DIARY 9 NOVEMBER 2003 - KEVIN WELCH & THE FLOOD
WELCH & THE FLOOD - CORNER HOTEL, RICHMOND
Double billing Kevin Welch with the Sydney band who accompanied him on
a live disc was smart marketing.
Especially when Welch and The Flood gelled with suffice magic to prompt
recording of a DVD on their Sydney reunion.
performed many tunes from Live Down Here On Earth including Welch
album title track Life Down Here On Earth - the original source,
with Tim Weddie on piano.
Welch & The Flood opened with anthemic Beneath My Wheels, While
I Was Loving You, murder strewn Glorious Bounties (written
with son Dustin) and Van Morrison's Queen Of The Slipstream.
When Welch decamped the other Kevin (Bennett) took over with Flood tunes
It Felt Like Mine, Nobody On My Side, It's a Beautiful Thing and
the memorable Paul Kelly's Blues.
Weddie accompanied Welch on accordion on his historic Something About
You and Long Cold Train.
They delivered their tunes Always Good For Nothing, Up Above My Head,
Rivers Run Deep and Mean Old World before Welch gave the audience
The artist, on his fifth Australian tour, road tested new originals from
his 500 song-plus catalogue.
Two were drawn from embryonic performances in the "knife and gun
joints" of the south of Oklahoma where he played with a country band
for seasonal workers from south of the border.
"It was like the main street in The Last Picture Show," Welch
revealed as he recalled his days with Flat Catcher Jack - leader of that
Welch performed solo when he debuted the song with memorable hook "if
I had wings" but no title, and Plenty Of Time from the same
locale and era.
Weddie rejoined Welch on accordion for Anna Lise Please before
The Flood returned to join Welch on John Hiatt's Train To Birmingham.
They also backed Welch on another new song The Jersey Devil.
"I thought I saw the Jersey Devil/ up the road and around the bend/
I thought I saw him dancing in his moccasins/ pissing at my back door."
Weddie moved onto organ for the joyous title track of previous Welch album
Millionaire before the headliner rocked out on his riveting Kicking
Back In Amsterdam.
But the climax was Welch's evocative reading of lost Woody Guthrie song,
Peace Call, learned in San Francisco from Eliza Gilkyson.
The Flood proved a perfect pairing with Welch on an energetic show that
belied the late nights and gruelling road miles of their east coast foray.
It was a credit that both acts remained energised - especially at later
gigs after Welch learned from son Dustin of the death of his bar room
buddy and song writing peer Ron Davies at 57 in Nashville of a heart attack.
See DIARY for the full details of the Welch-Davies
The Welch-Flood double bill was good in theory but an imbalance in practice
with Welch having less stage time than The Flood.
But that's a cold hard fact of life when The Flood are not just bill sharers
but the backing band for Welch on most of his music.
The Flood superbly complimented Welch but there was audible yearning by
Welch fans for more Welch and less Flood.
And, of course, some Flood fans wanted more Flood and less Welch.
Promoter Rob Hall tried to cater for both audiences despite suffering
smaller crowds than shows deserved at some venues after an amazing high
profile publicity campaign for an indie promoter.
Hopefully, the public will rally to his support when he brings Welch and
Dead Reckoning Records partner and live and studio cohort Kieran Kane
back in March for the Port Fairy folk festival and other east coast concerts.
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