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Image for Dave Graney, Henry Wagons @ Transit Bar, Canberra (13/09/08)

Dave Graney, Henry Wagons @Transit Bar, Canberra(13/09/08)

Transit Bar was off to a reasonably slow start last Saturday night as its inhabitants were only sitting around talking and drinking and not noticing that the CD player was on its third loop.

But once Melbourne act Henry Wagons took to the stage at 10:30 pm it was worth the wait. He had a strong country sound that constantly rang throughout each song. The sound was reasonably diverse and as he progressed from song to song he stumbled into other genres such as jazz, blues and soft rock. Furthermore he had a song for almost every occasion as he had a prison song, based on his time in the slammer which is reminiscent of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues, a religious song which speaks of every known religion and the followers dedication to it and a song about young men dying called Sam’s Song all from his last couple of albums The Curse Of Lightning by Wagons and Draw Blood

Towards the end of his set he invited Dave Graney on stage for a duet of some well-known country songs including Elvis Presley’s I Ain’t Never Been to Heaven and Willie Nelson’s I Am Willie Nelson. It was at this time that Dave Graney admitted that the reason they were late starting the show was because they were watching Great Australian Albums: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds (Murder Ballads) on SBS only because he appeared in it frequently. Henry then performed a cover of AC~DC’s Shook Me All Night Long and asked for maximum audience participation. One of the reasons he may have done this song was to get everyone excited about AC~DC’s* new album Black Ice due out next month.

Once everyone had got over the AC~DC buzz fellow Melbourne act Dave Graney took to the stage. He instantly came alive and vibrant with his Chris Isaac like charisma in his performance and John Butler themed music. He was dressed in all leather (including the hat) and reminded me of a young Bob Dylan in appearance (minus the glasses) although his blues and roots guitar riffs were reminiscent of Mr Dylan and Neil Young. Like Wagons, the lyrics in a majority of his songs were based on his life experiences, in particular his experiences growing up in a small country town in South Australia. Cue You Had To Be Drunk which is claims that you had to drunk in this town to enjoy things. We got the impression Graney may have had trouble with alcohol consumption in the past and has decided to document his experience in this song. The town he is speaking of is ambiguous which is probably a good thing so that he doesn’t receive any death threats from anyone.

Graney continued to delight the crowd for the rest of his set and featured songs from his numerous discography from his time playing with Clare Moore, The Dave Graney Show, The Coral Snakes, The White Buffaloes and The Moodists including Junk Time, Let’s Kill God Again, I’m In The Future Now and I Wanna Get Lost Again.

The show would have been pleasant to watch in a theatre while eating dinner as Transit seemed a little small to accommodate for the punters dancing around but really this was only a little inconvenience and a great night was had by all.

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