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Song of the day – 71: The Gin Club

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Nice single. Very nice single, in fact.

I was listening to a recording of (band-leader by default) Ben Salter, playing solo at Ric’s Bar a few weeks ago, and was once again struck by what an extraordinary, evocative drawl he has. He’s not singing on this – the first track released from The Gin Club’s forthcoming album Deathwish – but that’s what you get when you have a group featuring nine songwriters and as many again vocalists. I’ve interviewed Ben for the next issue of the Australian Rolling Stone to celebrate the album’s release, a rare example of me operating within print environments. He seemed keen to get away from me after the interview, possibly wary of being tainted by association. (I’m not best liked among his pals in Brisbane.)

I’m very fond of The Gin Club: it makes me happy to think of both them and Salter playing out live in Brisbane on a regular basis, even if I never seem to leave The Gap these days.

Funny how it works: first, I was a guest vocalist with Salter’s pick-up band The Young Liberals. Now Scottie from The Gin Club plays in another band with me, Ed G and Maggie. That ain’t why I like The Gin Club, though – although doubtless it influences my perception of them. I like The Gin Club for their songs, pure and simple, and for the way they treat their songs, untied to any particular fashion or era (unless we’re talking Canned Heat and The Band).

Here’s the song from the previous album – the sprawling, 26-song monster Junk – that I featured on the cover-mount CD I compiled for Go! Magazine (email me, I’ll send you a download link), that does feature Salter on vocals.

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