"Welcome home, Husky. We’re very glad you’re back."
Space folk duo Coda Chroma soothe the sweaty Northcote Social Club punters lazing about the bandroom floor, shattered by the night’s hellfire heat. The lovely stripped-back guitar duo performance suits the languid vibe perfectly.
A bastard security guard makes everyone stand up next to watch Gena Rose Bruce execute sultry blues-rock. With her voice sweet yet piercing, Bruce takes Call Girl from a slow-burning start to a fully ignited shred from lead guitarist Cordelia Crosbie. Watching Bruce and Crosbie (two women!) lead a gleeful onstage rock-out is a rare and welcome sight. Bruce finishes off this smolderfest with Good Thing and Mad Love, her body swaying super slow, while Crosbie watches her finish the track with the sweetest of proud smiles.
Recently returned from a European sojourn, Husky begin their sold out 'Welcome Home’ show with the heart-shattering yet geographically on point Ruckers Hill, before swinging back into sunnier territory with Heartbeat and Arrow. A diehard Husky fan gets far too close and distracting early on, namely a fly buzzing around lead singer Husky Gawenda’s shaggy head, but they press on with ever-beautiful Tidal Wave despite the audacious stage invasion. An alluring rock instrumental leads into the intriguingly provocative Fake Moustache, before the fly’s persistently suicidal intent to land in Gawenda’s mouth provokes him to make rare onstage threats of violence. “Enough is enough,” says Gawenda. “Should I kill it?” After a mixed crowd response, Gawenda opts for the capture-and-release approach, heroically sparing the fly from a cruel execution. With exquisite timing, Husky then performs the enchanting Wild And Free, perhaps in unconscious tribute to the fly.
Total crowd fave Saint Joan is up next, before Gawenda and keys master Gideon Preiss perform alone in duo mode as now accustomed. Publicly thrashing out some issues about the state of their bromance first, all is forgiven in the thoughtful beauty of Forever So, Deep Sky Diver and the dreamy majesty of Hunter. All are further lost in the moment when Preiss lets himself loose on the keys for a spectacular solo intro to The Woods, ducking and weaving over the keyboard like a maestro. In closing, Gawenda shares his most favourite love song, Bob Dylan’s tender call to his true love in Tomorrow Is A Long Time, before the crowd goes sick to last track I’m Not Coming Back. Welcome home, Husky. We’re very glad you’re back.
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