Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Basics Present The Songroom- Gotye and Monty Cotton

On Wednesdays during November and December The Basics and MC Jess McGuire have been hosting the second season of The Songroom at Northcote Social Club. The Songroom pairs established and up-and-coming Australian acts in an in-the-round session of original songs and covers, with Kris Schroeder and Tim Heath from The Basics acting as the house band.

Mary and I have been a bit delinquent in attending The Songroom this time, but tonight was the last show of 2016 and featured Monty Cotton and the one and only Gotye (aka Wally "Basic" De Backer). As you can imagine, this show sold out soon after Wally was announced as the other special guest.

Wally was introduced first and kicked off the evening with "Coming Back." Tonight was an unique opportunity to get to hear Gotye tracks done in a stripped back, acoustic fashion and the versions of "Bronte" and "Hearts A Mess" (which included Wally playing a little bell) were outstanding. Jess quizzed him on what is happening in New York with the recording of the new Gotye album and Wally said that he's been working with Franc Tetaz on songs. There are also some satellite projects that are a part of the bigger picture, which is what's causing some of the delays. He is hoping to release some songs in 2017. For covers Wally chose to do Simon & Garfunkel's "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" (partially due to farewelling his Basics bandmates in a week when he heads back to the US) and Kate Bush's "Army Dreamers."

Monty Cotton, a former accountant turned musician, outed himself as a long time fan of The Basics. He is best known for his Johnny Cash tribute show called A Boy Named Cash. For his original tracks he played "Stay With Me Tonight," "No Reason To Explain" and a song he put together of different Irish reels that gradually increased in pace. It was quite funny to watch Wally on percussion keeping up with the fast beat at the end. Monty's cover songs were The Seekers' "I Am Australian" and one of his Dad's songs called "Walkabout." It was at this point that we learned some interesting facts: a) Monty's real name is Alex, and his Dad's name is Monty, and b) he is recording an album of his Dad's songs while also having taken his Dad's name as his stage name.

As the house band for The Songroom, Kris and Tim make a couple "Sultan's Choices" for cover songs each week. Midway through the set they played Stevie Wonder's "They Won't Go When I Go" (a song also covered by George Michael), and at the end they did Robert Palmer's "Addicted To Love" (which inspired a conversation about misheard lyrics). Normally this would have been the close of the evening, but for perhaps the first time ever there was demand for an encore. After people got Tim a beer and Kris a white wine we were treated to two more songs. Tim sang The Basics' "Hey Rain" and they finished the night with Gotye's worldwide smash "Somebody That I Used To Know" (with the women in the audience singing Kimbra's part). It was a great show and hopefully there will be future seasons of The Songroom in 2017.

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