Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders – Factory Theatre

Jack Ladder & the Dreamlanders come together once again to revisit their classic album HURTSVILLE, with a vinyl reissue ten years after its first acclaimed release. I caught one of their limited seated shows at the Factory Theatre supported by Sarah Mary Chadwick.

See the full photo gallery shot for AMNplify, here.

Sarah Mary Chadwick

Sarah Mary Chadwick sits alone on the stage behind a keyboard, surrounded by the headline band’s instrumentalia. Shrouded in smoke and with a couple of piercing white lights to illuminate her, the atmosphere is definitely set as mysteriously stark.

Her songs are full of raw, no nonsense vocals; just her and the keyboard (piano). They are full of grief, loss and truth. They are not pretty, but they are real. Sarah Mary delivers, with vocals that draw you into her intimate life story, almost stumbling along with the sparse piano. There are a few quiet breaks between songs, a little bit of audience interaction, a couple of shout outs to friends in the crowd; and apologies to others that she forgot to put on the door – all just part of a conversation that she has let us into.

See what she has to say in her recent release Me & Ennui Are Friends, Baby, here.

Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders

Jack Ladder and his Dreamlanders sauntered onto the stage to rapturous applause. Tonight they were playing with their full original line up from ten years ago.

They quickly got down to business – opening the set with a haunting version of Beautiful Sound and then progressing through the album track by track. The spotlight was definitely on Jack Ladder through the set, with the rest of the band filling out the songs into an almost orchestral triumph that filled the room with the bluesy atmospherics.

There was a little bit of laconic banter between songs, Ladder keeping in smooth character with a little back and forth from a very vocal audience.

The album title track HURTSVILLE, got a little bit of extra love from the crowd; with Ladders’ irreverent mid-western, bluesy, drawly, vocals oozing over the tracks like honey. The other highlight on stage was guitarist Kirin J Callinan, driving what could only be described as a space age atmospheric, post punk noise maker of a guitar and resplendently wrapped in leather gear and boots with stiletto spiked heels – trotting across the stage like a toreador.

The last song of the album, Giving Up the Giving Up signalled the end of the set, with a promise from Ladder that if we liked, they could come back and do a couple more songs. After a brief interlude, they all started making their way back on stage, with Donny Benet leading the charge with a bit of funky bass walk on sounds to coax the rest of the band; before launching into Susan and a couple of older tracks; finishing up with Reputation Amputations.

Revisit the haunting sultry sounds of HURTSVILLE yourself, here.

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