Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Dave Wright and the Midnight Electric @ Whole Lotta Love, 7 Nov 2015

Like a phalanx of backing musicians or a catering rider that shuns Jack Daniels for cases of prune juice, the playing of a complete album at a live show usually signals a band on the decline. Some sacrifice the spontaneity of a fertile setlist for the familiarity of a 'classic album' for nostalgia; others do it to justify a tsunami of retro merchandising. Since promoting newly released recordings is the normal impetus for a tour, saluting back catalogue material is often interpreted as a band whose fuel gauge is on 'E'.

So ... what happens when a band with a full tank of petrol commemorates the one-year anniversary of their first album by playing it from start to finish?

If you're Dave Wright and the Midnight Electric, you eradicate all cynicism and leave a Saturday night crowd at Whole Lotta Love in Brunswick East thirsting for a follow-up to The Lucky Country so we can be indulged with another end-to-end album show in a year's time. From keyboardist Daryl Johnson and drummer Neil Salmon's moody kickoff of 'Take Me Out' to Rob Barber's epic guitar finale of 'Into the Big Blue' the band not only replicated every note, but played each one with a confidence and force gained over many nights on small stages before fierce followers.

DWME is a rumbling, finely tuned beast. I hope whatever studio they record their second album in has triple-planed glass. It may get dangerous.

[The band's final show of 2015 will be opening for Aussie icon Mick Thomas at the Spotted Mallard in Brunswick on 18 Dec.]

Dave Wright and the Midnight Electric.

Dave and Big Tim Cavanagh.

The Midnight Electric horns (John Bryant & Anthony Foon) harmonise with Rob Barber. 

Sun Records, circa 1956.

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