BELLAMY BROTHERS - THE PALMS AT CROWN - 18 OCTOBER 2014

BELLAMY BROTHERS WITNESSES TO THE PAST AND FUTURE

Perhaps there was an omen for the Bellamy Brothers encore lurking on the banks of the Yarra outside Crown Casino as sunset loomed in the west.

Wholesome Jehovah's Witnesses families, replete with primary school students in suits and elders badged with their beliefs, strolled along Southbank on the eve of the baptism of some of their fully clothed flock in chilly baths at the nearby Docklands footy stadium.

But out on the murky waters was a Yarra cruiser with a male stripper baring all for a gaggle of hens.

It was, of course, heading west while other witnesses ventured south into the bowels of the casino, also shielding their families from the sight of gamblers and money changers in the sinners' temple.

Upstairs in the Palms palladium there were psalms from a different book - the Bellamy Brothers four decade tome.

Brothers Howard, 68, and David, 64, could be home in Florida retiring on their publishing royalties and fruits of their citrus and cattle ranches.

Instead they shared vocals from entrée Feeling a Feeling - a salient signpost to their joyous celebration of love in Wayland Holyfield penned Some Broken Hearts, Sugar Daddy and rare cover Do You Love As Good As You Look .

They were punctuated by the oft recorded and updated social comment classic Old Hippie that resonated with an avid audience raised in the baby boom and beyond.

And, unlike many artists, the sound mixers ensured Kentuckian pedal steel guitarist Jim Heep and harmonica playing bassist Wally Dentz were featured prominently.

The Bellamys are big on nostalgia and hedonism so that theme permeated Lovers Live Longer, I Could Be Persuaded, Rip Off The Knob and When I'm Away From You .

Publishing royalties are prolific as they have also written most their recorded material.

The video for Boobs was filmed on a ranch in Weatherford , Texas and featured on Nu Country TV , but tonight there were no damsels just a parody of a rapper despite the Bellamys being one of the first country acts to inject rap into their music.

It's on a three track EP Boobs/Texas Girls , released on May 27, as a teaser for their 40th anniversary double CD album set for 2015.

This was a show featuring familiarity - Dancing Cowboy, Crying From The Heart and Forget About Me were a crisp conduit to the faithful.

NO DIESEL CAFE OR SPIDERS AND SNAKES

There was little patter from the brothers apart from the news they had a Faron Young 4 in the morning wake-up call for their flight home to Florida on the Sabbath.

And a request for the David Bellamy penned Diesel Cafe from their 1984 album Restless.

There didn't appear to be requests for the David Bellamy penned Spiders And Snakes - a 1974 hit for fellow Floridian Jim Stafford, now 70, but also recorded by the brothers on their 1980 album Sons Of The Sun.

The song was inspired by a chicken snake that invaded Howard's bed in their farm bunk-house.

With such a deep catalogue it was probably too much to expect My Wife Left Me For My Girlfriend, Kids Of The Baby Boom, Endangered Species, Don't Put Me In The Ex-Files, Jalapenos, Mexico Came Here or Kookaburra Blues.

Vertical exercised the duo's whimsy and wry word play and You Ain't Just Whistling Dixie extolled the virtues of the south.

The singing citrus and dairy farmers are well qualified to sing the latter.

They're the sixth Bellamy generation to live on their 2,500 acre ranch at Darby about 35 miles north of Tampa since ancestor Abraham was wounded in the Battle Of Chickamauga in the U.S. Civil War and later captured in Atlanta .

He was paroled from Camp Douglas , Illinois in 1865.

I Need More Of You and All The Wrong Reasons extended continued the love flavour.

With a 20 song plus show it was a generous performance that climaxed with If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body , inspired by a Groucho Marx quote, and once recorded with Dolly Parton.

It elicited their comment that audience participation was better here than in Toowoomba.

It preceded their 1976 breakthrough hit Let Your Love Flow - penned by Neil Diamond's former roadie Larry Williams.

Redneck Girl was one of many tunes that enabled Canadian born guitarist Randy Hiebert to strut his stuff with keyboard player Frank Swiech and Virginian born Texas raised drummer Greg Stocki.

The final encore may have been a surprise - the Bellamys and Jimmy Buffett injected their country with calypso, reggae and island rhythms long before Kenny Chesney.

But this time they confided they would appease their hedonism with some gospel - title track of their 2012 album Pray For Me , a sequel to Dove Awards nominated Jesus Is Coming And Boy Is He Pissed.

But we didn't get to hear any of the other 13 tracks including Jesus Ain't No Stained Glass Window, God Ain't Finished With Me Yet, Hypocrites in Heaven, Hymn to Him, The Spanish Bible or Rodeo for Jesus.

It was a far cry from the annual Rattlesnake Round-up at San Antonio , Florida , where the duo once performed with their dobro and fiddle playing dad.

Ancestral Footnote

In 1998 David's sons, Noah and Jesse, formed a group Burning Sky .

They released a video for their single It Weeps In My Heart and now perform as Jesse and Noah.

Their single Daddy's Got A Shotgun made it on the Texas Music Chart Top 50 of 2006.

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