Ashley Zoch

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Dave Graney / Grand Salvo @ Wesley Anne, Northcote

We hit up the Wesley Anne on High Street last night to catch the lounge stylings of Dave Graney and the soulful, rural folk of Grand Salvo. Darren, Kim, Michael and I snuck in a quick bite in one of the nice private booths before heading into the band room to catch Grand Salvo tuning up.

Darren & Michael have related countless stories of their previous Grand Salvo gig(s), mostly surroundig his quiet stage presence and unassuming character off-stage. These stories were enough to entice me to check him out, despite my lack of interest in what I have heard of his recorded work. The Wesley Anne's sound setup did little to bring out his quiet voice and nylon stringed guitar work, but he was still delightful to listen to. He was joined by a female vocalist for about half the set. Both had lovely warm folky voices that reminded me a little of Paul Simon's duet with Linda Ronstadt on "Under African Skies". Once the set was over he picked up his guitar and case and headed quietly out the front door.

Dave Graney hopped up on stage and played a couple of tracks with a nice Maton electic guitar (including a nice raw rendition of "Rock & Roll is Where I Hide" which was the only track I was familiar with). He was then joined by Clare Moore on vibes and jazz pianist Mark Fitzgibbon for a run through of a few old favourites and some new material from his forthcoming album "Hashish".

The Wesley Anne appears to have a policy of "no drum kits" (perhaps due to their proximity to houses and restaurants). I wonder if this might have caused Dave to reconsider his arrangements at short notice, as the instrumentation seemed a little thrown together. I suspect he was trying out some new material and some new arrangements in a welcoming setting. The table behind us laughed it up quite a bit and it looked like he enjoyed himself as much as the audience, if not more.

The Wesley Anne is a nice intimate venue. It's mostly candle-lit tables & chairs with capacity in the band room for close to 100 (by my count). Their sound system isn't up to much, but I suspect they are growing their band room and hopefully it will get an upgrade in time.I'm almost certain no-one made any money.


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