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Gig Review: Evan Dando The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, Tuesday 17 December 2019

Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night at all.

Christmas has come early for fans of The Lemonheads this week with the announcement of a last-minute surprise gig by the much-loved front man, Evan Dando. 

Warming up the swelling crowd in the beautiful surroundings of Melbourne’s The Spotted Mallard, was the powerfully voiced folk artist, Grace Cummings. Delivering throaty vocals and acoustic guitar, Cummings delivered a handful of powerful tunes conjuring the sound of the early 60’s folk revival. Singing with absolute command, Cummings had the attention of the room winning new fans over with passionate applause.

Fresh of a massive Lemonheads tour of Australia, Dando hurriedly jumps on stage, accompanied only by his guitar, opens with the popular ‘The Outdoor Type’ to a welcoming crowd mouthing all the lyrics. Moving through both Lemonheads tunes (It’s a Shame About Ray, Into Your Arms, Being Around) and tracks from Dando’s solo career, a now packed room stood (and sat) in full attention as hit after hit was performed with no stage banter, bar the occasional ‘thankyou’.

Playing an hour long set merging each song into the next, we’re reminded of the exceptional breadth of song writing that Dando has offered us over the years, why he has been referenced in numerous songs in pop culture and proves why he is an inductee into the Boston Music Awards Hall of Fame.

Overall an exceptional Christmas present, that even though has ended, keeps on giving. Thanks for a wonderful night of rollicking tunes that took us all on trip through the alleyways and dusty tracks of the mind of one of this century’s great writers.

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