The Tivoli was a buzz on Tuesday night as a crowd of excited fans snaked all the way round from the front doors of the Tivoli, all the way down to the end of the street. Anyone would have thought that a rock star was in town and…well…even though he may not be a rock star, Pete Murray is still worthy of selling out one of the finest venues Brisbane has to offer, and a fine job they do by keeping such a long line moving fast and smooth. Fresh from playing over in Europe, Murray is back to offer his superb catalogue of hits to the Queensland audiences.
Looking around inside the venue, it is packed with a crowd of very eager fans from all walks of life, young and old. The Tivoli itself is its usual beautiful setting with the stage set up with hardly any equipment at all, just a drum kit and a couple of amps take their place on the stage. The night is a sell-out and come 8pm the support act Andrew Redford takes the stage, introducing himself as no one there probably knows him. Stepping up to the microphone in the spotlight armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar, Andrew breaks into his first soft song She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not with only half the crowd’s attention as most people continue talking.
Though Redford does have a wonderful voice, it is not all that powerful and just manages to float over the top of the conversations filing the venue. Wrapping up his first song, Redford breaks straight into his second with a beautiful-sounding guitar, and even though there is a small blunder, he finishes the song and gains a bit more attention in the process. With his third song being a cover of Matt Corby’s latest hit Brother, Redford gains instant cheers as he hits the notes beautifully. Now whether or not it is Redford hitting something with his feet or it is simply electronic, a drumming sound accompanies Redford throughout the rest of the song, which draws lots of cheers and whistles by the end. Picking up a harmonica for his fourth song, Redford mixes the beautiful sounds of both this and his guitar perfectly, however, unfortunately for him most of the crowd just aren’t paying attention and he is merely serving as one of those guys who plays in the corner of a pub.
Putting the acoustic down and picking up an electric guitar for his fifth song, Redford does a quick tune and is ready to go as he bursts into a new song. Still keeping it slow and chilled, he keeps with the electric for a few more songs but still finds himself fighting with the crowd to get his voice across, listeners unable to even hear him talk between songs. Coming back to the acoustic for the title track off his new EP, he soon wraps up his half-hour set on a beautiful note. As the music and lights pick back up again, the Tivoli is now packed in wait for Mr Pete Murray.
As the lights dim just after 9pm, the crowd cheers and a couple of minute’s later Murray takes the stage with his three-piece band consisting of Terepai Richmond, Gavin Pearce and Brett Wood. Opening with the title track of his last effort Blue Sky Blue, Murray instantly commands the attention of the crowd before continuing straight into Bail Me Out. With pretty simple lighting and still a fairly empty stage aside from the band members, Murray provides a great start into his set. Even though the crowd is fairly mellow as you would imagine, that doesn’t stop a couple of ladies from throwing their underwear up to the stage. Breaking into his third song You Pick Me Up, the band give us some cool little guitar licks and the drummer looks very happy as he hits away on the drums, exclaiming that it’s nice to be back in Brisbane, which draws huge cheers as the guys get stuck into Silver Cloud. With an absolutely perfect mix on sound, all the instruments are coming through so clearly with Murray’s voice shining through over the top.
Before launching into their next song, Murray takes the time to collect the g-strings previously thrown on stage and hangs them from the guitarists and bass player’s guitar necks. This does distract the guys a little with the guitarist reading the tag on one whilst the bassist throws his pair at the drummer. Murray then takes the time to introduce the band and share with us that normally the guitarist has the underwear around his head, prompting the roadie to come out and adjust them. Murray then shares a story with the crowd of when the band were in Bundaberg and a mother and daughter swore at him and flipped him off, to which Murray dedicated the next song to, but not before some guitar issues plague him. With ‘God getting his revenge on him’ Murray is forced to change to an acoustic guitar. The stage is a mess with roadies trying to sort things out and Murray’s guitar tech frantically attempting to fix the issue. Trying to keep the crowd amused, Murray convinces the drummer to give the crowd a bit of a solo. Eventually swapping from acoustic to original to acoustic and back to the original guitar again, Murray exclaims that ‘this better be good huh’ as the band finally launch into Always A Winner.
After a much smoother transition into the next song, the band have no more issues as they move into the current radio-flogged song of Let You Go. During the next few songs, the other band members get a chance to flex their muscles as the guitarist gives the crowd an awesome sliding guitar solo and the drummer gives us another solo, leading the band into their next few songs. Asking for the crowd’s assistance for the eleventh song of the set as, “Brissie crowds are always the best”, the band launch into Opportunity, which gets the whole crowd singing, and definitely gives us the biggest crowd participation part of the night. This song sees everything from the guitarist singing a verse to Murray handing it over to the crowd to sing a couple of choruses on their own. Telling the crowd that his sister is present in the venue, Murray urges them to sing louder than her as she “was not blessed with vocals” — his words not mine. However, he then asks everyone to hush down in a hope that she might sing a chorus alone, but she quickly tells us that he wouldn’t let her do that.
Jumping straight into Better Days and Feeler, the guitarist gives us his best solo of the night as he goes on and on pulling faces of excruciating pain while his head twitches around like a man possessed. It also sees Murray make his way off the stage and through the crowd a bit before returning to play Free to deafening roars. Finally, the bluesy guitar lick of Class A brings the final song of the main set, before the loud cheering and screaming leads to the inevitable — an encore. Belting out Saving Grace and 10ft Tall alone, the band soon returns to help Murray round out their set with songs such as Please and So Beautiful. Thanking Yvonne for her underwear, Murray wraps up the night with a stellar performance from the entire band and proves to Brisbane why he has remained so popular and sold out yet another great show. Thanks Mr Murray.