AUDREYS / THE WAILIN' JENNYS
DON'T TELL TOM - SYDNEY ROAD BRUNSWICK - 9 APRIL 2006
It was a pleasant way to spend a chilly Sunday afternoon
As part of the Brunswick Music Festival, the double bill of The Audreys and The Wailin' Jennys was surely one of the picks of the festival as was demonstrated by the show being a sell out.
Don't Tell Tom, originally the Brunswick Post Office and formerly The Big House hosted this sparkling event with an in-concert seating/standing arrangement. It was an intimate setting perfect for displaying the talents of the artists.
Hailing from Adelaide, The Audreys are a 5-piece band who describe their music as alt country pop. Despite rumours and speculation on the band name being inspired by singer Taasha Coates' resemblance to a young Audrey Hepburn, it is actually the name of instrumentalist Tristan Goodall's grandmother who is a staunch supporter of the group. They have suddenly exploded onto the scene following the release of their debut CD Between Last Night And Us that has been garnering rave reviews.
Starting their set with the catchy opening song on the CD, "You and Steve McQueen", an admonition against wasting talent, it was obvious we were in for a treat. Taasha Coates has a winsome stage presence and possesses a remarkable voice, sultry, pure and effortless. She also contributed to the instrumentals by playing ukulele, melodica and harmonica on various songs. The ukulele was her instrument of choice for the second song "Trainwreck Blues" described by Taasha as bluegrass blues.
The rocker "Nothing Wrong With Me" was played next. Prior to introducing the next song Taasha provided a bit of background on the band, stating that there was a general impression that they were from Melbourne. An audience member called out that it was probably because they were so good that the Melbourne impression was prevalent, Adelaide being erroneously regarded within the local music scene as lacking major talent.
A cover of 80's band Ratcat's "That Ain't Bad" followed. The Audreys originally performed this song onTriple J's Like a Version segment and it now forms part of their repertoire, Taasha noting that it is a country song at heart.
Another cover, INXS "Don't Change", is on the CD, though the band penned most of the other songs. The band written songs have clever lyrics and great melodies that continue to play on in your head like an internal ipod.
set lasted approximately an hour to an hour½. They were the perfect
opener for the main attraction The Wailin' Jennys though quite different
THE WAILIN' JENNYS
This was the third time I had seen The Wailin' Jennys perform in the past month. They started their tour in Melbourne back in March at the Corner Hotel supporting Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion and have since travelled to the Port Fairy Folk Festival and interstate, before returning to Melbourne for the Brunswick Music Festival. Their tour continues interstate for several more weeks.
Despite it being my third Wailin' Jennys show, it was a pleasure to see them perform once again. One could listen to their exquisite harmonies every night for a year and still not be disenchanted.
They played a similar set to their previous performances though there were a few songs I had not heard them perform previously.
To reiterate, The Wailin' Jennys describe themselves as a collective of singer/songwriters from Canada. The trio format originated quite by chance four years ago. The original members are Ruth Moody and Vicky Mehta with Annabelle Chvostek a recent replacement for the original third voice, Cara Luft. Together they form an enchanting ensemble of voices and instrumental virtuosity.
Ruth Moody actually was born in Australia, though her parents moved to Canada when she was a child. Several of her family members were present in the crowd at Don't Tell Tom. Ruth explained that her childhood was bereft of popular music and that she has since been embracing her inner rock child. The lovely song "Beautiful Dawn" is a folk-rock answer to her deprived childhood, as she explained in her introduction to the song. She also talked about the time she was touring with a band of 5 boys. She longed for her family and recalled calling her mother for advice in every town, and if her mother was not in, thinking of the advice she would give. "Heaven When We're Home" was written about this experience.
From the opening song "The Devil's Paintbrush" to "One Voice", The Wailin' Jennys delivered a crowd pleasing show and I was once again held in thrall by the magnificent harmonies of the trio. The song "One Voice" could be their signature tune. Written by Ruth Moody it exemplifies the joy of togetherness, be it in song or life, and shows off the beauty of their combined voices to great effect.
were sung without musical accompaniment, (à cappella) these being
"Lonesome Traveller", "Bring Me L'il Water Silvy"
and the final song of the afternoon - a parting song called "The
Parting Glass", where they stepped to the front of the stage and
And so ended
a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in Brunswick. The organisers of the festival
are to be congratulated on putting together such a remarkable double bill.
1. YOU AND
THE WAILIN' JENNYS