Ian Weggler unplugged at the Irish Club

Edward ScownMidwest Times
Tucked into Kelly's Snug, Ian Weggler filled the former chapel with song and conversation
Camera IconTucked into Kelly's Snug, Ian Weggler filled the former chapel with song and conversation

You’re having pre-drinks before heading out on a Friday night, and a particularly talented mate grabs a guitar.

They’re playing along, too good for background noise, but not overbearing.

Surrounded by friends, you’re drinking and chatting away, occasionally throwing a request the way of the guitarist, and asking about the song they just played.

That’s the atmosphere that filled the Midwest Irish Club on Friday night as Ian Weggler hosted Songs and Stories in the Snug.

The former chapel embodied the very definition of a pub — public house. The collective living room of the village.

Somehow in this room full of strangers, I felt completely at home.

It wasn’t just the venue that made the night. Weggler’s performance was unlike anything I’ve seen before.

The first time I encountered Weggler, he was on stage at a packed Queens Park Theatre, opening for Birds of Tokyo.

Next he was thrashing about at Battle of the Bands with a screamo band.

On the surface, this looked like a regular acoustic gig, with the artist tucked up out of the way so as not to disrupt anyone — a massive departure from the energetic Ian I’d seen before.

The magic came between the songs.

Playing all originals, he would take a moment to chat about them — what he was thinking when he wrote them, how he found the right rhythm. Then he would welcome questions from the audience.

I love a good rock show, where the stars stand over you on stage, looking 12 foot tall and untouchable – but it’s not very personal.

How often do you get to hear your favourite song from an artist, then just shout out a question? Better yet, how often do they answer it?

“Who was that song about?”

“Why did you release that one first?”

It was no token gesture, either — Weggler’s answers were raw and honest. A lot of his songs deal with relationships, the good and the bad. New found love, harsh break-ups, he was open about it all.

Weggler teased that he’s been back in the studio in recent weeks. Currently he only has one song— Crave You — out on streaming services. Whatever comes from those sessions, Songs and Stories provided a great insight into the mind of one of the best songwriters in WA.

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