Friday, August 06, 2010

Goanna Dreaming – Shane Howard at Basement Discs

As a complete contrast to the last in-store performance by Dan Kelly, which took us on a wild surrealist trip into his dreams, todays in store by Shane Howard was reassuringly down to earth – rock solid if you will.

Shane Howard of course is an iconic Australian singer songwriter, leader of the early 80s band Goanna, whose song Solid Rock, from the 1982 Spirit of Place album, is part of the Australian psyche. Shane has just released a new CD titled Goanna Dreaming and it reflects that earlier record, with its concern for environmental issues and aboriginal rights.

Judging by the very generous mini show performed today (it went for about 45 minutes), it’s a wonderful CD, with splendid songs encompassing folk, rock and world music. Accompanying Shane today were his touring band comprised of Shane’s daughter Myra and Amy Saunders (of Tiddas fame) on background vocals, John Hudson on lead guitar and mandolin, Rory McDougall on drums and Ruben Shannon on bass.

I suppose about half the Goanna Dreaming album was performed and included the Goannaesque Back in Time, Kimberley Rain, Come on Down Moses a sort of gospel number, story song Clancey & Dooley & Don McLeod, which tells of Australia’s
Black Eureka a little known strike by Aboriginal workers in the Pilbara region of Western Australia back in the 1940s.

He finished with the optimistic Don’t Give Up On Us, described by Shane as a doubting agnostic’s prayer to the creator for forgiveness for humanity’s mistreatment of the earth.

It was a wonderful show I thought, moving and dynamic – Shane Howard has class and style, and his head and heart are in the right place. For me it represented a rare opportunity to see this iconic musician live.

Check out the Shane’s
video for Back In Time on You Tube

I should have added that Mama Kin is in-store on Friday 20th August, and famous guitarist Albert Lee will perform on Tuesday 24th August.

Be there or be square!

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