The Archive
Big Star Basement
Rundle St. Adelaide . 3-10-99
    This show was a real hoot, and given this was the only solo show of the entire Australian tour, it was really sparsely attended, which was a disgrace, but it was a magic evening of great music and good feeling,and the 40 or so folks who saw this gig should count themselves lucky they were there. 
The Basement of Big Star records is very small, it can only accommodate 100 people at the most, but it was only half full to welcome Eliza Carthy and her accompanist Saul Rose . A poor showing , given  there had been a great show in town the night before , with around 120 people present at the Governor Hindmarsh to see the full Waterson Carthy band . Still that's Adelaide for you , people will go to see second rate local talent who they know, yet ignore the real McCoy . And by all that's good in music, this IS the real McCoy. Eliza has blossomed into a great performer, and is carrying on in her parents traditions of carrying the torch for traditional English music , as well as taking it into new places, as evinced on her great Cd Red Rice, which you must check out if you have not yet heard it .
These pages will give you an idea of what went down on the evening , along with links to other Waterson Carthy sites on the net and particular emphasis on the recent Australian tour. 
Eliza Carthy.

Big Star show.

Waterson Carthy 
Set list.
Picking Up sticks >
Felton Longing ? >
Kingston Girls. 
The Americans Have Stolen My True Love Away. 
Miller on the ? 
Saulís Morris Tunes. 
Air Jig.
Tuesday Morning.
Instrumental . 

The Fuze .
Bonny Light Horseman.
Herring Song .
Walk Away. 
Mr Walker. 
Zachinthos Jig> 
Mr Tommyís Foot > 
The Bonny Fisherboy.

        We arrived early , wishing to get  good seats,  and it was fortunate that we did , as there are only a few seats in the Basement and these are simply stone shelves alongside each of the sides of the room. They were almost full , so we parked ourselves right next to the PA ( that's my profile in the far left corner of the photo at the top of the page) . We bumped into Paul Challen who we had not seen since the Widespread Panic show last year which was nice, as we had lost touch with him, he'd seen the Waterson Carthy show the previous night and was raving about how good it was. 
We told him that Eliza was already here, as we had seen her talking to Vic the promoter , upstairs in the shop itself. Martin Carthy was also in attendance, lurking patriarchally at the back of the room, but he did not venture down to the stage .

A violin and accordion duo did a short warm up set  and then eventually Eliza got up and did some tuning up and a basic sound check before being joined by Saul Rose who was to play melodeon and accordion . They were just about to start when the mobile phone of the soundman started bleating its stupid little tune and we all had to wait until the guy had finished his conversation, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the performers were hanging around tapping their feet. 

I'll post the full set list here later, but some of the   highlights of the set were 'Herring Song ' which has such a catchy tune and some seemingly endless jamming. Saul's morris solo was great and he dedicated it to the Morris men at the gig .

      "Mr Walker " shone, as did the wonderful solo version of 'Fisher Boy ", which reminded us 
all of Sandy Denny, such was the purity and feeling Eliza put into the delivery. She also did a couple of her own numbers, including ' The Fuse " on keyboard, which was initially hard to get used to, but grows on you with repeated listenings. The quality of the instrumental work by both players was also as good as I've heard in this idiom  and despite the small audience, both artists  put everything they had into this show. 

  There were some spirited encores, which prompted prolonged applause, after which Saul said ' you clap any more and I kill you ' . A lovely version of "Fisherboy "and they were gone. We'd been treated to 110 minutes of truly great music ,whilst upstairs the goons on Rundle Street had been sipping their cafe au lait , inhaling exhaust fumes and listening to the latest chic crap. I know who 
had the better deal .

     Thanks have to go to Vic Flierl for organising the gig . A real labour of love for him I know , but he would have lost money on this show for sure . Even so , the small audience created a warm atmosphere, the performers seemed to love every minute of it and I know most of us would have paid ten times the cover charge to see this show , a classic in every way !

A soundboard recording was made with permission from the band, but is not to be traded. 
An audience tape is available.


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