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REVIEW: DAVID LANE - COMPASS
Compass

David Lane
Compass

(Buy mp3s)



Head In The Clouds

David Lane
Head In The Clouds

Morning Sun Single

David Lane
Morning Sun Single

Eleven Reasons To Sing

David Lane
Eleven Reasons To Sing

Put Me In A Taxi

David Lane
Put Me In A Taxi

Matthew Buchanan SMH Metro


Lane Sweet Lane
David Lane is a genius. An evil genius. The Moriarty melody, no less. And Burt Bacharach taught him everything he knows. Sort of.
“When I was 18, I was playing in piano bars for money,” he says, 20 minutes before a performance at the Hopetoun Hotel, his long fingers withdrawing a cigarette.
“You play all these classic songs. It’s just all there, you see what they’re doing and you can’t help but use that when you’re writing songs. Even songs that some people consider daggy, like Bacharach. It’s second nature.”
Lane’s genius in tattooing his songs into your psyche is evil because he knows how to do it. So he does it. Whether in performance on his well received CD Compass, Lane marries pop and the heartfelt with tunes catchier than a Norwegian fishing fleet. The result is music as simultaneously beautiful and pleasingly uncomfortable as standing in warm rain. It’s al around you, it’s thoroughly drenching you , but you feel like you probably need to do this sort of thing for you soul.
“It’s just the way I am. All the way through school I’d always be writing songs. That’s what I actually do with my life. [And] you either like emotion in music or you don’t. Honest songs, rather than putting on a show where you get down and boogie, and it doesn’t matter what you’re singing about.”
He looks up lighting the cigarette. “I spent a few years a bit concerned about how humans can be happy and I thought about that sitting at a bar. I was lost and – while having a very good time – I was lost about how you can find that satisfaction, I suppose, but I’ve got that sorted out more these days. I’m starting to enjoy daily existence.”
He’s got good reason to. People are talking. They’re saying, as the headline act said later that night, ‘He’s awesome’. And his newly formed band are excellent, shifting mood as easily as the bar unit shifts.
Does this approbation mean goodbye to the “pay me rent gigs” at the Excelsior Hotel in Glebe, which fostered not only his own loyal following but also developed into a springboard for the likes of friends and collaborators Leonardo’s Bride and Cactus Child?
“It’s almost finished now. It was a great moment in time. Everyone realised there was something special going on. There was lots of love between the musicians which is sometimes a strange thing because they can be quite competitive beasts.”
In one of Compass’s many frighteningly hummable tracks, Lucky Joe Lane sings, “Give me back all that you can/ Lucky man/ You are what you need.
Does Lane, who once worked packing the heart foundation’s literature into boxes, need success commercially, or is it the success in finding another voice through music?
“When I was much younger I was letting down my family and I wrote a song called Make It All Up To You and it had a great effect when I played it to them. It said so much I couldn’t have said otherwise,” he says before pausing, “A lot of people have been coming up after gigs and saying you guys should be on the radio, you guys should be famous and it’s as if they don’t think that what I do is enough in itself.”
He goes on.
“Point zero-one of your readership have heard what I do.” He speculates “[But] what I do is go and sing me songs to people. Sometimes you can feel it’s such a strange thing to do. But when people come up to you individually, and ask to buy your record having just seen you play it definitely makes you feel like you are doing something worthwhile. People are enjoying it, so I don’t just have to do it in the lounge room. There’s a good chance it might make people’s life a bit better or something.