Celebrating 10 years of the National Junk Band, by popular demand, a DVD of the most visually exciting band in Australia is now available. At last you can experience all the onstage antics of this fabulous band from the safety of your own lounge chair. CDs also available separately.
REVIEW – by Chris Spencer
If you’re my age (middle fifties) you’ll be well versed in the work of Mic Conway, particularly with his involvement in Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band and subsequent solo career, performing at many folk festivals around the country.
The National Junk Band continues his presentation of vaudeville and jug band music, fun and frivolity.
I must confess that I saw Captain Matchbox so often that I could predict all the jokes and sight gags.
And I must say that some of these still survive today!
Seeing the band for the first time today, I can imagine people being transfixed with a permanent smile on their faces.
Every performance presents such an array of action on stage, there’s no opportunity to get bored or divert your attention from the stage.
This DVD compiles live performances at the Basement in Sydney, the Woodford folk festival, the Spiegel tent and video clips (Classical Junk).
Songs you will recognise include “Deckchairs on the Titanic”, “Cliché Blues”, “Good Save the Queen”, “When did you Leave Heaven”, “Good News Week” and “Kitchen Sink Love” on which Mic does a gurgle solo (Does this man’s inventiveness ever cease?”).
In between the clips are interviews with the main members of the band, talking about their early musical influences, secret passions and other irreverent details about their personal life.
Another added feature is a short documentary featuring Captain Matchbox, The Perch Creek Family Jug Band and the National Junk Band, that provides an overview of the history of Conway’s involvement with entertaining throughout his career and his influence on younger people who have continued his fascination with vaudeville and jug music.
Special guests that appear on the clips include Jim Conway, Azo Bell and Ukulele Lola.
The filming is quite good, with quite a few close-ups and not just a static camera at the back of the theatre.
All folkies that have enjoyed a performance of Mic Conway need to purchase this DVD.