Husky Live Review

by

Husky, Montpelier, The Trouble with Templeton

The Beetle Bar: 12.06.11

By Rachel Tinney

 

It’s not often I head out on a Sunday expecting a big night of music, friends and drinking but with Monday being the Queen’s birthday, I think ”what the hell”.  It’s the first night I’ve set foot in the Beetle Bar and am pleasantly surprised. The drinks are cheap, the people are happy and the room is warm and inviting, making it very welcoming after a long day at work. It’s a place where you can watch a band from the side (or even from behind if you head upstairs to the balcony), which brings back fond memories of The Troubadour. In fact, this place could very well be its replacement.

First up is local act The Trouble with Templeton, who is in fact just one man, Thomas Calder. Playing a bunch of acoustic songs backed by a red headed girl called Lizzie with an amazingly ethereal voice, Calder warms up the already inviting room with his honest approach to songwriting. Singles I Wrote a Novel, which incidentally isn’t about writing a novel at all, and Bleeders are both highlights of the set, sparking nuances of happy recognition among the smiling crowd. He’s a delight on his own, but I can’t help but wonder what the backing of a full band would do to his live set.

Next up are fellow local lads Montpelier and these boys never fail to leave a smile on my face and a warmth in my heart. It’s cheesy I know, but they are always so filled with energy, happiness and humbleness that it’s hard not to join them when they share a not-so-secret smile after a particularly good bit. One of the definite highlights of tonight is Harder Times – it’s a bit different from their usual style but it’s one where vocalist Greg Chiapello really lets loose. And the provision of backup vocals from the talented Hannah Shepherd (of Charlie Mayfair) really takes the song to the next level. Following this, keys man Andrew Stone busts out an accordion for a new Irish ditty that also shows them branching out and gives a glimpse of what their next record may contain. It’s a shame we’re going to have to wait three months to hear from them again.

Finally Husky, the Melbourne band most are here to see, take to the stage warmed by the two great bands before them. Fronted by Husky Gawenda, these guys have much hype surrounding them, and it’s easy to see why. The band’s dynamics are spot on and everyone is a singer, providing some bang on harmonies. Slipping in a cover of Sandman by America (“Yeah America! Woo!” can be heard from one gentleman in the crowd) is possibly not the best idea as it shows there are still some weaknesses in their set. History’s Door, however, is brilliantly done, with not a weakness in sight. Closing out the night, the boys unplug, step into the crowd (and in Gawenda’s case onto a milk crate) to serenade the swooning girls with What Goes On by The Beatles. It’s a testament to the holding power they have over the audience as even though they are unplugged and the acoustics of the room aren’t brilliant, their sweet harmonies still rise above the gentle hum of a hundred girls and boys slowly falling in love with them.

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