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Jack Carty, Bec Sandridge, Mali Mali - Heritage Hotel

Oct 5th 2013 | Lorin Reid
First up in this softly-spoken, folksy showcase was New Zealander Ben Tolich, aka Mali Mali, who was equally at home on guitar and keyboard, which he balanced on his lap and mixed with ethereal loops. He treated the intimate crowd to a brand new song written on the tour and the delightful Your Glowing Skin.

Local singer-songwriter Bec Sandridge performed with enthralling delicacy. Sweeping across stage strumming a small guitar with a bird's nest of strings gathered at the headstock, Sandridge chirped perfectly indecipherable stories with catchy riffs, a pensive tone and a strength emanating from within that occasionally escaped through a passionate stamp of the foot.

Jack Carty, the barefoot, pony-tailed troubadour who often performs solo, was joined on stage by his touring band of bass guitar and drums, which gave his gentle, intimate tracks more of an edge and an upbeat momentum. With acoustic guitar, flawless falsetto and occasional harmonica, Carty revisited favourites like the emotional journey of Travelling Shoes and the rollicking She's Got A Boyfriend as well as the full gamut from his new EP. He grasped a few blissful solo moments, which befit the haunting rendition of Jeff Buckley's Lilac Wine and a long-winded but warranted joke about a frog in a bank.

As the penultimate gig on his The Predictable Crisis Tour, Carty brought the band back on for their last performance together and they rumbled through Tunnel Vision with some great harmonies from the bassist and an amazing mouth trumpet solo from Carty on brand new track Ok Goodbye. Set highlights would have to go to the rapid-fire lyric-based track Reasons To Be Afraid that featured some heavier drums and a great moment of piercing dynamic with Carty screaming along, and his encore rendition of the crowd-requested beauty A Master Of All Things. Jack Carty thrives on pure simplicity and honest storytelling. Each performance he delivers a different snapshot of his soul – this time he was a bit of a rock star.

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