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The Duke Spirit @ East Brunswick Club (Melbourne) with Jack Ladder and Super Wild Horses 27/03/09

March 30, 2009

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Opening up the night was two-piece girl band Super Wild Horses, with rather skeletal pop songs. The pair swapped between drums and keyboard, or drums and guitar, all very simple melodies, with just as simple lyrics. They were rough around the edges, half of me finding it appealing and the other half feeling as if they picked up instruments because everyone else was doing it. Their songs were short and jaunty, all sounding somewhat the same with lyrics about nothing being repeated over and over again. It seemed all a bit too ‘trendy’ for me.

Next was Sydney’s Jack Ladder, who I first caught live back in November last year, and have been in love with since. He was amazing when I saw him then, and was pretty amazing now, only a lot more liquored-up. He played a set of bluesy rock and roll songs from his debut ‘Love Is Gone’, as well is introducing a new one, just as electric and catchy as those songs many already knew. His rich voice moved about the East Brunswick Club, the crowd growing as he played his set, flanked by a bassist and drummer doing whatever it was he told them to do. The only thing missing was Mother (Bird’s the word), next time Jack, next time.

Then of course was the UK’s Duke Spirit, and enigmatic Leila Moss bounding stage with energy and enthusiasm, her clear voice echoing across the sold-out club. There set mixed up the older songs from their 2005 debut ‘Cuts Across the Land’, such as Love Is An Unfamiliar Name, and their most recent effort, 2008’s ‘Neptune’, playing third song in, my favourite Dog Roses. The Debbie Harry-esque Leila is the obvious spokes-person for the band, no other member saying a word as she spouted words of thanks to her audience, grateful for the enthusiastic reception of their first Australian tour. Her voice went from girly Shangri-La moments, to dark, soulful and bluesy the next, all the while being pulled along by dirty guitar melodies. While on record this band is amazing, live the songs sounded even better, the rock and roll numbers making everyone dance and move.

For the last couple of years I have been waiting on this band to get out here and tour, and now that they have they have impressed me big time.

The Duke Spirit MySpace
Jack Ladder MySpace
Super Wild Horses MySpace

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 31, 2009 11:48 am

    Oh wow, that clears some things up. After seeing Jack Ladder back at Sydney Festival, I couldn’t work out if ‘bird is the word’ was part of an ‘official’ song, or he was just kind of making it up, throwing in bits of chorus from Surfin’ Bird.

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