Review: Jordie Lane and Marlon Williams

16:00, Dec 10 2012
Jordie Lane
Jordie Lane's lengthy banter and appealing personality helped to make his live performance more a show than a simple set of songs.

Jordie Lane with Marlon Williams

San Francisco Bath House, Sunday, December 9

Melbourne-based singer/songwriter Jordie Lane may be easily pitched as some antipodean Ryan Adams, but he's better sold - on stage - as being similar to Justin Townes Earle, in that the one-man-band approach of the travelling troubadour is augmented by humorous banter. In fact, there were moments where Ramblin' Jack Elliott was the obvious touchstone, song introductions and asides stretching out longer than the tunes at times - but it never detracted from the material - rather it made a show, something beyond just a set of songs.

Ostensibly here to promote his new single, Fool for Love, a teaser for the upcoming third album, Lane was also returning to capitalise on the goodwill offered from his previous tour of New Zealand. Two albums in the bank and a new one on the way - he could be added to the ''one to watch'' file. And his country-folk pastiche really comes alive with his personality doing a lot of the work on behalf of the songs.

Similarly, Kiwi songwriter Marlon Williams, who opened the show, manages to operate in a space where he can combine covers and original material, tracing around country music's tradition but with a voice - both on the page and on the stage - strong enough to push through the paper and head to the heart of the song.

Williams and Lane wrapped up a five-date tour with a lovely Sunday night Wellington show; perfect touring partners given that both of them exude time spent listening to music, living inside it in order to present it. It's been a big 2012 for Lane, playing hero Gram Parsons in a theatre run in Australia and working hard to increase his fan base.

Sadly the numbers in attendance were not huge, but the seating was designed to justify the PR-spin of an intimate gig. Importantly, both performers delivered tunes that had people hooked. Word of mouth should help from here.


The Dominion Post