with support act Josh Rennie-Hynes,
The Basement Wednesday 26th August 2015
It’s gonna be alright, alright, alright, alright Rosie … and so it goes round and round in my head as I board the bus home from tonight’s show. It’s not surprising that a song you hear for the 1st time can instantly take hold and the melodious line just keeps looping in your brain. What is surprising is that this song is from the support act Josh Rennie-Hynes and not from the star attraction Shane Nicholson as the gap between the Master and his Apprentice is fast diminishing.
I should explain at this point that Josh Rennie-Hynes had his debut album February produced, recorded and mixed by Shane Nicholson, as well as Shane playing instruments on this album. I sense a great camaraderie and chemistry between these two musicians and it clearly shows throughout tonight’s performance. Asides from being an accomplished musician, Shane Nicholson has established himself as a fine producer of records for other artists in recent years.
Josh is confident as he opens the show and his sweet toned voice and delicate touch on his acoustic guitar makes you instantly take notice. There is an unusual quiet as the Basement audience stops chattering, listens and digests these new sounds over the usual clatter of cutlery. Shane Nicholson later commented “Thanks for listening to the support act tonight. I have played here many times and that’s the quietest I’ve ever heard this place. It’s great that you respect and support the musicians”.
Josh is very easy to listen to and has a voice and style that is not dissimilar to Jackson Browne. Very calm and soothing and captivating in its simplicity, Josh is only accompanied by a pedal steel player and his harmonica playing adds another dimension to his melodic songs. Many of the songs performed tonight are taken from February but my favorite new song Rosie is yet to appear on Josh’s 2nd album in the near future. A song Josh wrote for a lady that he met in NZ that was suffering depression and going through a rough spell.
There is palpable excitement as Shane Nicholson takes to the stage. For tonight is truly going to be a memorable evening as record producers, musicians, guest singers and a full band have all made themselves available for this one evening. A celebration of the Hell Breaks Loose album that Shane has been working on with all of these musicians.
I get the sense that there is enormous satisfaction in being able to bring this stellar line up, aptly named “The General Waste” after an opportune photo shoot last week that had a big skip bin in the background, to the fore and that the miracle of actually scheduling all these busy people into one place at one time is in itself quite an achievement.
“The General Waste” comprises of Matt Fell, Josh Schuberth, Glenn Hannah and Michael Carpenter who are all accomplished musicians, record producers amongst other things, and all have contributed on the Hell Breaks Loose album. Matt Fell produced, recorded and mixed the album for Shane and tonight’s performance is enhanced with Katie Brianna adding backing vocals. Katie also had a large contribution to the record. “The General Waste", as expected, can play everything and a plethora of guitars fill the stage together with drums, banjos, keyboards and musical instruments aplenty.
The show opens with Shane taking to the stage dressed in an unassuming black T shirt and jeans with just a Black Raven flying through an orange background as the only prop. The opening song Weight of the World is a poignant choice as you feel that Shane’s weight has been lifted and now the fun can begin.
For tonight’s performance Shane has enlisted the help of 2 further guest female vocalists, Melody Jane Pool and Edwina Margaret Fanny Lumsden.Together with Katie Brianna they all add a great dynamic to tonight’s performance coming on and off the stage at various times.
Shane Nicholson has an exceptional voice and one that I have admired for many years after seeing him open for Jewel at the Opera House more than 10 years ago. His tone is just beautiful and listening to him tonight makes me believe that he is one of Australia’s finest, if not the best, singer that this country has.
Now having 9 solo albums under his belt (if you count Sleeping Logs and Pitch Roll &Yaw) tonight’s show has a good set list made up from songs across these 9 albums and also many songs from the new album Hell Breaks Loose as you would expect. Monkey on a wire, Secondhand Man and Rattlin’ Bones are particularly good but my favorite song of the night is Single Fathers.
Shane clears the stage of all musicians and with just his guitar in hand delivers a beautiful heartfelt song called Single Fathers that he wrote while he was waiting to catch a plane to Cairns. A really inspiring song about the trials and tribulations of being a single dad. As Shane sings the line “There’s no mothers like single fathers, No one loves you more than your Dad”, I look across to my daughter who is at the show with me, knowing that Shane is right. A truly special bond.
I also found out that I have something in common with Shane Nicholson. Our love for the music of Tom Petty. Tom Petty recorded a live DVD at the Fillmore some years ago and Shane told us about how excited he was when he got to play the same stage. Melody Jane Pool then came back to the stage and Shane and Melody performed a wonderful version of the Stop Draggin my heart around duet that was originally recorded by Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks. .Another definite highlight of the night.
Throughout the night “The General Waste” tackle all sorts of instruments with Matt Fell on keyboards and guitars, Michael Carpenter on banjos and guitars, Josh Schuberth on drums and Glenn Hannah on guitars. A special mention to Glenn Hannah who battled through the night feeling unwell. A fantastic band of musicians that looked like they relished the opportunity of being together and bringing the live experience to songs that they had all worked on for some time with Shane. The 3 guest female vocalists Melody, Katie and Edwina also looked like they were enjoying themselves too. A thoroughly entertaining night and a rare opportunity to have all these talented people together on one stage.
Shane is performing again at the Brass Monkey in Cronulla on 18th September 2015 and whilst that show may not have the full complement of musicians from tonight’s performance, it again will be an incredible opportunity to hear a man that has one of the purest voices and can play a wide array of instruments to perfection. A definite date for the calendar.
see more photos here