Monday, 26 September 2011

Review: Gleny Rae Virus & Her Tamworth Playboys

Gleny Rae Virus & Her Tamworth Playboys - Beyond Horizontal (Independent)
Gleny Rae Virus has been a stalwart of the Australian roots/country scene for a number of years, as a member of The Junes, Toe Sucking Cowgirls and now with her very own Tamworth Playboys. Some of you may recognize her from your TV screens as she’s recently appeared on Australian television in the reality documentary “Go Back To Where You Came From” which retraced the journeys of refugees back to their homelands.

I hope new found TV celebrity doesn’t detract from her latest musical project, because on “Beyond Horizontal”, it sounds like Virus and her band are onto something special. They straddle the fine line between rambunctious old fashioned country and cool-as-ice rockabilly in some style, augmenting a roaring, good-time feel with some great songs, that are humourous and touching, and never lack instrumental prowess. In fact, opening track “Hot Ready Or Not” feels like it’s settled into scorching instrumental mode, before a vocal appears some way in. Both ways work, and subsequent highlights are bountiful. “Redneck Lovesong” is a genuine rib tickler and “Karratha” is heartfelt and sad, but leaves space for an occasional rueful smile. I don’t think I can sign off without mentioning the two Playboys: Dougie Bull on double bass and Roy Payne on guitar and lapsteel. Both are wonderful musicians with a real feel for the music they’re playing.
Rob F.

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