B Mused

Merry Fest @ The Merry Muse, Friday 14th Aug, 2009
by Special Correspondent, Bic Parker

B stands for balls. Once again I found myself with nothing particular to do on Friday night so with out any hesitation I jumped at the opportunity to go back and experience the Merry Muse at the Polish Club in Turner.

I did not know the full line up. After listening to the last act tune up first, the first act came on, the Fire and Rope Band (as far as I know a one-off performance). Curly B (stands for biceps), formerly of the O’Hooligans with his deep Irish baritone voice singing ballsy Irish immigrant anarchist ballady songs.

As far as the line up went, it was very different to what I have previously heard any of these musicians present. With the use of a ukulele, Jim Boots aka Ocean Moses, and back up vocalists Julia a.k.a. Deep Sea Sirens and Beth Tully (also from Ocean Moses). For what was presented this performance, whilst acceptable, needed more commitment to the music. It lacked passion. I didn’t feel the love I have felt for Curly, who I know is deeply involved in his music (full points for trying on new things). I felt there was a lack of cohesion and support vocally for Coyley’s delivery and they should be contributing to his commanding sense of presence. Spesh mench to the percussionist Nick Peddle (drums, high hat), very tight and he held it together through the few sticky bits, as well as Jonno Zilber on bass.

If you like cheeky diddy die doo Irish sounding larrikinism these boys could possess it. I really hope they’re onto something. And look forward to seeing more of this gentleman down the track.

The Ellis Collective got up to do their thing. Another interesting addition to vocals was Alison Procter, aka The Cashews and with another little addition (I think). Matty is always expressive, believes in what he does and is one of the more absorbing performers in town. A pleasure to watch…

You have to forgive me, for it was about this time I went out for a smoke and decided as a matter of professionalism to bring to you a follow up, the second half of my last review (titled, A Mused).

The Merry Muse is not responsible for the bar nor the kitchen operations, or are they? Let’s make that clear, however it raises an interesting question – why? I thought I would try the food (B stands for brazen, bad). I was starving (bloated). I hadn’t eaten all day (B stands for bulimic). I could feel a migraine coming on (as well as bastard and bitch).

I ordered pork chops, jacket potatoes, with sour cream. You know the deal (we are all aware of master chef). Forty-five minute later and a plate arrived. Industrial waste colours were a feature of this meal but let me tell you! The jacket potatoes must have been wearing fur coats. They weren’t cooked. Next to it was what looked to be a yellowish sludge (sulphur, wet yellowcake). After my taste buds had stopped stinging from the acid attack I discerned it to be pretending to be sauerkraut.

Sitting quite apart from them were two little chops cooked into a state of rigour mortis and brought back to life through some trick of black magic. Was this a sick joke? Were they celebrating the Berlin wall being built? It had a lot in common with slop in gulags, I would have thought! I also bought a packet of chips from behind the bar and they were fucking stale, five bucks worth of stale.

Hey, it irks me that the edge can be taken off something so easily, still a good night from a social point of view and I would think that as time goes by the Polish Club may support the musicians by also becoming class acts and providing a class product. Speaking of class acts, in the very next paragraph…

Mister Fibby with their tale of a far away time in that village on the edge of that lake somewhere in the Ukraine or Georgia. After that meal I felt like a homeless gypsy so it turned out to be another unique experience.

Finally the band that tuned up first, Dub Dub Goose (sound checks in front of the audience, really). But again, hey, you know, they have that horned section that produces that fat sound. This combined with a bouncy bop your head beat, what I refer to as folkska.  Once again a mass of people soaking it up. Dancing and grooving and dancing, great to see people enjoying themselves, a wonderful performance, but I was done.

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