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urgent pear delivery for mr wagons

I walked over (just past the new 3RRR offices) to Ceres in Brunswick to catch The Handsome Family, who were being supported by Wagons and none other than Sally Timms and Jon Langford!

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In between songs, Henry Wagons was entranced by a pear tree behind the crowd (it made for good banter, I guess). The set was up to their usual high standards with no great surprises, although he did pull out his Gene Clark cover (through the morning, through the night) that was my highlight of the local tribute album a few years back. Why? Because he's got a great voice, and while his own material (and delivery) seems to divide punters who aren't sure if he's entirely serious, this track loses all that - it's simple, direct, and emotional. But besides that, how many bands out there do washboard solos? Wagons do.

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Sally Timms and Jon Langford were delightful. I foolishly missed them last time they were here (the Waco Brothers were down a few years back), but this time I managed to catch them doing songs mostly from their "duo" album Songs of False Hope and High Values, as well as Sally's recent release In the world of Him and the wonderfully retro-country-sounding Cowboy Sally's Twilight Laments for Lost Buckaroos. Towards the end, they even pulled out an old Mekons tune for us (Bomb). In any case, I can confirm that Sally really does sound that good in real life, even if she can barely play the ukelele.

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Finally, The Handsome Family, doing their first ever gig in Australia. Their on-stage banter was amusing (if you've heard their live album, you'd know what to expect), and usually done while Brett poked at his Powerbook for the backbeat of the next song. No surprises in the set list - they attempted to keep a few rabid fans happy, but ended up aborting The Snow White Diner with a promise to do it at Monday night's Manchester Lane gig. Still, we had Arlene, Amelia Earhart and the Dancing Bear ("this song's about a plane crash") and Weightless Again ("this song's about jumping off bridges. I reckon you can judge a town by whether they have a good jumping bridge.") rounding out the more recent material. Oh, and of course they did So Much Wine. I don't think there'd have been any doubt about that.

* 16:48 * photos · comments (0)


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