Colin Hay Takes Over the Broad Stage
Colin Hay has the gift of gab. "Sorry I talked so much, I have five minutes to go and I have 15 songs I wanted to go through," Colin Hay said as he wowed the intimate crowd at the Edye Second Space at 7: 30 p.m. on Sunday at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center at the Madison Campus. His performance was part of the Under the Radar series of performances.
As families, couples, and even some kids came into the intimate setting of arranged seats around a set up stage where Hay would be performing, the ambiance seemed simple and no one had a bad seat in the house because it seemed everyone was able to see the performer. The show started and in
came Mr. Hay with his Australian made Maton acoustic guitars. "You people are close," Hay said as he realized how the audience was near him.
Colin Hay is mostly famous because of his 80s pop band Men At Work that became MTV staples with their quirky music videos like "Down Under" and "Who can it be Now?" but beforehand Colin Hay was born and raised in Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, Scotland.
When he was 14 years old, his family moved to Melbourne, Australia. Then in 1978 Hay met Ron Strykert and along with other fellow friends formed Men at Work.
The band became famous having five top hits not only in Australia but in the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom. By 1986 the band had broken up due to members leaving the group and by 1987 Hay released his first solo album. "That song was from my first solo
record, which only four people bought,"
Hay said when he talked about his first
album at the show, and as some audience
members cheered Hay said, "They're all
here tonight apparently." Today, Hay is a
distinguished artist who started his own
recording label called Lazy Eye Records
and has gone on tour with Ringo Starr
and his All- Starr Band.
Throughout the show, Hay talked his mind because he said he hadn't talked to anyone in a while and went on to talk about a variety of things in between songs. He talked about his love for his current residence Los Angeles as people cheered, "I love L.A., some people like to bag it but I love it," Hay said.
Hay also talked about Jessica Simpson and happy that she had found someone because Hay was "so worried for her," about his wandering right eye that never reports back to him and meeting 50s rock n roll legends like Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis at the Grammys when Men at Work won new artists of the year 1983. Hay also informed the audience on his views on churches, mistaking Ringo Starr for his friend, and the new president. "I think it is so awesome we got a new president, he's good looking dresses well and can say the word, 'nuclear'," Hay said as the audience cheered and laughed at his utmost honesty and praise for the new
commander in chief and dislike for the
While talking about twitter, YouTube, and his daydream of meeting Bob Dylan and Sting at a Costco, there was singing from Hay, playing songs from his old days and songs from his solo work. From among the many highlights of tunes he sang, Hay played a beautiful song about a teenage sweetheart called "Maggie" who beat him up and kissed
him afterwards, the melancholy "I don't think I'll get over with you," a song written about a friend who had passed on which was in the 2004 indie film hit "Garden State" and the upbeat "Beautiful World" which got raving applause from the fans.
When the time came to sing the hits, Hay was a bit hesitant of singing a particular hit song. "I want to sing it, I want to be loved
because if I sing it, I will be loved,"
Hay said as he told the audience on the
genesis of "Who can it be now" which did not start with a saxophone as the hit would tell you but with a guitar which he deemed "too spooky" and showed the audience an effect he created on his guitar to indeed make the song eerie. As he sang "Who can it be now", the audience participated in the chorus
section surprising Hay in which by the
end of the show, the crowd cheered with
delight. "Good Singing Santa Monica,"
Hay went on to chat about his days of playing in the streets in the early 70s in Melbourne, the difference between a singer and a singer guitarist songwriter, getting on time to watch the HBO show "Flight of the Conchords," his parents who have been married for 66 years, and Men at Work being a pot band.
"We were a pot band, and I don't want to condone the use of drugs because there are children present," Hay said as the audience laughed but Hay did give some advice on the illegal substance, " Pot spoils two things, one is short term memory and two is uhh.... short term memory," Hay said.
By the time the show was near its end,
Hay sang the 80s hit "Overkill" with the audience giving cheerful approving applause that lasted after Hay left the stage. In a surprise, he came back to the stage and sang "Waiting for my Real Life to Begin" from his solo work and as he finished, a standing ovation was given to Hay as the impressive, comedic night came to an end.