Gig Reviews

Josh Pyke, The Vanguard – 24/06/2011

Josh Pyke’s career is one I have followed closely since I was first given his 2005 EP Feeding The Wolves as a birthday present – Boy that makes me feel old!

After a series of release, Pyke solidified himself in the upper echelon of the Australian music society and dare I say it, quickly becoming the Golden boy of Australian music. So I lunged at the invitation to check his media launch at the Vanguard last Tuesday – Free booze and pizza didn’t hurt either!

Showcasing a selection of tracks from his up and coming album Only Sparrows, a very privileged and select few were in for a very personal experience. After a brief introduction from the head if Ivy League records, Pyke came out, guitar in hand and began to woo us all.

Pyke is living testament to the notion that just because you are bound to an acoustic guitar, does not necessary mean an acoustic guitar is your boundary, an area where many similar artists fall short, and with a full band behind him Josh took us on the journey that is Only Sparrows, clearly demonstrating his growth as an artist since his last release Chimneys afire – which had tracks featured on many a soundtrack for Aussie dramas, as well as several television ads. Though it dawned on me several songs through the set that despite the full band, and the slightly more mature subject matter, Pyke was still playing it very safe – at the risk of insulting Australian royalty…this was nothing new.

It was a short set but it ended strong bringing back some classics such as Makes You Happy and my all time favorite Middle Of The Hill (How did he know?!). Perhaps I’m being too harsh – Pyke is an excellent performer, clearly not intimated by the industry riddled crowd and not afraid to engage the audience directly “I’ve never let you down before have I” he joked with us! Something many acoustic singer songwriters forget to do but so very effective. Any why can you blame him for playing it safe? Once you are onto a good thing there is no reason to stop. Though as for Only Sparrows? Only time will tell if it makes its way to my itunes Most Played playlist.

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