Live Review: Lil’ Band O’ Gold - The Basement, Circular Quay

26 June 2012 | 6:26 pm | Pedro Manoy

This was the second Australian tour for Lil' Band O' Gold, having first played here a couple of years ago. Apart from the bonus inclusion of Steve Riley on accordion, who unfortunately missed the Sydney shows last time around, nothing has really changed. An eight-piece band drawn from the cream of Louisiana's best musicians is always going to sound good and tonight was no exception.

A Lil' Band O' Gold show is rough and ready and one doubts whether there's even a setlist drawn up before the show. And therein lies the charm. Collectively the musicians in the group have played on thousands of sessions and paid their dues in just about every Louisiana bar, club and honky tonk.

At The Basement tonight the band were clearly here to enjoy themselves. There are numerous references to the Louisiana/New Orleans music tradition with songs from Bobby Charles and Earl King to name just a couple. There were also some inspiring instrumental moments from both saxophonist Dickie Landry and steel guitarist Lucky Oceans (yes, we will claim him as one of our own) and there were no less than four vocalists in the lineup.

The towering figure of C.C. Adcock on guitar and vocals delivered a pumping version of Seven Days To Rock while Steve Riley belted out Cajun favourites. Pianist and vocalist Dave Egan is one of the great Southern songwriters and could easily have performed an entire show of his own originals. Tonight we got just a tantalising taste plus a superb version of Fats Domino's take on Blueberry Hill.

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Whilst this is definitely an all-star band, brimming with some amazing musicians, it was hard not to see drummer and vocalist Warren Storm as “the” star of the show. Resplendent with a shock of jet black hair and snappy white gloves, his kit was positioned dead centre of the stage and he simply radiated charisma. This guy cannot possibly be 75 as his drumming was effortless and his vocals as sweet as honey.

Between them Lil' Band O' Gold could probably deliver a set of literally hundreds of songs and would probably play all night given the opportunity. Tonight was just a small sample of a remarkable songbook and was a moment to treasure for years to come.