Monday, 21 November 2011

In which Wendy Rule sings

Saturday night found me at the Caravan Music Club (Oakleigh RSL) to see Melbourne singer/songwriter, Wendy Rule. Whenever I go to a music gig, I always wonder why I don’t do it more often. Awesome music aside, in this particular case it might have had something to do with the fact that the intimate and cosy venue was local with easy street parking, or that the gig started early and was over by 11pm, or maybe that our seats came with a gingham-clothed table complete with candle and a glass of red. OK, we had to buy the wine (at RSL subsidised prices); but how civilised to sit back with glass in hand and listen?

And how we did listen.

I had not heard Wendy Rule before, and I enjoyed her music a lot. It’s an acoustic blend of folk, world and jazz (ish), delivered by a remarkable voice that is perfectly made for chanting (as she does) and which has the capacity to go amazingly deep. As I listened to Wendy sing, I imagined her testing out that voice as a child, figuring out what it could do, and composing music to suit. It’s a mighty instrument. She was accompanied by the dulcet tones of a cello, guitar and drums.

Wendy’s songs were heavily themed towards paganism, spiritual belief systems and classical mythology. She opened and closed with a chant designed to first close and lastly reopen the circle, singing tributes to the north, west, south and east. (I took the opportunity to pull out my new iPhone with compass app and check she had the directions right.) Then her various songs paid tribute to the likes of Venus, Artemis, Hecate, aspects of nature, the moon . . . My kinda stuff, really.

Wendy Rule would not be out of place at the Port Fairy Folk Festival (I bet she’s played there before) and it made me realise how much I’m going to miss going to that every year. I intend to keep an eye out for upcoming Caravan Music Club gigs and attend a little more often, particularly the folk-oriented performances. For a slick and far more accomplished review of Wendy’s gig, visit Jason’s review here. He’s a long time fan and knows stuff like the names of songs and albums.

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