Cash Savage & The Last Drinks

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Cash Savage & The Last Drinks


“It holds a lot prestige,” Savage says. “It’s exciting. We’re a big band, so it’s always good to have a stage that fits us all on.” The band ranges between six and ten members, ordinarily. “But we’ll be seven. We have a trumpet player for this one. We’ve never really had a trumpet player, but he just started coming along. We have always been happy to have him there, but over the last month he’s really sort of solidified his place in the band. He’s hittin’ it with the drums and it’s working really well, and we’ve had people yelling out  ‘more trumpet!’ We have a pretty solid lineup now, and the players that stick around always seem to come up to me at some point and say that it’s the songs that you don’t play in the Last Drinks that count, and the trumpet player seems to understand that.”

After chatting about tours and venues, with Savage enthusing over various parts of Australia and the bars and venues therein, eventually the conversation turned to Melbourne venues, particularly the smaller ones that have become such staples in the diet of live music around town. I commented to Savage that one difference between, say, the Old Bar and the Spiegeltent would be the stage and sound, given the size of the band and amount of instruments used concurrently.

“Ha! Yeah, we have a big sound, and I like to think that we sort of cover much of the soundscape, which you don’t have to do, but I think we do it and do it quite well. We love playing in places like The Old Bar and The Tote, really fucking love it. But the reality is, their [stages] just [aren’t] big enough for us. So it’s going to be great having a large enough stage and a sound system where we can mic everything up. We played at The Corner on Christmas Eve and had so much fun. For me, I like to stagger around a bit on the stage and perform, but with so many guys up there – I play a lot of gigs with the drum right up the back of my leg, and every time the cymbal crashes I have to do a little dance out of the way. Actually, sometimes we play with two drummers. We had two drummers playing on Wolf (November, 2010) so when we launched [it]  we couldn’t decide if we’d play with one drummer or two, and we eventually thought fuck it, we’ll record with both.”

On the subject of Wolf, I asked whether this gig would be a showcase of the album or if it would include new material.

“We play so many gigs that you can’t just play Wolf all the time. You can’t just play the same 11 songs. I mean it is great; we go to new towns and we play to new people and they haven’t heard the songs before and there is something inspiring about that but when we’re playing Melbourne we try and keep it a bit fresher. We’ve got probably about eight songs written for the next album, so we’re not just going to sit on those songs. We’re putting about five or six new songs into the set.”

Those who have seen Savage perform and have heard Wolf will be able to imagine her performing at the Spiegeltent  easily, as it showcases a lot of local talent and encourages the dramatic within its intimate and elaborate interior. For those who have not, Savage has a full and husky voice that reverberates with a tone that bounces off the walls, carried along by the blues, country, and honky-tonk of the Last Drinks. The Last Drinks are experienced performers collected from several other Melbourne outfits who collectively conjure the whiskey-saturated riffs and rhythms that roll  Savage’s lyrical hollers around the room. The marriage of this performance to this venue is sure to be a memorable one.