“We found love and love set us free”
We arrived just as support act Little Georgia kicked off, preaching the gospel of country music, romancing us with their harmonies and genuine smiles. Justin and Ashleigh lock gazes with each other and their audience throughout the show and we couldn’t help but feel a part of some sort of love triangle or love rectangle perhaps, as my fearless compadre and I pulled up a little bit of carpet close to the front. Justin rocked the mandolin and harmonica on a few ditties, and everyone felt like a singalong, even as the set concluded. Later in the night, Banora Point’s arguably finest musician Ashleigh let me know Little Georgia are heading back to the studio to make an honest woman out of the new songs they’ve been flirting with, and are being received so well across their latest tour.
As the interval found us at the bar, we bumped into Ben who, some ten years ago, hosted Karl’s first appearance at an open mic night, down at the Cooly Hotel, blowing away the crowd with his unique sound. In an encouraging insight for the city, Ben had enjoyed a whiskey at Justin Lane, a quick meal and a quick listen at the always popular Miami Marketta and, hearing Karl was playing, headed over to soundlounge to reminisce. In the context of his diverse night of venues, and Karl’s set, he wasn’t disappointed on any front.
Karl launched into his set with his cracking number about Be’elzebub, and followed it later with a song or two about Jesus. He lamented the black magic of his nemesis, and got the folks dancing as his newest single lamented his lack of blood to give. Love and loneliness, dark places and white hotels, Karl’s diverse musical talent had the musicians of the crowd rapt (Taylor band, amongst quite a number of other local musos haunted the halls) and fed his loyal fans the spiritual experience they longed for. It was great to see George Carpenter of Jimmy the Saint and his Sinners keeping time on the drums, and Crick Boue on lead guitar. The long haired bass player, whose name escapes me, was acknowledged to a few squeals of delight, to which a shocked look and grin was the response.
“How senseless does the silence sound…”
Karl philosophised as the set drew to a close, but the raucous applause brought the band back for a final number and the customary acapella spiritual that the long haired hat is so well known for. Satisfied well and truly, the crowd exhaled and got back to drowning their newly found sorrow.
Soundlounge delivered another sterling local night of talent, and showed how valuable the venue is to the live music scene on the coast and demonstrated their commitment to local talent. We did hear a whisper that one of the surprise gigs of the spring season is expected on September 29, when Julia Rose visits with My Nightingale, who are launching their EP. The night will be a cracking event for the feminine voice and instrumentalist, and a must-see for those keen to catch local emerging acts.