Newly 26, Jack Carty is like a barefoot bush poet storyteller, evoking images of landscapes and heartbreak with gentle clarity. He picked up the reins and the momentum, performing a simple folk set on acoustic guitar, stomp box and harmonica. Them There Hills told the captivating journey and fading moments of the modern swagman while the tongue-in-cheek swagger of She's Got A Boyfriend had the crowd stomping their feet. His raw honesty and colloquial lyrics were literally breathtaking but the defining moment of the night was the palpable silence when he stepped away from the mic, toes hugging the edge of the stage and whispered an unplugged version of Travelling Shoes.
After seeing him jump up with a homemade cake to announce Carty's birthday, it seems wrong to pit good friends against each other but Jordan Millar had a hard time recapturing attention after the intimacy of Carty. His best moments were with his baby blue electric guitar in hand, and he proved himself a true musician with soulful, face-scrunching solos. May was invited back for a mournful duet called Losing Hope but Millar's standout performance was the punchy blues number I Try To Be. The end of his set rode the tide of that upbeat momentum closing out with Carty in a duet cover of The Temper Trap's Sweet Disposition, showcasing the musical bond between both lads.
Carty explained it best when he said, “Jordan's a legend, I want to move to New Zealand and marry him!” The choice to tour together was on point and both boys brought a lighthearted, fun-loving vibe to a night of high-emotion ballads and baked goods.
This week's new sets include the return of UK's Foals plus local acts Last Dinosaurs, The Snowdroppers and The Paper Kites.