Josh Pyke at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne
Scheduled to play at the very late hour of 11pm, Australian singer-songwriter Josh Pyke kept the intimate crowd at Melbourne’s popular Corner Hotel waiting for a further ten long minutes before appearing. Far from being disgruntled, fans welcomed him warmly as he opened with an atmospheric early track, Goldmines, from his first EP Feeding the Wolves (2005) – acoustic finger plucking and folk-style harmonies for which he is now renowned.
Supported by a great band, he swiftly moved on to the more upbeat title track from his first studio album, Memories & Dust (2007), and proceeded to perform a well balanced mix of old favourites with brand new material from the recently released album The Beginning and the End of Everything (the title track of which is a proper earworm). Most popular of the old tracks were The Summer and The Lighthouse Song, both from 2009’s Chimney’s Afire, and both of which had the audience singing along, much to Josh’s obvious pleasure. The new material was well received, particularly White Lines Dancing, and one of the gig’s highlights was the forthcoming new single Warm in Winter. Despite a slight false start brushed aside with good humour, this banjo-laden and rhythmically interesting track allows Josh to show off as the fine storytelling troubadour and accomplished musician he is.
This was an exceptionally good-natured gig laced with romance in the air, and the mood was consistently upbeat even though Josh’s songs are often wistful. Josh himself is personable and charming, and engaged with the audience easily. He’s one of Australia’s most well-loved and acclaimed singer-songwriters – such was the demand for tickets that that the Corner Hotel added another date which also promptly sold out. Describing his songs as personal recollections, Josh thanked the crowd genuinely for the privilege of letting him share, and the appreciation was certainly mutual.
Photos: Hannah Cartmel
Watch the video for single Leeward Side here: