Wednesday, August 18, 2021

#19 Para Vista Social Club - Scott and Charlene's Wedding

For once, I know exactly how I came to own this particular album and why I chose it ahead of the band's two others. It's because this is the one that has Footscray Station on it.

Footscray Station is the song that came up as a suggestion a few years back, when I was surfing YouTube for new music as I often did back then. The band's name - Scott and Charlene's Wedding - intrigued me. I clicked on it and this is what I got:

I couldn't get it out of my head. I didn't want to get it out of my head. It was ramshackle, rambling, rambunctious and just plain wonderful. I listened to it over and over for days and even after that I kept coming back to it. I couldn't leave the damn thing alone.

It reminded me of that whole, forgotten strand of drug-and-drink fueled wastrel minstrelsy that underpinned the better-known, more fashion-conscious excesses of the eighties: Nikki Sudden, Roland S. Howard, Martin Newell... those top-hatted, drainpipe-jeaned, faded, desperate, jaded, defiant desperados. The dark, decaying, world-weary, would-be grandeur of it all. Only with an Australian accent. Although, come to think of it, Roland S Howard is Australian...

I scratched around, looking for more by the band but for once there wasn't a lot. There's a good deal more now, including a slew of live versions of Footscray Station, all of which I highly recommend. It's bulletproof.

Since there wasn't much of theirs to enjoy for free, I hopped to Amazon to see if they had any albums I could buy or at least get someone to buy for me. They did. I put three of them on my wishlist and got given them all. I think it's the name. It does catch the eye.

And those three albums were everything I hoped they'd be. Raw, rough, heartfelt, smart and funny. Plus, something I definitely did not expect, some of the best Velvet Underground inspired workouts I've heard in a very long time.

Less satisfyingly, those three albums are also the only ones they've managed to record in fifteen years. It's an appropriate work rate, given their attitude and image but still...

 I guess Craig's still driving that truck.


  1. heh, that's not just Australian, that's _Melbourne_. So totally Melbourne, they probably have a song about flat whites, as well.

    If you like that, I suggest you play Necrobarista (free on Steam), which - although a game - has the same Melbourne feel.

    (I haven't lived there for nearly 30 years, but it's still in my veins).

    1. I hear a lot about the different vibes of the major cities in Australia, not least from a blog I follow, Dave Graney's "You were deep inside that thought". Most of the nuances are lost on me, unsurprisingly. My step-daughter is emigrating to Oz this month with her Australian husband, though, so maybe that will give me some extra contaxt. And thanks for the game tip - I'll give it a try.


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