Th" /> Live review of Old Crow Medicine Show @ Thornbury Theatre, The on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 :: The Dwarf

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Old Crow Medicine Show

with Jordie Lane




To say Old Crow Medicine Show were "a hoot" would be a big understatement, but the phrase does seem pretty darn appropriate.

  

The event, aptly named ‘The Return of The Old Crow Medicine Show', saw the Nashville six piece return to Melbourne for two very full performances at the lovely Thornbury Theatre, a return that could not have been more welcomed following their hugely captivating set at Golden Plains last year.

  

Taking the stage on his lonesome this time around, Jordie Lane opened proceedings with a selection of tracks from his debut album, Sleeping Patterns. The acoustics of the venue suited Lane's solo material just right, and his voice was prevalent in the old theatre.

  

Songs like ‘The Publican's Daughter' didn't lose out with the lack of a band; instead they gained a real charm. Those that are usually performed solo at any rate, like the closing ‘I Could Die Looking At You', remained luring and demonstrated Lane's great storytelling.

  

There was nothing solo or calm about the headliners, though, and when they hit the stage a half hour after Lane's departure, the brimming venue could not have been more than ready. A "Well hello friends" was all that was needed, and the band hit full stride immediately.

  

The OCMS began with ‘Hard Love', an introduction to the two full sets that ensued for the evening. Standing along the front of the stage, there were guitars, banjos, violins and harmonicas simply everywhere, as well as Morgan Jahnig's double bass.

  

Songs to "put on your dancing shoes" to were easily the favourites and most prevalent in the set, an early inclusion of ‘Wheeling Breakdown' and ‘Raise a Ruckus' that melded into one another was enough to have every toe in the room tapping along (at the very least).

  

Willie Watson was eager to make sure everyone was dancing, too, encouraging the crowd to find their feet ("they're attached to your knees") and pointing out the venue is an old dancehall and "your grandma used to dance here", so everyone should join in on ‘Trouble'.

  

The sets were made up of "love songs, hard love songs, hard luck songs and a song about [Watson's] sister", but there were none the band were more excited about than those on the topic of mules. These people, "built Gee-long", and ‘Tear It' and ‘Mule' appeared as an ode to those very mules.

  

From an all-out party perspective, ‘Minglewood Blues' was by far the stand out of the night, with the band playing like maniacs and the crowd hollering louder than ever. ‘Wagon Wheel' was also a highlight, and benefitted from a collective sing-a-long voice.

  

As for the band's love of Australia, it couldn't have been evident, with Cold Chisel, Banjo Patterson, Moomba and all the bogans in the convoy getting shout outs throughout the night. And if that wasn't enough, for the OCMS's encore they chose an old Australian folk ballad, ‘Jim Jones at Botany Bay' and did complete justice to its delivery.

  

A ballad wasn't about to end the night, though, and the OCMS let loose on one last track, ‘Fall On My Knees', to ensure the crowd left the Thornbury Theatre with their blood still well and truly pumping.

  

Leaving the venue, there was one thing that had been made perfectly clear: if there's ever a band that knows how to have a good time, it's the Old Crow Medicine Show.

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