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Introducing Australia's finest, Augie March

Aug 4

Written by:
8/4/2007 6:49 PM  RssIcon

As I've been in Australia for a while now, I've been assimilating the local Aussie music scene. One band has stood head and shoulders above the rest and I feel it's now the time to introduce Ireland (and the world) to the genius that is Augie March.

"But for one crowded hour, you were the only one in the room

I sailed around all those bumps in the night to your beacon in the gloom"

So runs the bittersweet chorus of One Crowded Hour, the opening track of Augie March's 2006 album, Moo You Bloody Choir. Placed #1 in Triple J's Top 100 (think Dave Fanning's end of year countdown mixed with Peel's Festive 50) and given the Song of the Year award by Australia's Performing Rights Association, One Crowded Hour clearly delivers an emotional hit. It's wordy (Dylanesque?) but seems to me to retain more of a folky feel a la The Pogues in the pomp. And it does not sound in any way Australian.

I was introduced to Augie March by Bill, the proprietor of my favourite record shop, Minus Zero just off the Portobello Rd in Notting Hill. Bill is a passionate man and had been known to give me a CD, saying "Take it away! Pay me what it's worth when you next come back!". One such CD was Augie March's 2002 release Strange Bird, which received an ecstatic review on All Music. The album is dense, unpredictable and spectacularly tuneful. The exuberant This Train Will be Taking No Passengers, the band's Pogues allusions becomes ever more clear but there is a darkness reminiscent of the The Bad Seeds too. When performed live, the song is simply a juggernaut. Check this out. (Read Bill's take on Augie March here.)

 2006's Moo You Bloody Choir is an altogether more polished affair, but is still utterly wonderful. While the band could still be raucous, there remained in place a plaintive swoon to some of the songs. Forget the cheesy introduction in the clip below, Little Wonder come complete with a jazz trumpet break and typically lovely melody.

 Well there you have it. Augie March 101. I would love to hear what you all make of them.

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14 comment(s) so far...

Re: Introducing Australia's finest, Augie March

Eh, I already have all Jeff Buckley's records......

By DaveM on   8/1/2007 6:48 AM

Re: Introducing Australia's finest, Augie March

Augie March are my dads favourite band and even played at his wedding so I kind of I grew up listening to them.

Much love.

By All Sex O'Barrell on   8/1/2007 7:10 AM

Re: Introducing Australia's finest, Augie March

i wish i'd been concieved while Augie's debut album was playing cause I plan to play it on my death bed. It would be such a touching way to complete lifes cycle. So gosh darn tender. ( i was concieved to wanderin' star by lee marvin)

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