Mojos Bar Fremantle
Monday, January 20, 2014
Blues and roots darlings The Audreys made there way to the fairer (read: hotter) side of the country this weekend. Sending their backing band back east after a whirlwind performance at the Currambine’s Music In The Park on Saturday, husband and wife duo Taasha Coates and Tristan Goodall stripped back for an acoustic session of bluesy vocals and guitar.
The duo deliberately mixed the set between new and old, with many tracks from their last three albums making an appearance. The tenderness was matched with grit in equal measures, as the couple joked and bantered through the evening.
Highlights of the set included the earthy Banjo And Violin – ‘one of the first good songs we ever wrote’ – that also featured one of the few melodica solos going round in contemporary music today. Coupled with this song was the bitter minor blues Oh Honey, one of the bands first big hits, described by Coates as being ‘a feel good song about unrequited love, written for a guy so he would think I was cool and like me…’
Also a highlight was the gorgeous and bittersweet country tune Lonesome Valley, wrapping up the evening in a disarmingly tender and lamenting ballad. This track told one of country music’s classic stories, and had even most obnoxious hecklers reaching for a cuddle by the end. This song was paired with a stripped back version of INXS’ Don’t Change, one of the band’s signature covers.
These crowd-pleasing older tracks were interchanged with songs from their forthcoming album. These songs – including the reinvented track Comfort Me and a beautiful minor folk tune I’ll Bring The Stars Out – slotted in effortlessly to The Audreys’ set list. The duo treated these songs almost as a trial run, without the support of a band, but with the support of a very appreciative audience.
Supporting The Audreys was West Australian singer/songwriter Nathan Gaunt, whose impressive vocal prowess never fails to mesmerize his audience. Gaunt’s laidback songwriting channelled some interesting jazz-like harmony and unusual chord progressions, from the upbeat Blue Skies For Miles, to the more laidback opening jazz ballad No One Comes Close.
The only real criticism that could be levelled at Gaunt is that his guitar was horrendously out of tune the entire evening. For a musician of his calibre this is an odd thing to have to point out – it made some of his otherwise excellent performances almost unlistenable.
The Audreys release their latest album on March 14. From all descriptions it is likely to be a little heavier than their previous earthy folk, geared towards a full band sound. If Sunday nights unplugged versions of these songs is anything to go by however, these songs will be deeply rooted in The Audreys’ signature blues/roots sound, with just a little bit of country thrown in for good measure.