Live: Jordie Lane @ The Thornbury Theatre – 09/11/13

In his only Melbourne show of 2013, Jordie Lane recently launched his new EP Not Built To Last while surrounded by the 1950s decor of his native Thornbury Theatre. An eclectic crowd filled the seats; keen to hear Lane’s compelling vocals resonate over his hallmark bluesy folk stylings.Young New Zealander Marlon Williams started off the evening with a serious country twang. One punter described Williams’ as “the love child of Antony Hegarty and Elvis”, which almost doesn’t give his arresting voice enough credit. “The Trouble I’m In” saunters along like something out of a modern western, while “I Can’t Get Your Cruel Love Off My Mind” hits a melancholic honky-tonk note. A new import to our shores, Williams infuses a contemporary sensibility into each bluegrass piece.Nova Scotia’s Old Man Luedecke arrived on stage, unassuming with banjo in hand. He brought with him an arsenal of astute lyrics and sing-along tunes—almost setting himself up as Canada’s folk-tinged answer to Paul Kelly.Early on, “I’m Fine (I am, I am)” uplifted the room through some good old audience participation, before “Tender Is The Night” mused wistfully about the call of returning home. Luedecke grudgingly admits he probably should have chosen another F. Scott Fitzgerald book to name his album after, considering the success of a modest little production called The Great Gatsby. Regardless, Luedecke is a skilled storyteller who is earnest and endearing to watch.Jordie Lane and his band then appear onstage, with Lane looking like a proper gentleman in a wide brimmed hat and snazzy velvet coat. Launching his new EP Not Built To Last, Lane begins with “Here She Comes”, the jangly first track of the release.Lane seemed surprised at the sight of endless faces packed into the Thornbury, jesting that there are some downsides to staying with your parents while on tour—too many roast chicken dinners means his coat is getting a bit snug.The melodic “Dead Of Light” had Lane crooning about the impermanence of human lives while walking the divide of folk and pop. It is clearly the standout of his new EP.Crowd favourite “I Could Die Looking At You” reverberates sweetly through the vast room, with complete, hear-a-pin-drop silence descending over the crowd. It’s the kind of song you could imagine a bride and groom swaying through their first dance to.“Thin My Blood” gave us a banjo-infused moment, before Williams and Luedecke returned for a final sing-along with the crowd to “Black Diamond”.Lane leaves us with an invitation for poached eggs at his Dad’s place the next morning, typical of his warmth onstage. The gravity of his voice, paired with deft guitar skills and a knack for writing sentimental ballads ensures Lane’s performance stays with you, far after you’ve left the ceiling rose surrounds of the Thornbury.by Ashleigh McMillan

December 2nd 2013
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