With the postponement of his Fans First tour and the launch of a new single, the first in five years, what better way to commiserate and celebrate than do a live stream from a shed. That’s precisely what Aussie singer/songwriter Josh Pyke did on Friday 27 March 2020. Well, he tried to.
It was a shocking stream, unfortunately, despite the considerable effort Pyke took to get it set up. The picture and sound continued to glitch through the first song Bug Eyed Beauty. Nobody quite understood how much until Pyke started speaking about the bad connection, was cut off and we all fast-forwarded to Memories and Dust which he had almost finished singing. Frustrated, he made the call to log off and recommence the stream from his lounge room acoustically.
A short time later the live stream began again, and things picked up, sans mirror ball, with Middle of the Hill… but a knock at the door stopped that in its tracks. It was Pyke’s beer delivery. So, with a carton next to him on the couch he got through Middle of the Hill before declaring the whole thing a “debacle”. And look, it was to some extent, but that is what made it so special.
One fantastic thing to come from this pandemic is the live streams so many musicians are doing. They are allowing their fans a glimpse into their non-polished selves, a glimpse into their homes and their beer deliveries without the fancy lights or costumes you might see at a gig. As Ben Lee said, “we’re all in this together” and these streams prove that. This notion, for me at least, makes things not completely horrible.
Pyke went on to sing Buttons from Memories and Dust (2007) and The Summer from Chimney’s Afire (2008). For those of you that know me or read my reviews, you know I’m a Sookie-la-la, and I cry at virtually every gig I go to. The Summer was the song that did it to me this time. So, as I wiped away my tears the first live performance of I Don’t Know, Pyke’s newest release, enveloped my surrounds. A song about Pyke’s experiences with anxiety is particularly poignant at this point, making it all the more exceptional.
I might not have been front row at The Lion Arts Factory last Friday enjoying Josh Pyke and his music in person, but I was living for it from my lounge room on Friday night.
Live Review By Anita Kertes