The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world





OUT NOW - 2014



For all the lack of major label support outside the pop and indie rock genres Australia always manages to come up trumps with its home-grown talent, and sometimes it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on. Claude Hay has won many accolades over the years but the truth of the matter is he is undoubtedly a world class talent with his own unique take on blues-infused rock, already with a great body of work behind him. On the evidence of ‘Live at the Clarendon’ he has become a force to be reckoned with and it’s time before we all to catch up.


If you are looking for an authentic and soulful live experience then ‘Live at the Clarendon’ is the way to go. The set captures beautifully the essence of the man’s work and without big screens and pyrotechnics there is a real feel for the soul of the artist here.


Hay manages to capture real emotion and beauty of his songs in this live set, stripping the songs back to their component parts through looping, he constructs real music before your eyes and ends with a layer of sweet guttural guitar and vocal on home-made instruments that add just the right textures.


If you are looking for real music, it’s here in spades as he meanders through his catalogue to deliver a night to remember. Listen to songs like the opener ‘I Love Hate You’ and the quirky ‘Get Me Some’ that both come early in the set and you’ll be amazed that such great songs are only the tip of the iceberg. It’s a set without a let up and with few adornments to take away from the simple pleasure of the performance. Both the irrepressible ‘Stone Face’ as well as the fully-fuelled ‘Blues Train’ (Named after a train in Melbourne that has Blues artists play while it travels the tracks) grab you by the scruff of the neck and make you realise what a joy this sort of music can be.


Later on we get to hear Claude’s imaginative takes on Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ and The Beatles ‘Come Together’ – songs that are such staples for any rock fan: you’ll be mesmerised by the reinterpretations.


Of course everyone will have their favourites and for us ‘Good Times’ freewheeling feel good drive is hard to beat, as is the rather more funky ‘Don’t Give Me That’. By the end of the show you’ll be wanting more and the logical next step is to go out there and listen to some real live music by a local act who is as inventive and ‘real’ as you get. Australia produces some great independent music and Claude Hay is up there with the very best.

As a bonus the disc adds three film clips, and a separate audio CD of the show adds further value. If you love your blues and your rock and roll and you only buy one DVD this year - this is one you’ll keep coming back to.


One of the best releases of the year.




by Mark Rockpit