After the excitement of Pako Festa and The ExCHANGE, there are still some excellent gigs coming up. This time I’m highlighting one local and one international act performing here in Geelong.
First up, live and local, and well-known for their 20 years of performing is Lounge Lizards, at Sleepy Hollow on the 22nd of March. At one time, they had a fairly regular session up at the Newtown Event Centre.
Lounge Lizards can be thought of as either “nocturnal creatures, raucous and unstable, tend to have bouts of loud behaviour” or “foppish men who frequent bars, cafés, hotel lounges, etc., with or in search of women.”
You’ll have to come to the gig to work out which applies to our local Lounge Lizards.
The band features the sensational guitar playing of Bill van Parreren, and the rock-solid rhythm section of Manny Blach on drums and Paul Brooke on bass and vocals. Make no mistake, these guys have been around the block.
As Bill says about blues, “It makes me smile. It gives me goosebumps. Occasionally, when surrounded by inspiring musicians, it can get you to a higher level that I can’t explain – you lose yourself – and you can’t just create that feeling, it just …. happens. And I’m 100% hooked!”
The Lizards are not pretty. But they more than make up for it with a crisp, tight and very fat sound, and they always have fun on stage. All that adds up to a great gig for blues punters.
The international artist is Mississippi bluesman, Dave Riley.
He’s authentic, gritty and down home; a Hattiesburg, Mississippi native who is a real Delta bluesman.
The Dave Riley blues style is marked with equal parts authenticity and guts. His music is succinctly delivered through meaty crunch chords, layered precision picking, and a voice that bellows with authority and mobility.
Riley, who spent 25 in the correctional circuit as a guard in Illinois’s Joliet State Penitentiary, is a reformed addict and Vietnam veteran.
Dave Riley enjoys music. It lights his face and radiates from his voice. When he is on stage, he is giving the audience everything he has to give. Every performance, no matter how small the audience or how large, is given with his whole being.
During the time he served in the army he was exposed to many types of music, not only the blues but big band, rock’n’roll, and jazz. He ended up playing in a military band which travelled from base to base entertaining the troops and sometimes became the opening act for USO shows.
Dave Riley met up with Blues legends Sam Carr and Frank Frost and revitalized his career in the mid-90s and they formed a friendship and a music bond that would lead Dave back to the Delta and back into Blues full time. Dave has been playing music in the Delta and taking the Delta back to Chicago just like all those Blues men before him.
This is one you won’t want to miss.
A couple for fine gigs there, Lounge Lizards at SHBC on the 22nd, and Dave Riley at Pistol Pete’s on Friday, 27 March.
Written by John Lamp
Photo by Patrick Callow