So I'm in this pub
with some friends from work, half-listening and half-grimacing through the set of "Big Deal", who are awful in that utterly prosiac way that only generic hard rock pub bands can be. All the usual mainstays of the never-say-die Australian football-pies-and-beer culture are present: "Jessie's Girl", "Brown Eyed Girl", and of course the nadir of every such evening, a turgid rendition of Cold Chisel's "Khe Sanh" (which just pips "Eye Of The Tiger" due to its needless length and insane popularity; it truly is Australia's "Stairway To Heaven").
I'm beginning to think I have this band pegged down in their awful little rut, when suddenly the drummer starts a metronomic 4/4 kickdrum pulse, and the keyboardist starts making weird sounds. Everyone looks a little confused. It takes a while to realise that the song they're now covering is, in fact, Chicane's "Don't Give Up", which is notable for both creating filtered disco-trance, and for proving somewhat unnecessarily that you can take Bryan Adams out of rock, but you can't take the rawk out Bryan Adams.
While not fantastic, the band went through the motions with a certain amount of dignity. Actually I was impressed - dance versions of rock songs are so common now as to be meaningless, but how many times do we hear rock versions of dance songs? The fact that it worked is alone worthy of some merit, while I thought in many ways the otherwise bombastic drummer's interpolations around the four-four beat were pretty damn fine, like something Hybrid would come up with if they were handed the source material to work on.
So I'm wondering, is this a trend that deserves to take off? And if so, which songs do we want to hear reshaped by a sweaty pub band? I'm thinking "Rewind", "Meet Her At The Love Parade" and "U Don't Know Me". Any other suggestions?