Friday, May 25, 2007

Chris Wilson @ Basement Discs

Yet another fine lunchtime performance today at Basement Discs in the person of Chris Wilson, with Shane O’Mara providing superb guitar backing to Chris’s vocals and harmonica.

Chris is yet another Melbourne singer/songwriter who has been around for many years. I first came across him when I was a patron of the Dan O’Connell Hotel in the 1980s and Chris was a resident player there.

His music is a blend of blues, roots and rock, and he has a truly remarkable voice – a powerful alto tenor that has heaps of soul. He is also a master of the harmonica and plays great bluesy blasts on it.

Today’s performance was exceptionally good and a bigger than normal crowd was there to witness it. I managed to get my usual good position for photographs. Chris was a joy to photograph, with his habit of unconsciously striking dramatic poses. These make for classic musician photos, something that is hard to come by with some artists.

As well as being a fine singer and musician Chris is also a great songwriter. Unfortunately I can’t provide an example, as his lyrics are not generally available on the Internet. You will have to take my word for it

The photo below is of Shane O’Mara - I like the red, black and cream effect with the orange-red steel guitar and the red rope in the background with the shadow cast on the cream wall. (click photos for larger versions)

The Basement Discs stage is bedecked with purple curtains draped in red cords and chrome baubles. It’s only very small, but a host of superb musicians have played there over the years, some quite famous like Donovan, Richard Thompson, Tony Joe White and Fairport Convention to name a few.

There is only one in-store show scheduled for June, but as it is old Melbourne rock band Spectrum, it should be pretty sensational as well.


chiefbiscuit said...

Great photos! Shades of Joe Cocker in the top one.
I also enjoyed reading your review of The Balkan Trilogy. I like the piece you've used to describe Mannning's style - it's reminiscent to me of Solzhenyitsen's style. Deceptively simple - exquisite, pure, riveting, surprising.

Jan said...

Yeh! Joe Cocker, says CB!
He came from Sheffield where my brother was at Uni and I think he made some sort of connection or something...
Once again, it's great hearing about your music scene..

Anne S said...

I had to go and have a look at a picture of Joe Cocker to see the resemblance as it had not previously occurred to me that Chris Wilson had his look. Chris, musically is really nothing like Joe Cocker except perhpas that he has a powerful voice.

I saw Joe Cocker perform live many years ago. The concert was in a football stadium and was packed with drunken louts, if i recall.

CB: I really cant' say if Olivia Manning's style is like Solzhenyitsen as I haven't read him for years, if at all. The Russian flavour of Yakimov's name is quite deceptive. He's a great character - hopeless, irritating but lovable at the same time. He is of Irish Russian lineage and a running joke through the novel is about his sable coat, given to his father by the Czar.