The ferry ride over to Taronga from Circular Quay is the perfect way to shake off the working week and herald in the weekend. In fact, the whole set up of the Twilight at Taronga series is pretty damn great; especially when the threat of another #SydneyStorm passes and you’re treated to an epic grey and gold sunset over the harbour.
Before support act Winterbourne jump on stage, every square inch of lawn has been snapped up. Overall, the picnic game is strong. Sure, $21 is steep for a burger and chips, and yes, the drinks are pricey, but it’s Friday night guys – treat yo self.
The Central Coast boys deliver a delightful opening set with a mix of old and new tracks (some so fresh they haven’t even been named yet). Their busking background becomes obvious through their good-natured banter. And while they’d like to have everyone up and dancing, the majority of the crowd are blanket dwellers, if not ensconced in a comfortable low chair.
It’s a classic sticky Sydney evening. You can attempt to cool down via frequent trips to the Aperol Spritz stand, but you’d be fighting a lost battle. While what little breeze there is carries the faint whiff of animal manure along with it.
Just a few songs in and even Josh Pyke admits, “this humidity is really fucking with my quiff. It’s just not giving me the height that I require.” We feel you man; the struggle is real.
With five albums to choose from, he kicks things off with The Book Of Revelations followed by Songlines, off his latest offering But For All These Shrinking Hearts.
It’s clear the crowd have followed his career from the early days singing along to every word of Memories and Dust and crowd favourite Sew My Name. You get the sense, that after touring regularly over the past ten years, for most people here seeing Josh Pyke live again feels a bit like just catching up with an old friend.
Goldmines, There’s A Line and Forever song get a run before he also tries to entice people off the picnic blankets and up for a dance – and is fairly successful. The Beginning And The End Of Everything and Don’t Want To Let You Down have those standing up the front swaying along.
After smashing out a few more oldies including The Summer, the perfect song for tonight’s setting, and giving Some Big Deal it’s first live run, the set officially ends with Middle Of The Hill.
The tight noise curfew means there’s no time to go off and on again for an encore, instead it’s a race against the clock to wrap up the night with Doing What Your Told and Warm In Winter. While it feels a little rushed (the path exit lights even come on during the last song), what can you do?
After all, as Josh says, “the pandas have gotta sleep.”
Gallery: Josh Pyke @ Twilight At Taronga, Sydney 2016 / Photos By Olivia Hadisaputra