[MUSIC ~ AUS]
Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Sat 11 May.
Lachy Doley is undeniably one of the leading proponents of Hammond organ in Australia, and he summoned the sonic demons with fierce intensity as he punished the keys in every song. Doley doesn’t just play the Hammond, he pounds the living crap out of it! Originally from Adelaide, Doley was his own support and started his hometown gig with a set of older favourites before progressing to songs from his new album in the second set. By the time the Leslie speaker even finished screaming the first note Doley already had the audience enamoured.
The sheer driving sound from the classic whirring speaker is enough to command attention but it is Doley’s musicality and primal, animalistic head-banging that are simply riveting. The instrument itself is incredibly physical, and Doley is a master of shaping the unique electronic and mechanical Hammond sounds, pushing buttons and clicking pedals maniacally, often springing himself 2ft in the air and shaking his hands as if to put out the fire in his fingers. There has to be equal parts madness and genius to even attempt to quell such a beast of an instrument.
And then there’s the Hohner clavinet…that’s a whole other animal again! This instrument has some 60 physical strings and sounds nothing like any other electronic keyboard, more so when it’s fitted out with a whammy bar and then put through a wah-wah pedal and driving the amp to create distortion. Mind blowing!
Using vintage mechanical equipment, easily 50+ years old, has its set of complications, but Doley is well used to rectifying technical issues, and seamlessly dealt with them on no less than four occasions, quickly grabbing a screwdriver to resolve the recurring problem to attack repairs with the same force as his playing while the bass (Joel Burton) and drums (Warren Trout) power on, before once again returning to hammer the keys. The Lachy Doley Group – a delectable aural assault with grooves so deep they’d need an extension ladder to climb out!
Images courtesy of Jenna Bonavita