Tex, Don & Charlie + Ahern Brothers: Live review and gallery I Old Museum, Brisbane I 19 September 2017

You know how some things just fit together well? Well that’s how I describe tonights evening with Tex, Don and Charlie. Touring their latest album, ’You Don’t Know Lonely’, the Old Museum Brisbane, was the perfect venue for this gathering. These three talented and accomplished musicians / songwriters fit together like hands in a handshake.

The historic charm of the venue sets the relaxed and welcoming tone for the evening. There’s no seat numbers, we get beer in glass bottles and the setting inside the auditorium is more akin to that of a friends lounge room, not a concert hall. Immediately you feel as though your an invited guest to a private performance. The stage is dimly lit with large paper and wire orb light shades from the 70’s. A piece of carpet on stage equally matches the era and the timber floors through out the building draw you deeper into that old world charm.

The Ahern brothers ease the crowd into the evening with their polished guitar playing and crisp harmonies before the trio make their way out onto the stage and settle into their tools of trade. The trios set opens with ‘Redheads, Gold Cards and Long Black Limousines’ from their 1993 debut album, ‘Sad But True’ and the crowd cheers in approval. The bands distinctive story telling style is showcased throughout the evening with songs drawn from all three albums. With lyrics like “On weekends i perform miracles, turning pay checks into wine” and “so i got me three hookers and some sushi”, the songs ‘Paychecks’, ‘A Man In Conflict With Nature’, are clear audience favourites. The beautiful guitar melodies of ‘Whenever it snows’ from the bands 2005 ‘All is forgiven’ album, highlight the depth of this bands talents.

Letting the music wash over me, beer in hand i feel the only thing that could accentuate the mood would be if the room was blanketed in cigarette smoke, as it would have been in days gone by. The performance is relaxed, fluid and littered with comedic stories, jibes and innuendos. Tex’s iconic Aussie commentary is charming as he fills the space between songs with moments like begging for another “Don Song”, referring to the trio as “the pricks on the poster” and regularly belching into the mic following swigs from his beer. When Don steps from behind his keyboard to centre stage for the trios song, ‘Harry’, Tex takes this opportunity to demonstrate his keyboard prowess (or lack thereof), much to the bemusement of Don Walker, who shakes his head at Tex’s antics throughout the song.

Charlie Owens fiery guitar instrumental Dead Dog Boogie lifts the mood before rewarding the audience with his sensuous lap steel guitar in ‘Fateful Day’. A rendition of  ‘Sitting In A Bar ‘(complete with Queen St Mall reference) stirs the Brisbane crowd before the evening closes as it started with ‘Postcards From Elvis’  another from their debut album.

A truly pleasurable evening where you left feeling privileged to have been there. I entered as a respectful fan of their individual accomplishments and left as a Tex, Don & Charlie fan. Here’s hoping I don’t have to wait another twelve years to enjoy them again.

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