It’s been just short of a year since Josh Pyke last played The Corner on his Only Sparrows album tour. But on the back of his latest album, The Beginning and the End of Everything, it was time to hear what this new album would deliver for a fan filled, sold out crowd.
Olympia was the first act of the night, with haunting, captivating vocals across an encapsulating sound that draws you in and captivates your attention. Layered vocal effects were incorporated into many of the tracks with vocal loops created on stage to accompany the otherwise solo guitar performances, while songs on keys were testament to Olympia’s powerful, soaring vocals as featured on her EP. This was potentially a more mellow start to the evening than some were expecting, but definitely worth a listen.
It seems that there were a few Patrick James fans in the crowd amongst those young ones, and rightly so! I’d briefly heard some of Patrick’s music online but the live set completely blew me away. Beautiful lyrics and harmonies filled the set with Patrick James and his band demonstrating their multi-instrumental skills in front of what was described as the biggest Melbourne crowd they’d had to date. In addition to ‘Bugs’ which was met with squeals of delight from a few adoring fans and tracks from the All About to Change EP (Brighter Lights is a personal favourite), we were treated to ‘So Grand’, a new track added to the tour as well as a cover of James Taylor’s Carolina In My Mind.
Before too long, the curtains were drawn open again and under the haze of blue light Josh Pyke and his band opened with the melodic Goldmines, showcasing the storytelling, poetic lyrics that are synonymous across all the albums.
The more familiar Memories & Dust and Forever Song followed, before the title track from the new album, The Beginning and the End of Everything. There is something about the new album that sounds just a little different to its predecessors, but in a live set everything fits together surprisingly well. The Summer brought with it the first big crowd singalong for the night, before being told about Sew My Name being used in weddings, accompanied by a casual invitation for any proposals for the evening. The set continued with a surprisingly balanced set across old and new material, being charmed by The Lighthouse Song and Warm in Winter before ending on the more upbeat The World is A Picture and Leeward Side.
Drama was created, and the encore followed. Of course, the night wouldn’t have been complete without Middle of the Hill, but the encore didn’t stop there with Josh performing Bug Eyed Beauty solo, with the gorgeous sounds of a 12 string guitar and vocals filling the venue before sending us all back into the cold.
Throughout the night, Josh was forever gracious for the support of the new album, the ability to recall moments of his life through songs and ultimately, dodging the bullets of having to get a real job and keep making music. Based on the sheer brilliance of the albums that have been released over the years as well as the calibre of live shows, I don’t think there will be anything to worry about anytime soon.
- On album number four, Josh Pyke tackles everything (blogs.abc.net.au)
- The most beautiful lyrics I’ve ever read (watchkimwritethings.wordpress.com)
- Review: Josh Pyke – The Beginning and The End Of Everything (themarshalltown.com)
- Olympia Rising (themarshalltown.com)