Finally, after the seemingly endless long cold winter, Melbourne today put on a little sunshine, gladdening the hearts and minds of the populace. They were certainly out in force on the city streets as I made my way down to the Basement Discs for the first in store of the spring.
I have seen Sarah Carroll perform many times, the last time at Basement Discs in July 2006, but Van Walker was new to me.
They were both promoting their brand new CDs Wahine and Celestial Railway respectively. Both CDs released by Croxton Records which is a boutique record company founded by well known and well loved Australian performer Mick Thomas.
Appearing with them was local singer songwriter Marcel Borrack on electric guitar and Van’s brother Cal Walker on mandolin and harmonica.
Sarah and Van took turns playing songs from their new records, but the entire ensemble kicked in with instrumental and vocal support for whoever was leading.
It was a jolly session of music – Sarah has a lively stage presence- and the eight or so songs performed by one or the other artist was engaging and thoroughly enjoyable.
In other music news, Steve Earle, one of my all time favourite singer songwriters, is touring in November with his wife, the lovely Allison Moorer, also a very fine singer songwriter.
I’ve been to see Steve Earle four times in the past. Those concerts were standing only shows at the Prince of Wales Hotel in St Kilda. This time however, the shows are at seated venues, thank goodness (I’m getting a bit too old to stand these days). I managed to score good seats in Row D at the Forum Theatre, a lovely old venue in the city. It’s an old picture theatre - I remember seeing the film 2001 A Space Odyssey there back in the early 1980s. Very ornate, both inside and out, it has statues of gods and goddesses and a glorious star spangled ceiling of azure blue. It has been a venue for concerts for the past ten years or so.
Steve’s son Justin Townes Earle is also touring in November. I’m still making up my mind about that one as his Melbourne concert is at the Toff In Town, general admission and probably standing only.