Dustin Tebbutt @ Northcote Social Club (with The Tambourine Girls) – 15 May ’14

The supporting bill for the evening offered The Tambourine Girls. Don’t be fooled – there were no tambourines, and there were no girls. In fact there were no multiples at all, just a lone performer accompanied by a much loved guitar. Confusion bewildered and lingered but having made ourselves sufficiently comfortable around the cosy Northcote Social Club, we listened.

This again was justification for getting to a gig early enough to see a support act, knowing you’ve found a little gem within the first few seconds of The End of Time. The partial explanation followed, with Simon Relf’s introduction of, “I am the Tambourine Girls, or at least a part of them.”

Band or no band, this was worth listening to and with apt timing, the day before the EP release. Things were going well for the second ever gig with rich chords crafting a dreamlike state of storytelling and evoking characters in Blood and Bones and revealing jovial aspirations of having a guitar tech during some banter.

A Crosby, Stills and Nash cover of ‘Helplessly Hoping’ was thrown in for good measure, effortlessly showcasing some of the sounds that seem to have shaped the creation of The End of Time EP. Although unnecessarily worried about forgetting lyrics amongst an unfamiliar crowd, we also got to hear a new song written the previous week before the rolling and whimsical Ghost.

Against the Nordic inspired backdrop, complete with lanterns strewn across the stage, chatter became silence to the mellow, humbled sounds of The Wolvessparse, simple and enchanting, another night of sad songs from an otherwise upbeat Dustin Tebbutt.

Gentle vibes and lush vocals came up against the rhythmic driven Let Timber Hold, proving vocal range was no limitation. And on the rare occasion of a cover being included, Tebbutt recalled being floored the first time he heard Houses’ ‘The Beauty Surrounds’. His rendition was stunning.

Celebrating the release of EP number two, Bones and safe arrival of copies to Melbourne, the gentle lulls of sound were delivered to a crowd so polite and attentive that earned a likening to meerkats. Captivating presence and then and being reminded of the aura of these sounds live upon hearing Where I Find You, as enchanting as it was the first time.

The Breach was possibly the liveliest track, and served well to capture a lighter sound in the revel of the incredible journey that Tebbutt was clearly fortunate for. Thanking Relf for supporting and shedding light on a little guitar envy, the multitude of thanks to the crowd truly uncovered gratitude for the support shown.

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