The line to get into Zierholz was long last Saturday night, as people gathered to see one of Australia’s acoustic wonders, Josh Pyke. The bar was packed with an excited yet peaceful crowd. Everyone was there for one thing; to enjoy the soulful tunes played by everybody’s favourite guitar-slinging indie darling.
Firstly though, the room was warmed up by a harmonica-playing young man by the name of Jack Carty. Jack’s songs, accompanied by his soft guitar and harmonica were softly but beautifully sung. The mood in the room was very receptive, people were swaying along to Jack’s chilled out tunes and there was a fairly sizeable crowd around the stage.
As Jack’s set progressed the crowd grew livelier and as one rather enamoured punter yelled out her proclamations of love to him, he dedicated his next song to the lucky lass. Once Jack Carty’s set was over the expectant crowd waited eagerly for Josh Pyke to grace the stage.
When Josh finally appeared on stage he was met by a screaming crowd. He launched straight into his 2006 hit ‘Memories and Dust’. Everybody seemed to know the words and I eagerly joined in the mass sing-along, this was certainly going to be one special performance!
Josh played a variety of his older songs and new ones, but it was the older tunes that proved most popular with the enthusiastic crowd who sung loud and proud – regardless of whether they new the words. Some stand-out songs that received the biggest receptions were ‘Lines on Palms’ and ‘The Lighthouse Song’, in which everyone joyfully screamed out a certain ‘f’ word in the chorus.
For his final song Josh played the tune we had secretly all been waiting for – his 2005 hit; ‘Middle of the hill’. He invited members of the crowd to join him on stage for a dance while he sung the beautiful number, and his performance ended on a wave of euphoria – But that wasn’t enough for the demanding Canberra audience.
Caving into pressure from the crowd who were screaming out for ‘one more song’, Josh treated us all not to just one, but four more songs, completely un-prepared.
As his performance finally ended and the lights came on, Josh kindly invited people to stay behind and meet him if they so chose, truly showing just how friendly this indie folk singer is.
Overall it was another successful performance at Zierholz. This bar is quickly becoming one of Canberra’s best music venues.
Photography by Chris Whitfield