This is a rather long review and covers Tim’s Ready For This? Again shows at Brisbane’s QPAC Theatre on December 1st and 2nd, 2009. As I’d already seen the new songs from Ready For This? back in March 2009, this review mostly covers the older songs that I hadn’t seen before and some technical glitches. And for those that want to know, Tim wore his frilly, vienetta shirt and his black, skinny jeans with the skeleton-hand prints on the back pockets.

Firstly, I have to say that I was so happy to finally see Darkside performed live, I knew he would play it from reading spoilers on the forum, but knowing it was coming didn’t mean I was ‘ready for this’ live, rip-roaring rendition of Darkside; it’s my favourite song all over again. Now when I hear it on my iPod I can relive those live performances; the red smoke billowing everywhere like he’s writhing in the depths of hell, and the fan blowing his long hair around so it was almost on end. The heart stopping bit where he breaks down, and you think, Oh no! He’s really upset, and those childlike yippees, when you know the darkside of Tim is just an act and he’s really not that dark after all. It was just brilliant: that song alone was worth the price of admission!

Darkside did have its technical glitches, and of course they made the performances all the more memorable. On the first night, the smoke machine didn’t start when it was supposed to; Tim pointed at it while looking up to someone, (I assume to press the remote trigger switch). On the second night the on-stage lights turned multi-coloured before he had time to get back to the piano, and when the lights were still supposed to be red. Tim made the lighting guy change the lights back to red and then back to the normal colours at exactly the right moment. He said something about having to start the show all over again because the lights had been stuffed up: and I’m sure none of us would have minded one little bit!

This was also my first time seeing the classic anthem Canvas Bags, and it was fantastic. The moment with the fan when he self-consciously makes sure his shirt is billowing nicely and hair is catching the breeze properly, it makes me laugh so much.

Apart from Canvas Bags and Darkside there were two more old songs that I had not seen live before; one of them was If You Really Loved Me; I squealed a bit on the inside when I recognised it! This song was totally unexpected and Tim played a beautiful bit of piano randomness before it, so at first we didn’t know it was coming. Tim really bashed at the piano during parts of this song. I love it when he plays so passionately, although it must hurt his fingers. He also played the piano very forcefully during The Song for Phil Doust. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the hands properly on either night, as I was slightly right of centre; left of centre is the place to be to watch the hands in action.

Our encore on both nights was White Wine In The Sun; this was my first time seeing this song performed live as he played Drowned as the encore for his Brisbane Comedy Festival shows back in March 2009. Anyway, on both nights I teared up during White Wine, as I knew I would. I had guessed that Tim might play that song, as it was December after all, and this was his Christmas song; still I wasn’t properly prepared for hearing it live. Later on that night when I read in the souvenir booklet that he’d spent a whole day sobbing while writing that song, I welled up again: I’m such a sook.

On the second night as Tim was preparing to play White Wine, the smoke machine annoyed him because it kept puffing out smoke randomly. Tim seemed to think it was not good for people to be laughing at the smoke machine while he was performing a serious song, so he went to unplug it; but the connection was taped up, so he had to go to another place to unplug it, (I assume it was where the extension cord was plugged in). However, the smoke machine still kept puffing out smoke! I know they do this because my hubby’s a DJ and until a smoke machine cools down, it will still hiss and spit out puffs of smoke every now and again. Anyway, Tim ended up milking the situation for more laughs and got on his hands and knees and pushed the smoke machine off to the side of the stage, (left). We were all in hysterics by this time, so he decided to eke out the laughs a bit more by pretending to remove, or adjust the light nearest his piano, before sitting back down again to get serious for White Wine In The Sun.

So, on to the mishaps, there was an, “Oh! I fucked that up” during If I Didn’t Have You when he started singing the wrong verse. He picked it up again really quickly though. There were no wiggle wobbles or anything like that. The wiggle was very fast and reigned in tight, more of a shimmy I’d say? It got its own cheers from the audience… as it should: some of them may have come from me.

Technical things didn’t seem to agree with Tim in Brisbane. On the first night there was no sound from the keytar during Bears Don’t Dig On Dancing. He said, “not happy about this Paul” and then he had to urge the bear to dance as I think the bear was thrown by the lack of keytar and was standing there doing nothing, when effectively Tim was doing the same thing (until he gave up on the keytar and ran to the piano). After the song, he said he’d gone to a lot of trouble bringing that keytar all the way from the UK, with bags and children and everything, all for that one moment on stage… Then he said he’d actually left the children behind, implying that the keytar was more important than his own flesh and blood. So even when things were not going to plan Tim still got a laugh out of it.

Thankfully on the second night the keytar worked. This was the first time I’d seen him use it, as it was not a part of the show in March 2009: It was just brilliant. Tim stood on the bear’s chair, rocking out like some hot-rock-sex-god. The look suits him.

By the way, the bear was a plant on both nights and his name was Dane, (he also danced at the Brisbane Comedy Festival gigs in March). He spun on his head for absolutely ages; he’s a great break-dancer. Dane sat next to us at one of the shows in March; he said that a friend had given him the ticket, and he wasn’t sure whom he was seeing? He was such great dancer but not such a great liar. MAS.

On the second night the acoustic guitar wasn’t working for I Love Jesus. It was plugged in but no sound came out from the speakers. A manly tech-type guy came out and stood behind Tim and fiddled about behind him, trying to get something to work. “You’ve changed Evie,” said Tim, keeping his eyes straight ahead to the audience. (He’d introduced us to the lovely Evie earlier as she put the guitar strap over his head from the right hand side of the stage). But still even after being fiddled with by the tech guy, there was no sound from the speakers… Tim started singing a couple of random things; I think there was Cym By Yah? (but I’m not sure and I don’t know how to spell it,) and there was definitely The Lion Sleeps Tonight. In the end Tim gave up on it and ran back to the piano, grabbed his vocals-microphone and stand from there, and set them up front of stage so the microphone was in front of the guitar; then he called himself a genius and carried on with I Love Jesus.

Storm was mesmerizing and perfect on both nights, and I don’t remember any mess-ups during The Good Book, The Song for Phil Doust, Confessions or Prejudice, have I missed any out? Oh yes, Ready For This: How could I forget that? It was great on both nights, although I think he rocked harder on the second night. In fact I think the second night overall had a better vibe. I’m not sure if this was because the first night was Tim’s first show after a break from performing, or because the venue was only about three quarters full on the first night, but the show definitely ‘popped’ more on the second night.

Oh, talky-bits, I mustn’t forget those. There were big changes in the talky-bits since March. The autistic fashion designer, the New York deli, and the coin in the mouth talky-bits had all disappeared. I loved the coin in the mouth routine, but I suppose Tim had his reasons for dropping it. Now, in place of that material there was all this new stuff about causal correlation and the importance of words. Of course now I’ve heard all these new talky-bits, I now understand all the references on the forum to Mr Whippy, and new user names such as Wit Of The Staircase now make sense!

So, on to after-show shenanigans – because the venue is huge, probably 2000 seats or so, we knew there wouldn’t be any organised signing of merchandise; the queue would have been a mile long. So we made our way down to the stage door along with a couple of other Feeters. There weren’t many people waiting, maybe 20 or so? We managed to talk to Tim for a while on night one. He said it was Paul’s 30th birthday (which he had also mentioned during the show) and he couldn’t stay for long, so we tried not to hog him for too long.

I did say to Tim, had we been nearer the front he could have picked on my daughter, seeing as her name is Sarah and she’s 17. Smac is also a Sarah – and she is 17. What are the odds on that?

Before he went I did ask to give him a hug, and as usual he replied, “I’d love a hug.” He’s so generous with his time and hugs. It felt all the more precious as I feel there may soon be a time when he won’t be able to do that any more.

Because Tim was in a hurry I didn’t ask for autographs or a photo, but before he went on his way I did tell him to get Paul or whoever, to fix the interval song as it was skipping and jumping quite badly. I joked that this made it even more annoying than it already was, and he said that maybe he should leave it as it is then, but he wrote it on his hand, and it was fixed the next night.

On the second night my daughter got a lovely photo of herself and Tim taken by another Feeter (yet another Sarah, Tim certainly attracts a lot of Sarahs) and she got some things signed.

So that was it for me. I won’t be seeing Tim again until the next time he comes to Brisbane. One day I might make it to the Melbourne Comedy Festival, but until then I remain a geographically challenged Tim fan and I will wait patiently until he comes back to Brisbane again.