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Gig Review: Jeff Lang – Way Out West Roots Music Club 16/05/21

‘Some Memories Never Die’ National Tour + Book Launch

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Some Memories Never Die’ the first book by musician & author Jeff Lang, is the resulting memoir of three decades on the road, contains memories of gigs where the pay was akin to blood money, reflections on how the road’s twists and turns can be lightened by the presence of fellow travellers and occasionally darkened by them too.

To celebrate the book’s release, Jeff is hitting the highway for a 37 date national tour running from April through to July with each show combining music with an ‘in conversation’ and Q&A session. This afternoon’s show is at the Way Out West Roots Music Club located at the Newport Bowlo in Newport, Melbourne and sees a diverse lot of punters complete with beer and wine raffle.

Accompanied only by a handful of bespoke, handmade acoustic guitars and a swag of effects pedals, Lang graces the low stage filling the room with gorgeous tones and stories of love and loss. These shows are the culmination of 30+ years of relentless touring, playing, recording and honing his unique guitar craft, songwriting prowess and superb vocal delivery. Opening the first set with South from Lang’s 2009 album Chimeradour and moving through the tracks I Wanna Run But My Legs Won’t Stand, then moving into Some Memories Never Die. The title of Lang’s book is also the track he plays as the lead into a reading lifted from his memoir. Setting the scene with a looped guitar underscore Lang moves to a lectern to recite an excerpt from the chapter  ‘Lost In Boston, Rain in NYC’.

Following beautiful versions of Burnside and Running By The Rock, this tour sees the inclusion of guest interviewers for a short Q & A session. This afternoon’s interviewer is the President of The Way Out West Roots Music Club, Rob Rowe, conducting proceedings, and opening the floor for several questions from the audience, bringing the first set of the afternoon to an end.

After a short recess, we are again fortunate to witness a swag of songs including Ravenswood (Ravenswood, 1994), You Tremble (Whatever Makes You Happy, 2004) and Lang guitar wizardry accompanied with another book reading titled Nightmares, Slippery Slopes and Sticky Tar, filled with tales of adventure, rye humour and the best and worst of humankind.

Lang next asks the receptive room if they’d like to hear song by ‘Bob’ or ‘Tom’, with an almost unanimous TOM being the feedback, Lang moves jokingly into Cold Chisel’s Khe Sanh, but corrects his course playing Tom Waits’ Whistle Down the Wind from Bone Machine.

Winding up the second set and the afternoons musical journey, Lang concludes with London (Everything Is Still, 2000) and a lovely interpretation of Rickie Lee Jones’ We Belong together from her Pirates album.

This is a tour filled with beautiful and disturbed soundscapes, pre-eminent story telling, chucklesome banter, all tethered together as one of the best book launches you will witness.  Make sure you do not miss one of these ripper shows.

Details at http://jefflang.com.au

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