The Lachy Doley Group Clavinate at The Gov

Lachy Doley Group 2017

Adorned with his signature deep blue velvet jacket Lachy Doley ripped through a punchy blues set at The Gov on February 3, 2017.

Quiet was the beer garden and auditorium of The Gov as Double Whammy kicked off their set of Austin-Powers progressive surf jazz. Musically tight and inventive Double Whammy eventually had a couple of enthusiastic dances bopping along while the main bulk of audience slowly ambled in. Perhaps a more contrasting support act to the headline would have been more appropriate but I sense there is some history between Double Whammy and Lachy Doley as evidenced by the all-in jam at the end of the night.

By the time the Lachy Doley Group hit the stage there was a healthy smattering of punters eager to hear this ‘Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond Organ’, as some have referred to him. Lachy Doley is world class, charting in the UK’s blues charts and playing with the likes of Steve Vai and Deep Purple, as well as Australian greats Powderfinger among others. Blame it on an indie festival down at Port Adelaide, a jazz festival in Prospect or a major sporting event somewhere but letting Mr Doley and co. almost slip through our fingers, Adelaide, is a shame.

Having said that The Gov was by no means empty and Doley showed straight away he was willing to work hard to convert toe tappers into hip shakers. Adorned with his signature deep blue velvet jacket Doley ripped through a blazing rendition of Betcha I’ll getcha from 2015’s album Conviction. The flare of his keyboard skills quickly reminded all in attendance why Doley has been and will continue to be a strong force in national and international blues.

Doley’s voice is also nothing to be scoffed at, ranging from a Sunday morning laced with last night’s cigarettes and surplus gin, to a Friday fresh with the daisies of a burgeoning weekend. Then he does a slow blues number and it’s like the moon has just decided to make love to every star in the sky.

Doley gave the ‘Wami clav’ a thorough thrashing on several tracks, and if you don’t know what this is, it’s ok. It is a custom organ apparatus and probably the only one of it’s kind in Australia. But imagine if you will, one of the zombies from Michael Jackson’s Thriller shredding at the keyboard while an underworld figure reaches deep inside it and yanks at its soulless form until its appendages lash violently in every direction and you may get a vague picture of this bizarre and magnificent instrument.

Next time the Lachy Doley Group is in town lets make sure they have to add a second night to their itinerary because it would be a shame to have to fly to Las Vegas to see this keyboard genius.

by James Hickey

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