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I must say, that I have been very lucky, honoured and very fortunate to have covered so many Mark Lanegan performances in Melbourne in recent years. From his most recent full band Australian tour by Frontier Touring at The Forum Theatre in April this year, on the back of his most recent "Blues Funeral" release. Playing with his good friend Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs fame, with their musical collaboration called The Gutter Twins at The Athenaeum Theatre in July 2009. Like a modern day Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood with Isobel Campbell from Belle and Sebastian fame, playing at the National Theatre in St Kilda last year. Performing some spine tingling intimate solos sets at The Cherry Bar afterwards on that same tour. The most memorable Lanegan gig was playing at the Scrap Museum inside the Bakehouse Studios for an exclusive invite only 50th Birthday party for founder of Shock Records, Andrew McGee in July 2010. When I heard that Billy Walsh was relaunching Ding Dong and flying in his good friend Mark Lanegan to perform, it was a gig that I had to cover. With my fingers crossed, he would be performing some of his latest new material from "Blues Funeral", in a stripped back solo setting. That is exactly what happened!

Back in 1998, a young Billy Walsh (the former drummer of Melbourne rockers Cosmic Psychos) conceived a bar idea after one-too-many margaritas at CBGB's. Liam Gallagher demanded that they sell the bar to him. Billy's mum Janet Walsh was introduced into the mix as a secret weapon. Thom Yorke described her homemade sausage rolls as heavenly at a Radiohead end of world tour party.

The new refurbished DING DONG Lounge is finally relaunched with rock god, Mark Lanegan to play two intimate solo shows. The Ding Dong Lounge has been closed since June 29 last year, after it was damaged by a fire in an adjacent restaurant. Now there are two bars, a smoking room and a lot more seating.The venue has now been completely redesigned to be a multi-purpose venue that serves food from lunchtime until midnight, hosts live music and is a club.

Mark Lanegan has a distinctive baritone voice that has been described "as scratchy as a three-day beard yet as supple and pliable as moccasin leather" and compared to Tom Waits. He started his musical career in 1985, forming the grunge band Screaming Trees. Following the dissolution of The Screaming Trees in 2000, he became a member of Queens Of The Stone Age and is featured on three of the band's albums - Rated R (2000), Songs for the Deaf (2002) and Lullabies to Paralyze (2005). Lanegan also formed The Gutter Twins with Greg Dulli in 2003, released three collaboration albums with former Belle and Sebastian singer Isobel Campbell, and contributed to releases by Melissa Auf der Maur, Martina Topley Bird, Creature with the Atom Brain, Bomb the Bass, Soulsavers and Mad Season. He releases his first solo studio album, The Winding Sheet, in 1990. Since 1990, he has released a further six studio albums and has received critical recognition and moderate commercial success. Blues Funeral is the seventh studio album by American alternative rock musician Mark Lanegan, released on February 6, 2012 on 4AD. It received critical acclaim and was listed as Stereogum, Album Of The Week.

For more information about Mark Lanegan:
marklanegan.com

For more information about Ding Dong Lounge:
dingdonglounge.com.au

j vimeo.com/45323548

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