Kane Welch Kaplin - Corner Hotel Richmond - 4 March 2009

On what must be their tenth or eleventh tour, Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch, now comfortably accompanied by master musician Fats Kaplin and Kieran's son Lucas Kane, have not lost any of the sparkle that so impressed those of us (me included) who saw them on their first tour way back in 1999 at the late lamented Continental Café.

Age has certainly not wearied them nor has custom staled the iteration of their masterful act as witnessed at the Corner on Wednesday 4th March.

It was a night of superb music and blessedly bereft of a support act, so the quartet were the sole act. They began with Kieran Kane's funky Monkey Jump then sweetened up the audience with the optimistic To the Harvest Look Ahead and the wistful I Wish I Had That Mandolin, both performed by Kevin Welch.

Kieran dedicated the next song, I Can't Wait to the aftermath of the American Election, stating that he used to sing it with a different emphasis beforehand. He introduced his next song with the wry remark that it was a hopeful song wrapped in a kind of grey cloud of depression. That song was Ain't Gonna Do It.

Probably the highlight of the first set was Kevin's performance of the song Marysville which he wrote after learning of the devastation caused by the Black Saturday bush fires. It was greeted warmly by the audience. The song is included on the forthcoming St Vincent de Paul bushfire relief CD After The Fire

On a different note the Fats Kaplin oddity Monkey In A Dog Cart brought the performance back to a lighter mood.

The first set ended with a fabulous rendition of Mr Bones, Fats Kaplin providing a Middle Eastern beat on a mandolin played as if it was an oud.

Postcard From Mexico opened the second set and continued through nine more songs, some old like Something About You (a request from the audience) and Town This Size, but most songs were drawn from the three Kane Welch Kaplin albums. Kevin promised - tongue in cheek - that the next time they tour they will do a show exclusively dedicated to requests - accompanied by lyric sheets.

Needless to say the musicianship in all cases was fantastically good, satisfyingly rich and big in sound. Lucas Kane provided tasteful drumming, that never intruded on the sound ambience but was essential to it at the same time.

No matter how many times one goes to a Kane Welch Kaplin show, one always emerges from it in a pleasant state of mind, thoroughly satisfied with the quality of the performance. They are all great troupers and entertainers. May they continue to return to these shores for many years to come.

Set List

Set One
1. Monkey Jump
2. To The Harvest Look Ahead
3. I Wish I Had That Mandolin
4. I Can't Wait
5. Ain't Gonna Do It
6. Millionaire
7. Marysville
8. Monkey On A Dog Cart (Fats Kaplin)
9. New song (Kieran)
10. Mr Bones

Set Two
1. Postcard From Mexico
2. Don't Try To Fight It
3. Something About You
4. Jersey Devil
5. Anybody's Game ? (new song from Kieran)
6. Maloney Road (Fats Kaplin)
7. Dark Boogie #7
8. Town This Size
9. Long Cold Train (John Hadley cover)
10. Shadows On The Ground

1. Train To Birmingham (John Hiatt cover)
2. 8 More Miles

Review and photos by Anne Sydenham

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