Live Review: Henry Wagons
Zevon – Accidentally Like A Martyr
The Gov Wednesday 28 April 2021
Words – Geoff Jenke
To be honest, here in Australia, Warren Zevon is a “one hit wonder” with the song Werewolves of London. Most people wouldn’t realise the songs Poor Poor Pitiful Me and Carmelita, made famous by Linda Ronstadt were written by Warren. I fell into that category at the time of the Werewolves release in 1978 but over the years got to realise his brilliance in song writing.
To be honest, while Warren Zevon was a genius songwriter, as a person he embraced the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll lifestyle to the max, dying in 2003 at the age of 56.
Full credit to Henry Wagons and Musical Director for taking the risk of developing a show around the songs of Warren Zevon.
Coming on stage wearing handcuffs, the band and Henry launched into Lawyers, Guns and Money, one of Warren Zevon’s more famous tunes. “Are there any Warren Zevon fans in the audience?” he asked after, then asking “Is there anyone in the audience that doesn’t know Warren Zevon?” A few hands went up and Henry told them they “were going to have fun tonight.”
Zevon – Accidentally Like A Martyr is played out over two sets. The songs are not chronological and the stories told may have a bit of embellishment added to them but it was all about the music. And the band, Lachlan Bryan (Piano/guitar), Holly Thomas (drums), Damien Cafarella (Bass) and Michael Hubbard (guitar) provided the perfect backing to Henry Wagons vocals. Henry did dabble a bit on guitar and keyboards as well.
Excitable Boy came next, Henry clearly excitable, roaming the stage and indeed, also the audience, posing, jumping and having as good a time as we, the audience were. There was a tease of Werewolves by the band, but Henry soon stopped that, commenting people will leave after that song and miss the rest of the show. Besides “let’s not lose out heads this early for there is only one man who should be headless tonight” Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner bought a loud round of applause from the floor.
Act two bought Henry out in a bathrobe, claiming he hadn’t had time to get ready, before the band started Johnny Strikes Up the Band, Henry singing in the bathrobe. “I’m going to have a shower” Henry told us after the song before leaving the stage. However, we were in great hands with Holly singing Poor Poor Pitiful Me and Lachlan beautifully singing Carmelita.
Henry returned, splendid in a gold jacket for A Certain Girl, trawling the audience for people to “volunteer” for the quiz. The quiz added fun to the show and wasn’t to be taken seriously, although the three contestants were out to win. Trevor did win it and part of his prize was Henry serenading him with Accidently Like A Martyr.
Werewolves of London closed the show with a hearty audience sing-a-long doing the “Ah hoos”.
Encore consisted of a delightful version of Mutineer, with each member of the band singing a verse before Henry returning to close the show with Dirty Life and Times, which sort of sums up Warren Zevon’s life.
You didn’t have to know a lot about Zevon to enjoy this show and yes as said, it was all about the songs. The “hits” were there, as well as lesser known tracks to keep everyone happy. Henry is the perfect host for the evening. He has the voice, character, stage presence and musicianship to carry it off. Musical director Lachlan Bryan also deserves a lot of credit putting this show together with Henry.
Henry and Lachlan were at the merch desk after the show, happily talking to anyone, having photos taken and signing merch if requested.
In an ideal world, which, let’s be honest it isn’t at the moment, Henry Wagons and Lachlan Bryan would be taking Zevon – Accidently Like A Martyr to the world.
One hope’s that can happen soon, the world needs it.