Monday, March 16, 2015

Gig report: 15 March 2015 Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll!

The band that I'm in, that toured and then played New Year's Eve last year is called "George Huitker & Junk Sculpture". We have a side project, the core of which is George, Chris and I. Sometime in the past we named it, "The Unified Theory of Everything".

Yesterday, we travelled about 75 minutes from Canberra, past Braidwood, to an old church at Reidsdale. St Bernard's now belongs to Canberra educator and poet John Foulcher and his wife Jane. The church was built in the 1860s and the Foulchers are converting it to live in as well as to host music, poetry, retreats and lots of other things.

George decided that it would be a great venue for us to perform a tribute to one of our favourite records. Jason Isbell's "Southeastern" might just be one of those once in a lifetime classic albums.

The church was a fantastic venue and a good sized crowd came from near and very far to see us.

With the addition of Hayden on drums (and bass and guitar at times) the band sounded pretty good I thought. Tim, our sound engineer, made the most of the natural acoustics of the room as well as recording the entire show. We were also very fortunate to have Scot from Digital-Hed Media come along to film the show. Scot has a long connection with the band having recruited Rob from a bandless state in the late 90s to play with Canberra Gothabilly legends, The Dark Violence of Beauty. Brownie also played a few shows with Rob and Scot.

"Southeastern" is an album of deeply personal songs and to do them justice we not only rehearsed a lot but really let the tunes get under our skin. The result was that our renditions were fairly faithful to the originals but with enough us inside them to make them even more special.

On a very personal note this was a challenging show. My wife has just got home from hospital after knee replacement surgery; young people aren't meant to need this. Add to this that our 18 year old daughter is currently in a remote area on Vanuatu and we haven't had any contact with her since the cyclone hit there last week. In one way it was great to play the songs and think about something else but on the other hand every lyric reminded me of my family.

Personally I would love to do this show again. It's such a wonderful collection of songs and the band gels so well as a unit to play them. I have penned a note to Jason Isbell to thank him and to let him know what we did. I hope he sees it and it gives him a smile.

Rock on,

PS: For the gear nerds out there, and I'm unashamedly one of them, here's my rig rundown for the show:

Guitar: Burns Steer reissue
Amplifier: Jet City JCA20HV into a Jet City 2x12 speaker box
Pedals (in order): Boss TU-3 tuner, JK Pedals Luxe Lady Fuzz, CryBaby Wah, Boss OD-3, Boss OD-2 (JK Pedals modded), MXR Black Label Chorus, RedWitch Eve Tremolo.

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