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Wagons at the Marquis of Lorne

Sunday, 1st May 2005

Features: Dead dogs, Neil Diamond, Dave Graney impressions & Madonna

May already and so the year stumbles on like a lumbering zombie and I'm still in the same place as I was last year and turning to leather to try and break out of my rut. It was with this attitude and because I had a drink and bowl of chips there yesterday I decided to go see Wagons play. Also I enjoy a good residency by a band as I got addicted to them when I saw GIT play almost every Sunday in 2003.

As they have been playing at the venue for a month now it has become a very popular gig. I advise getting there early unless you like standing up the back. I recommend ordering something from the kitchen upstairs first also. I had fried potato skins with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce that could easily be shared with two people. On Sundays they also have a roast with all the trimmings which sounds really good.

The bar staff is also really friendly and the chef is funny. For some reason one of the barmaids patted me on the arm when she went past. It's probably nothing, but a barmaid at another pub I go to does that, but I had been going there for almost a year before she started doing that.

For those of you who haven't heard of this band before, the closest band I could compare them to would have to be the Handsome Family. This is especially true of Henry Wagons as he talks between the songs and provides many anecdotes. They play in a more rock style though and Henry himself has a strange sense of humour.

This gig was dedicated to his dog, Windsor, who had to be put down during the week. The song "This is what death looks like" had a special meaning in this gig as Henry explained what he was thinking about when he wrote it.

Not so serious was the introduction to "Pray" as they explained that song usually makes someone in the band pee their pants when they play it. There was no "yellow sound" in this performance however.

I was hoping they would play the song "Summertime" during one of their sets as I would really like to hear it live. Quite a few times Henry sounded like he was going to play it, but he started a different song instead.

Special mention must go to the story Henry told about going to see Neil Diamond and the Dave Graney impressions by the rest of the band that resulted. The encore song, Like a Prayer was funny also, especially since the band had to stop half way through to work out how to play it.

Wagons is continuing their residency for at least the rest of May, so I highly recommend going to check them out if you get the chance. Probably not next week as you have to have lunch with your Mum for Mother's Day and it will be too busy.

In the city on my way home from the gig I saw a large crew preparing the street near St Paul's cathedral for the filming of Ghost Rider. They had two water trucks spraying the road as even though Melbourne is called 'the rainy city' there hasn't been a decent lot of rain since the 36-hour storm we had a few months ago.

Thanks.

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