Monday, 8 June 2015

Dave Wright & the Midnight Electric @ the Yarra Hotel, 6 June 2015

The front bar of the Yarra Hotel, site of Saturday night's Dave Wright & the Midnight Electric rock show, is like a setting for a Francis Ford Coppola period piece. All yellow lighting and curios on the wall and polished wood and a post-WWII ambiance of meat sauce and cigarette smoke. Situated in what was once a working class neighbourhood, the Yarra feels like a place where generations of men have done things, very bad things, and all that comforting veneer can't wash away the blood.

Which made the Yarra a perfect setting for the songs of DWME. The Lucky Country, their first full-length release, crackles with a treasure chest of sounds. New Orleans horns, mandolin, banjo and more leap at a listener like confetti from a cannon while a cauldron of menace bubbles in the lyrics. Likewise onstage, DWME come across as a band of harmless blokes armed with shiny tools that happen to conjure spirits dead and alive. Dave Wright sang songs of love and loss Saturday night with a voice choked by a chest cold but I believe he was helped along by Yarra's everpresent ghosts, kindred spirits invigorated by tales of good people doing bad things and bad people doing much worse.

This was a night to appreciate the majesty of Melbourne. Want to experience a soul-shaking rock show? Throw on a clean shirt. Grab your girl. Play loud music during an easy drive to Abbottsford. Park the car on a quiet side street. Force some winter air into the lungs before stepping into a warm, low-lit hotel. Survey a room dotted with familiar faces. Grab a drink at the bar. Devour a perfect parma as the band sound checks. And then reap the benefits of so little effort.

Most of you reading this will be familiar with the ecstasy of being in the pit of a Springsteen show. It's glorious. But it's also hard fucking work, not to mention a financial kick in the nuts. For two hours Saturday me and a group of lovely people shared the camaraderie of a pit while singing along to songs that get better with every listen.

Sound familiar? Come along to the next show at Bar 303 in Northcote on Saturday 4 July. Tell me I'm wrong ... after you wipe a giant grin from your face.

Dave and Big Tim Cavanagh sound check. 

Camera captures a ghostly Dave, flanked by Rob Barber on guitar and Daryl Johnson on keys.

From behind Yarra's front bar. 

Rob brings the flood.

Ladies and gentlemen, YOUR Dave Wright and the Midnight Electric

Where you wanted to be Saturday night ....

..... with beautiful people like this.

Set 1:
Dust On The Wind
Coming Home
Sweet Caroline
The Spitting Image
Under The Milky Way
Life In A Northern Town

Set 2:
Take Me Out
Streets Of This Town
Railway Song
Only 19
The Lucky Country
Atlantic City
Hang Me High
Drinking Days
Classic Cars

Save It For A Rainy Day

Next show is Saturday 4 July at Bar 303 on High Street in Northcote.

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