.
Third Stone, comprising guitarist, Jimmy, his brother, Tom on bass and drummer, Adrian play a bunch of big Hendrix tunes including Hey Joe, Wind Cries Mary, Voodoo Chile, and the like, but they also indulge in a few lesser known tunes, like Machine Gun (one of my favourites), Fire, or Third Stone From The Sun, making a Third Stone show something for both the casual fan as well as the hard-core Hendrix aficionado. The soloing throughout is amazing, with a rousing version of Red House really taking things up a notch or three and showcasing the talent of the guitarist.
Interestingly, towards the end of the show, and in Hendrix style, there is a rendition of a national anthem, but unlike Hendrix, who would always give a psychedelic rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, Third Stone pay homage to their Australian home with a bit of Advance Australia Fair (so much cooler than the canned versions they sing at the footy!), and break into some Purple Haze to round things out perfectly.
Third Stone managed to impress me as they always do, reminding me why I’m such a fan. Awesome show!
When: 24 Mar
Where: The Governor Hindmarsh (The Gov)