As I walked into The Cambridge, singer songwriter Kyle Lionhart was on stage telling the crowd about digging a hole in his backyard for his five-year-old kid to shit in, after not being able to hold on while his sibling was in the bathroom. He had the crowd in tears from laughter, then had everyone on their feet with his soul filled songs. Hailing from Byron Bay, Lionhart stood on stage with his acoustic guitar, blonde surfy hair, and a hat, from afar looking identical to Ziggy Alberts. When I stopped picking at similarities, stood back and started enjoying his set, I realised I should’ve started by doing this.
Josh Pyke graced the stage with his band, having only seen him perform solo, I was already excited by seeing the extra people on stage. 2017 marks ten years since the release of his album Memories & Dust, and to celebrate, Josh Pyke spent the first hour on stage playing the album from start to finish. The room was filled, not completely but still an impressive crowd, with dedicated fans. It was the politest crowd I have been in in a long time, people apologising if they even slightly brushed past someone else.
The night was filled with singalongs, Pyke complimenting the crowd’s renditions of his songs, encouraging us to sing along “sing whatever words you think they are, sometimes they’re different to what I think they are”, he added laughing.
The crowd was filled with couples, older fans, and like myself and my friend, twenty-somethings. Despite the scattered scale of demographics, every voice was united in singing along to favourites like “Middle of the Hill” and the title track “Memories & Dust”.
After finishing the album, Josh told the crowd they’d be back on stage shortly for a “really long encore”, playing a set of random tracks filled with crowd favourites. Giving the crowd time to “get another bevvy”, Pyke and the band took some time to rest before returning to the stage. Grabbing his harmonica, he played “Leeward Side” towards the end of his set, which was the track that had majority of the crowd dancing around.
Throughout the night, Pyke regularly stopped to thank his fans for allowing him to be standing on the stage, having toured, and played music for the last twelve or so years. He mentioned he’d be taking a break from touring his solo work for a little while, perhaps spending time on other music projects.
It was refreshing to be in the presence of a crowd who are there to enjoy the music, and not be dickheads. Josh Pyke continually praised the crowd for this, and for their loyal support. After two hours of playing, including their “long encore”, Pyke and the band bowed to the satisfied, cheering crowd.