Saturday, March 13, 2010

Eilen Jewell enchants the East Brunswick Club

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Eilen Jewell live at East Brunswick Club – 12 March 2010

The Eilen Jewell concert last night at the East Brunswick Club was worth the sore feet and aching leg muscles that resulted from standing for four and half hours. I now realise where Patrick Donovan, in the Age Entertainment Guide, found the title to his weekly column “Sticky Carpet” as the carpet in the East Brunswick Club band room adhered to one’s shoes to such an extent, that one almost suspected them of squelching when lifting one's feet.

No doubt years of spilt beer have resulted in the carpet reaching this state and certainly discouraged the patrons from sitting on it.

Anyway, back to the show…

We got there early and snaffled a spot in front of the stage – an excellent spot for taking photos as it turned out.

Suzannah Espie and The Last Word opened the show at about 9.15pm and played a splendid set of rocking country blues and soul.

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Suzannah Espie at East Brunswick Club - 12 March 2010

Eilen and her band made it on stage at about 10.15pm and wowed all who were present from the first song, which happened to be the opening track – Rain Roll In - on her latest CD, Sea of Tears and followed up with the title track, and a Loretta Lynn cover The Darkest Day.

Someone in the crowd yelled out a request for High Shelf Booze, whereupon Eilen remarked dryly “well, if you want to start out the night like that…”. She did however oblige after first singing Heartache Boulevard.

She is a slight, lissom person, but her song choice belies her innocent looks, being predominantly about hard drinking, mean men and desperados. Her heroines are Loretta Lynn, Billy Holliday and Bessie Smith and she performed covers by all of them. Her guitar bore several signatures which I asked her about when I was getting my CDs signed after the show. She said they were by Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams and Mavis Staples. No doubt she’ll be collecting more as time progresses.

Her band was ace, particularly Jerry Miller her guitarist. She mentioned straight up that she wasn’t bothered by audiences who applauded his guitar solos. Jason Beek played drums and also provided backing vocals and John Sciascia played an upright bass.

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Jerry Miller (Gretsch guitar) & Jason Beek (drums)

Eilen’s set lasted over two hours and she held the audience captive throughout. She is a wonderful entertainer and has a droll sense of humour, several times wittily exhorting the people at the back to stop talking, which they seemed to be doing all night long. I’m glad I was at the front, with the real music lovers.

She closed the night with Codeine Arms, one of my personal favourites on Sea Of Tears, which Eilen claims is the saddest song she’s ever written.

Set List

    1. Rain Roll In
    2. Sea of Tears
    3. The Darkest Day (Loretta Lynne)
    4. Heartache Boulevard
    5. High Shelf Booze
    6. Fine and Mellow (Billy Holliday)
    7. Where They Never Say Your Name
    8. Tagging Along With Jesus (George Jones)
    9. Everywhere I Go
    10. Dusty Boxcar Wall (Eric Anderson)
    11. Thanks A Lot (Charlie Rich)
    12. Too Hot To Sleep
    13. Fist City (Loretta Lynne)
    14. I’m Gonna Dress In Black (Van Morrison)
    15. Mess Around
    16. Rich Man’s World
    17. Sweet Rose
    18. Shakin’ All Over (Johnny Kidd)
    19. If You Catch Me Stealing (Bessie Smith)


  1. Putty In Your Hands (Shirelles)
  2. Codeine Arms


aliholli said...

Sounds like it was a brilliant show. I'm always fascinated by guitar solos but also I love this type of music. My friend is running the London Marathon in May and one of her fund raising events is an evening with a blues/gospel/swing type singer.

Unknown said...

Another great review, Annie, and accompanied by excellent photos. I definitely preferred sitting in my low profile 'folkie chair' at Port Fairy and again at Mossvale Park on Saturday, her final gig in Australia. I'm sure she'll be back! She seemed quite sincere when she stated that she loves Australia.

Anne S said...

One does have to suffer for art sometimes. Eilen's show at East Brunswick was worth it. I'd be first in line to see her when she comes back again

Unknown said...

I saw her at the Caravan Music Club, which had tables for the early arrivals and everyone else standing up the back, in the beer garden watching through the door and sitting on the floor up the front.

My photos from the night:

Anne S said...

Hi Tim,

Great photos as usual. The Caravan Club looks like a nice venue, but it's a bit far for me to go, so I'll have to stick to the city and inner city venues.