An Actor Repairs
Pre-order packages for the new album ‘An Actor Repairs’ here
If you’re anything like most people, the name Tim Rogers probably evokes images of the sweat soaked, booze fuelled, pub rock fiend in the wifebeater singlet. Rogers maintains a place in rock n roll others have all but abandoned. Perhaps because the musically hip are all trying so hard to seem adorably awkward his particularly overt displays of drunken blokiness are a little too threatening. Rogers’ appeal has always been his no bullshit approach; its like he’s the tradie of Australian rock. Less intellectual and literary than Nick Cave, less affected swagger than collaborator Tex Perkins, Rogers seems like a bloke who staggered onto a stage as a dare after too many beers and found himself at home.
That characterisation, whilst not completely false, is also not completely accurate. His work sometimes reveals a depth for which Rogers is not given credit. His work with the Bamboos on Rules of Attraction showed a Tim Rogers that could be more than just bravado and beercans.
On his new record, An Actor Repairs, Rogers tells the story of an ageing thespian coming to the end of what has not been a spectacular career, but one about which the protagonist is nonetheless sentimental. Sentimentality Tim Rogers style is still not exactly sweet, but there is a tenderness in the treatment of the hero. One More Late Night Conversation is a high point on the record and it truly feels like Rogers is revealing an awareness that his own youth is faded and gone; perhaps even a realisation that he’s passing through the other side of middle age to something else, something unknown.
The fact that Rogers does not have a perfect singing voice adds to, or maybe creates, the feel of this 12 track offering. It’s like a bar that’s empty; a cigarette drowning in a glass of bourbon; chairs on the tables and the last song playing before they switch the jukebox off. Whilst there is a touch of the melancholy to An Actor Repairs, the actor isn’t rueful or regretful. It might be over but you get the sense that he’s had a ride he’s pretty pleased with.
Some will probably consider this something of a departure from Rogers’ body of work, I prefer to think of it as a natural progression. “Shadows dance with no regards for your needs or your beliefs” Rogers observes without bitterness on Easily Amused. Just because his character is all washed up, I wouldn’t put my money on that meaning Rogers is all grown up. The record ends with the hero declaring that ‘there aint nothing better in this whole wide world than singin ‘bout cars and girls.’ My bet is as long as Rogers still has it in him, he’ll keep doing exactly that. This is just a half time review of the story so far.
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