It was a glorious night filled with musical storytelling as Sydney’s Josh Pyke took to The Gov last Thursday night for his Best Of national tour. Pyke has been an integral part of the Australian music scene since the release of his debut album, Memories & Dust over a decade ago. It was only a few weeks ago when Pyke announced his 10 Years Of Memories & Dust regional solo tour for later this year alongside the news that he’ll be going on hiatus from the end of the year. Therefore, his current run of dates would be the last time you would see Pyke play alongside a live band for some time, making the evening somewhat bittersweet.
Byron Bay singer-songwriter Kyle Lionheart beamed as he took to the stage, guitar in hand. Over the years, Lionheart has built a loyal fan base from busking the streets of his hometown to playing stages alongside some of the best at Splendour In The Grass to playing Adelaide’s very own Porch Sessions last year. His captivating live show was filled with emotive storytelling paired only with his delicate guitar work that tugged at the heartstrings.
Halfway through performing his single, Compromise, he burst out laughing and then apologised and said, “Sorry I was thinking about a time I was on holiday drinking Sailor Jerry and I was so drunk and I woke up in a stranger’s yard.” His performance was filled with these personal anecdotes, including the story of the first song he had every played to his first-born son. He joked that if anyone did not know the original song he was about to play, that they were dead to him as he launched into a stunning rendition of Hallelujah. There seemed to be mixed feelings in the crowd but the majority were blown away by his incredible vocal ability. If you would love to see this gorgeous man perform in person, he’ll be playing the Grace Emily Hotel on November 30th for his Eleven and Two Tour.
Finally, it was time for Pyke to come on stage with his live band. The evening was split into two sets, with the first comprising of the entirety of his debut album, Memories & Dust, whilst the second half consisted of some of his best works and crowd favourites. Similarly, the crowd was split into two sections with half the crowd huddled around the tables at the front with the rest of the crowd standing at the back of the room. Immediately after the first song, Pyke had had enough of the tables and asked if everyone could stand closer to the stage which led to the evening’s catchphrase, “Fuck tables.”
Pyke had the art of bantering with the crowd mastered as he joked with the rowdy audience throughout his set. The crowd was filled with dedicated fans who sung along to every word with Pyke complimenting their commitment to sing along during his huge 2005 single, Middle Of The Hill. It appeared to be a very emotional performance for Pyke as he continuously thanked the crowd for the opportunities that he had been given over the course of his career. This was especially evident as he introduced Vibrations In The Air, which was written over a decade ago when Pyke was close to giving up on his musical ambitions. After a quick break, Pyke and his band returned to stage to play a collection of crowd favourites from a variety of albums, including The Lighthouse Song and Leeward Side. It was a wonderful night filled with gorgeous music, singalongs and storytelling as we celebrated a decade of Josh Pyke!
Header Image via AK Photography