Hibernian House in Sydney used to be the Bobbysix.com headquarters. So we love heading back to the big old green building whenever possible. Last weekend, we spent two nights there. And what contrasting occasions they were. After a Saturday evening of Halloween carnage with parties running across multiple levels and with seemingly everyone we've ever met in attendance wearing full-on fancy dress, we really needed something chilled to sooth our Sunday. So, a night of acoustic loveliness was the ideal hangover cure.
In an intimate atmosphere created by candles and fairy lights, Boy and Bear's Tim Hart (above) got the ball rolling. His captivating set showcased a really strong, nuanced and rich voice which had impressive range while remaining natural-sounding. His short turn was very impressive.
Patrick James (below), was the reason we were in attendance (indeed, we told you to head along to see him play). His performance was delightful and unfussy. Amid sweet melodies, gentle guitar work and emotive lyrics, he often sang away from the microphone and allowed his voice to blow softly through an enraptured audience like a breeze through long grass. Oldie (and a favourite in the Bobbysix.com office) Bugs was a particular highlight. By the time his banjo player joined him to close the set, the crowd was singing and clapping along. Lovely stuff.
Faith Lee was the night's headliner. With a full backing band which included Tim Hart as well as her own sister, she played country-tinged folk. Having grown up in an eclectic family of six who travelled around Australia playing music in pubs and clubs, she clearly has a grounding in good, honest alt-folk, as she proved with well-crafted single Life Long Friend.
As nights go, this was as charming as you could hope for. With unpretentious artists, an appreciative audience and an atmosphere like a warm blanket, the gig was a haven for like-minded fans of folk music. As we made our way out of Hibernian House, stepping through the broken bottles and other remnants of the previous night's craziness, we did so with a happy heart. Hangover? What hangover?
Words and pictures by Bobby Townsend