The East Brunswick Club is an old/new venue for live music. It is housed in the East Brunswick Hotel once the haunt of the Melbourne Folk Scene. The band room has been renovated and is now a sizable space with a big stage, given favourable comment by the performers on Saturday night.
This particular Saturday night Marcel Borrack was there to launch his latest CD I Was Only Dreaming with help from other musical friends, The Yearlings and Sime Nugent.
The Yearlings style is very reminiscent of the Nashville pair, even down to the gyrations of Chris Parkinson's guitar playing ala David Rawlings. Despite this similarity, the Yearlings write their own music, which is appealing, dreamy and down home. They take turns leading the vocals, sing lovely harmonies, ornamented with intertwined guitar accompaniments. Their set was the perfect opener to start the night - slow, steady and sweet.
MARCEL BORRACK & THE LITTLE CHAMPS
Sime Nugent remarked during his set that if there were to be an award for the nicest guy in rock n' roll it would have to be won by Marcel Borrack.
Marcel is a Melbourne singer-songwriter and his songs have a local flavour. One of the songs from his new CD I Was Only Dreaming called "Regent to Ruthven" refers to trains on the Epping Line. It is about the changed circumstances in public transport in Melbourne over the past decade. It is a damnation on privatisation, ticketing machines etc. In the song "Down In New York" he's walking the streets of the Big Apple thinking about Fitzroy.
After performing 14 songs in his set, he retired from the stage only to be drawn back for an encore.
He performed his quirky little song "If I Were An Ant" dedicated to someone called Chrissie, in solo acoustic mode, then called back the band to sing two more songs, ending with the appropriately titled "The End Of The Night"
Marcel Borrack has an attractive stage presence. His slightly nasal voice is light and easy to listen to. Coupled with the quirkiness of his song writing and his ability to create instantly likeable pop rock tunes, his set was the culmination of a very fine night's entertainment. Help was a very good CD, but I Was Only Dreaming builds on the promise of the earlier release and delivers one hundred percent.
The most interesting aspect of the night's line-up was that all the artists predominantly performed their own material. It is comforting to know that there are so many talented young artists out there, carrying on the great tradition of Australian roots music.
Set Lists (may not be in the order sung)
BORRACK & THE LITTLE CHAMPS
Review and photos by Anne Sydenham