[MUSIC/Acoustic ~ WORLD PREMIERE ~ SA]
The Wheaty Tin Shed at The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Sat 28 Feb.
Greetings from LA was Tim Buckley’s most successful album in Australia – that was where I discovered his music – but turns out that there was a substantial body of work long before that. And apparently singer Michael Kirkham was a big fan of all of Buckley’s work. He has clearly spent a lot of time listening to it, and has internalised the unusual vocal style of Tim Buckley to an eerie degree.
And it’s not an easy style to imitate. Full of unfinished syllables, stretched out or groaned words, semi-conscious murmurings and occasional leaps to falsetto, as well as quite pleasant comparatively ‘normal’ vocal phrases – it was part of what made Buckley’s music so distinctive, and also why this show was a treat to listen to.
Buckley emerged from the LA folk scene in the mid ‘60s with songs that were simple in structure, loaded with emotion, and that were often based on a kind of hypnotic groove that is at times reminiscent of JJ Cale. These types of songs allowed the band, led by the deft touch of Cal Williams Jr on guitar, to improvise around the established musical theme while still keeping things tight.
I loved the opening song – Buzzin’ Fly, and the infamous Get It Up (banned from public radio at the time) – a song dripping with sexuality from Greetings From LA – an album Wikipedia describes as sex funk.
Buckley was a true innovator. No one sounded like him, and sadly, like so many wonderful musicians of the time, he died way too young. He was 28.
Kudos goes to Cal Williams Jr. and his band for an excellent show of cruisy music and amusing tales.
Happy Sad – The Songs Of Tim Buckley continues at The Wheaty Tin Shed at The Wheatsheaf Hotel from 6pm until Sat 29 Feb.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 and adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.