Aussie folk duo Busby Marou hit up Fat Controller on Thursday night, on the Adelaide leg of their nation-wide tour. After crossing paths in Rockhampton, Queensland, Thomas Busby and Jeremy Marou began writing and performing music together, releasing their first self-titled album back in 2011. The boys are known for their intricate guitar work, heartfelt melodies and intertwining deeply personal stories into the music, all of which comes through in new album Postcards from the Shell House. Usually performing with a full band, this tour sees Busby Marou stripping it back to the duo format, which provided Adelaidians with an intimate and laid-back gig. The guys were accompanied by Melbourne based soulful-blues legends, The Teskey Brothers.
As soon as The Teskey Brothers took to the stage, it became clear that these guys are seriously passionate about what they do. Kicking off their set with songs from new album Half Mile Harvest, the band gave it their all, playing with a soulful fervency that was completely contagious. Boasting a smooth bluesy sound (complete with a harmonica), the lads seemed completely wrapped to be on tour with Busby Marou. Drinking wine in between songs, as the set wore on there was no doubt that The Teskey Brothers had the crowd amped up. Ending their performance with funky track Honeymoon, the band left punters ready for the rest of the night.
The now-full crowd waited expectantly for Busby Marou to take the stage, who, to their credit, didn’t seem to want to drum up the theatrics of the night; we weren’t made to wait for long before the talented duo humbly appeared on stage and launched into their set. Their voices blending and harmonising more perfectly than I could have imagined, the raw talent of these two men quickly became apparent. With Tom Busby leading the vocals (and the banter), Jeremy Marou quickly demonstrated his wizardry on both guitar and ukulele, creating elaborately layered sounds that I couldn’t believe came from just four strings. While the set did include songs from previous albums, (and an enthusiastic cover of Don Henley’s 80’s banger The Boys of Summer), the highlights were of course tracks from Postcards from the Shell House.
Explaining that many of the songs were written on a boat on Great Keppel Island, the duo launched into track Got Your Back, a song seemingly about the pair’s own friendship. Busby shared the inspiration for many songs before performing them, describing the story of Paul Kelly’s that became the inspiration for track Drink The World Dry, a contemplative tune that reflects on the transience of life and growing older. Busby then acknowledged Marou’s Torres Strait Islander background, explaining that the song Paint This Land is about the Close The Gap campaign for Indigenous health equality. As the duo belted out the chorus of Arms above, together we are one, with our hearts in our hands, you and I will paint this land, it was obvious to all that this issue was close to both men’s hearts. Thanking us all for coming out on a Thursday night, Busby Marou were all smiles as they exited the stage, having delivered a show that was nothing short of spectacular.
Header image via Busby Marou Facebook page.