Lanie Lane

with Jez Mead and James Collins

Heading straight from work for a meal and a few drinks before the show, I see Lanie Lane enjoying a meal of her own with tour partner Jez Mead. She's a fox and after watching the video for the single she's touring 'What Do I Do' (vimeo.com/…) I'm a bit scared as she cuts into her food.


I head into the band room and opening act is local lad James Collins who politely says hello the audience, a handful of his friends plus me. He introduces his friend on accompanying acoustic guitar and they start out with dual acoustics spinning dark tales (a bit too loud loud because of the lack of bodies on hand to soak up the noise) which matched the weather change outside as the rain started.


With gruff vocals, James played a deep heart felt set ranging from southern swamp to gypsy folk and even including a track with additional ukulele from a friend in the crowd (who'd gone missing when they were first ready for the track). It's a nice start to the night.


Even though the purpose of this review is for Lanie Lane's What Do I Do single tour, she is actually supporting Jez Mead on his Town's Too Small national tour. Playing solo, Lanie slinks on stage and her sweet voice melts hearts as she welcomes the crowd, then her dulcet tones pierce like cupid's arrow as she opens her set.


Lanie sings about Tom Waits, her guitar, dedicates a blues song to a the metal head she met before the show, asks for some real noise from the crowd and with some chit chat is really engaging her audience. After a comment from Lanie that she hoped that guy on his phone was writing a nice review (which I obviously am) a friend of Jez's asked me to step to the back of the venue, but he later rebuilt bridges so we'll forgive him.


Finishing with an a capella version "What Do I Do", Lanie gets the whole crowd to sing and clap along for a brilliant live rendition that brings rapturous applause to conclude the set.


Lanie will draw comparisons with the likes of Amy Whinehouse, Duffy and locally Gabriella Cilmi, but Lanie is far more cute and fun.


Jez Mead is also playing solo and without previous knowledge of his work he sounds like the working man's John Butler. Losing a (fake) nail in the first bar of the first song he gets the superglue out to fix it, threatening Cat Stevens-like soft strumming otherwise.


With mic-ed up foot stomping, Jez drives an energetic pulse. His friends start dancing up a storm up the front which gradually gets all bums off the floor to join in.


Harmonica and violin are brought on stage for a few tracks. And the darling Lani Lane got on stage for a duet. Closing Jez breaks into a solo jam that drains the last of the crowds energy on the dance floor.


Overall a well planned line up and enjoyable evening for anyone (even that metal head I'm told).

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