Melbourne Tour 2008

RENOWNED for their rowdy folk-rock, Perth’s Shanks Pony canter into Melbourne from April 17 to 19 for its first interstate tour.

Distinctively Australian with Celtic roots, the four-piece has been described as “an Australian version of The Pogues” and recently headlined WA’s 2008 Nannup Music Festival.

Shanks Pony’s sojourn to the east follows 18 months of solid gigging across WA and the 2007 release of their debut eight-track album, A Year In A Pub.

Piano accordion and melodica player Todd Lynch said they had come a long way in a short time, only settling on a firm line-up in late 2006, which also includes Peter Varcoe on lead vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica, ukulele and mandolin, Ross McKay on drums and washboard and Haydn Pickersgill on bass.

“Our local audience in Perth, along with several interstate visitors, suggested our style and stage presence would sit well with audiences in Melbourne,” he said.

“Basically, we decided to head east, armed with nothing more than that suggestion, because Pete’s originally from Melbourne and his family live there.”

Lynch cites Weddings Parties Anything, Flogging Molly and The Bushwackers as influences for the quartet, helping them to deliver up-tempo versions of Aussie bush tunes while breathing new life into Celtic traditionals.

“I like to think Shanks Pony re-awakens these seemingly forgotten songs while delivering a healthy dose of original material, done in a similar style,” he said.

Shanks Pony play St Kilda’s Greyhound Hotel on April 17, Brunswick’s Edinburgh Castle on April 18 and Flemington’s The Quiet Man on April 19.

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