Live Review: Butterfly Boucher, Caitlin Park, The Firetree

13 November 2012 | 9:39 am | Tyler Jones

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Byron duo The Firetree kick off The Joynt's late afternoon gig in breezy folk guitar and stomp-box style as punters start to fill up a space that is poorly arranged considering the number of punters that eventually cram into a few spare metres not taken up by seats. Sydney singer-songwriter Caitlin Park rolls solo, working loops into her folkish guitar-based compositions before landing on a Will Smith sample: “Yo baby, I know your feet must be tired 'cause you've been running through my mind all day”. Launching into a cover of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air theme with a doleful acoustic tone, Park almost turns it into a balland, and it's brilliant! However, with too many clumsy segues in a set that closes on a short new song Park tackles a capella, a lack of flow between songs makes this performance feel like a muddled, aural scrapbook despite some interesting experimentation.

As the opening bluesy tone of her trademark Fender telecaster introduces The Weather, Butterfly Boucher asserts herself as a captivating presence, one of those natural performers who appear to make their instrument bow to their every command. She strips back to the basic melodic and percussive elements of her current self-titled record, showing off an unwavering vocal of impressive range through the heartbreak of new single Not Fooling Around, while her band add notable colour – Bree van Reyk's fluid drumming style is beautiful to watch and perfectly complements Boucher's confident guitar work while Cameron Bruce alternately adds punchy embellishments and sweeping keys. 2003's Another White Dash sits seamlessly alongside the new material, the chugging, off-kilter timing that moves unexpectedly into a bright chorus evidence that the former Adelaide girl has long had an ear for clever pop-rock construction.

Touring as both Missy Higgins' bassist and support act recently has meant Boucher has had to leave their co-write Unashamed Desire out of her own set, so she is particularly thrilled to share it tonight. Her own version is edgy and full of vigour, and she smirks as the crowd unexpectedly helps out with backing vocals. Using her guitar to pick out the prominent bass line of 5,6,7,8!, Boucher weaves minor tones, huge melodies, crowd participation and even a dance break-down together into one super-fun mega-mix designed to get an entire room on side. She's effortlessly talented, she's got inimitable spunk and as one of Australia's most innovative songwriters, Butterfly Boucher deserves the attention of a far bigger audience.