Bitter sweet farewells at the East
Jordie Lane Farewell Show with Luke Legs and Ben Salter, 10 February 2012
Written by Michael D Hansen | Photographs by Tajette O’Halloran
Jordie Lane has a restless spirit. Already a veteran of the Melbourne music scene at an early age, Lane has put more touring miles behind him both at home and internationally than many artists twice his age. And yet he says he finds it difficult to “find his roots here,” and hence his performance at The East Brunswick Club was a farewell show before heading off on an extended overseas sojourn that will take in major events like South By Southwest in Austin and Toronto’s Spring Music Week.
While this may be the start of a new phase of Jordie Lane’s artistic journey, for “The East” the show was one of a series of gigs that will see the venue close its doors to live music next month. In an environment where it is increasingly difficult for live music venues to get a start up, the loss of The East will be deeply felt by Melbourne’s music community. As host to a myriad of touring acts such as Fred Eaglesmith, Elana James, The Jim Jones Revue, Eilen Jewell, Anne McCue and Peter Rowan, local crowd pullers like Jeff Lang, The Vasco Era and The Brothers Grim and as a major venue for The Brunswick Music Festival, The East has been a landmark destination in Melbourne’s north.
Luke Legs and a streamlined version of his Midnight Specials opened proceedings with a set of engagingly quirky songs featuring close harmonies with Greg Foletta and some lovely fiddle from Michelle Budd. Ben Salter followed, his finely crafted songs capped off with a heartfelt rendition of Smokey Robinson’s sublime Tracks OF My Tears.
A full house enthusiastically welcomed Lane and his band to the stage and the quartet, with Matt Green on guitars, bassist Zane Lindt and drummer Roger Bergodaz kicked off the set with solid versions of four tunes from Lane’s latest release Blood Thinner. Introspective, with sparse, stripped back instrumentation on the recording, these songs translated seamlessly to the stage, with Green’s outstanding guitar and harmonies complementing Lane’s beautifully soulful vocals. Guest Jarrad Brown (The Eagle & The Worm) joined Lane on a rocking version of Sheryl Crowe’s Strong Enough followed by a new song called Maybe Someday which we were informed was completed only minutes before the start of the show. A staple of Lane’s repertoire Sweet Somebody was augmented by the stunning presence of Emily Lubitz from Tinpan Orange whose voice lifted an already fine song to new heights.
The set was rounded out with Old Time Spell which in stark contrast to the CD cut became a riveting rock anthem with Bergodaz’s drums anchoring a soaring arrangement, and then an already well-satisfied crowd was treated to a generous encore that included the serene I Could Die Looking At You. This was an accomplished, confident and assured performance from a gifted young artist. Whatever new inspirations Jordie Lane’s musical quest present to him on his travels we can be confident that he will return with a musical sensibility that will continue to delight and inspire us in equal measure.