Husky, Oxford Arts Factory – 03/05/2012

Written by Jade O'Brien on May 7, 2012

Last night, Saturday the 5th of May, Husky graced us with their presence at the Oxford Art Factory after a busy week travelling back and forth from Sydney to Perth, with supporting acts Bec Sandridge and three-piece band, The Trouble with Templeton. Playing to a crowd of hipsters, a collection of older music enthusiasts and a sea of plaid, sweater vests, leather jackets and quirky floral prints, Husky was nothing less than brilliant.

I walked into the basement to see the last of The Trouble with Templeton’s performance and was instantly taken aback. Playing Bleeders, their flawless harmonies captured the ears of the audience, and the eyes of the bar staff – to their thirsty customers’ displeasure. The Trouble with Templeton set the mood, and the audience awaited Husky’s arrival.

The crowd was amped, the room completely packed and the balcony full. The audience, impatient, cheered prematurely as the curtains opened to an empty stage and a sultry red backdrop. When Husky finally arrived, the crowd was ecstatic. They began with How Do You Feel – the band appeared to be in a dream-like trance, which was no different to their audience. Around me, people swayed to the melody with their eyes closed, humming in tune. Husky used the modestly sized venue to their advantage, the intimate setting perfectly complimenting the frontman’s easygoing nature as he conversed with his audience, thanking the crowd profusely and sharing amusing anecdotes.

Throughout the night, the crowd was completely silent – besides a pair of unusually obnoxious Canadians standing behind me and someone in front who thought it was socially acceptable to let one rip in a crowded mosh. Husky played nine songs from their Forever So album – including Fake Moustache and Dark Sea – and introduced a new song, which was as compelling and impassioned as their others, although they never mentioned what it was called. Toward the end of the night, they covered Need You Tonight by INXS as they did in their triple j Like a Version video, the audience hypnotised by Gideon Priess’ keyboard solo.

As well as an INXS cover, Husky brought out The Trouble with Templeton to end the night with a unique rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Lover Lover Lover, engaging the audience as he invited us to sing with them. Husky left the stage after this song, only to be welcomed out again by a chanting crowd. For their final two numbers, Husky played Hunter and the most-anticipated song of the evening, History’s Door. By the end, everyone left the venue more than satisfied with Husky’s breathtaking performance.

My personal favourite from their set was their performance of Woods, it’s unearthly harmonies and haunting piano melodies adding to the supernatural vibe of the evening. It was a full moon last night and watching a band named after a breed of dog, with eerily wolf-like facial hair and howling fans, made the night a totally other-worldly experience.

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