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Live Review: Augie March, The Orbweavers

26 November 2018 | 1:24 pm | Craig English

"A song about waking up still drunk in Parliament Gardens and throwing up everywhere has never sounded so beautiful."

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Marita Dyson and Stuart Flanagan of The Orbweavers are the first act this reviewer has ever heard give a proper, detailed Welcome to Country anywhere in Australia. A sincere acknowledgement that we are standing on stolen land and a gentle encouragement by Dyson to reflect on what that truly means is a recurring theme throughout these soft acoustic melodies, which feature subtle harmonies from Flanagan. The inspiration for their songs is derived from the rich and raw material surroundings of the natural environment, and it’s a wonderfully unique and captivating introduction to the evening.

Opening with The Keepa is a most unusual move from Augie March. It’s one of those tracks that’s often drunkenly shouted at the band during a set in the earnest hope that they’ll play it at some rowdy boozer’s behest. But Edmondo Ammendola’s got issues with his bass not being “on” or some other crazy technical issue like that. A wee hiccup overcome and we’re back into it. The band’s in good form tonight and soon serve up Song In The Key Of Chance – another Augie rarity that’s been dusted off to great jubilation from the crowd.

And what a night for the fans it’s turning out to be. As Glenn Richards tells us, “This next song is about a fish”, a few Augie faithfuls realise this means Little Wonder and how lucky we all are to get it. It’s not one Richards is a great fan of playing live, but god only knows why. The crowd are only too happy to sing along and the band pull it off beautifully. After a few of the best cuts from this year’s Bootikins, we’re treated to even more rarely heard classics in Addle Brains and Heartbeat And Sails. The latter is one that many fans had long since given up hope of hearing live, and Richards tells us it’s one that, like The Keepa, will often be shouted out from somewhere in the dark midst of an audience.

The jewel in the crown of this beautiful set belongs to Bolte & Dunstan Talk Youth. A song about waking up still drunk in Parliament Gardens and throwing up everywhere has never sounded so beautiful. Soon after, Kiernan Box loops a warbled synth from behind the keys and Dave Williams begins that gentle tapping of the cymbals that can only mean The Hole In Your Roof. It pushes Richards’ vocals right to the edge as the crescendo splashes in but it’s all a part of what’s as tight an Augie set as we’ve heard for a while. They’re getting on in their tenure, but they’ve never sounded better.