"An extremely powerful and moving evening of music."
For albums that have been released in the last couple of years and shows that have been postponed in continuum, the catharsis of live performing is enormous for the crowd, but exponentially bigger for the performer. Nearly two years since its release, #1 Dads would finally perform his 2020 album, Golden Repair, to a hungry, emotional and glorious crowd at a venue soon to be shut.
Georgia Potter from Moreton started the night and she freely admitted it's been 18 months since her last gig. "You can practice all you like, but as soon as you're in front of me, it's different...", she revealed to the doting crowd.
It's beautifully structured songs, that Byron Bay’s Moreton are known for, and despite the fact she was solo and the crowd were a little excitable (see: talkative) she performed wonderfully. Her pristine vocal arced over the crowd with her relaxed guitar strumming, the only backing.
Most of the set contained songs that are yet to be released, but we were treated to the reveal that an EP is on the way, produced by none other than the headliner. Tom Iansek joined Potter for her last track and evidenced that a new single, to be released in a month’s time, is something to eagerly anticipate.
Tom Iansek, as his solo moniker #1 Dads, released Golden Repair in March 2020, just as the very first Covid-19 lockdowns began. The timing meant that it’s taken almost two years to commence a tour for an album that many would be excused to have forgotten. But if you’ve heard the album, it’s not one you’d easily forget. Iansek’s musical talents, also heard via his other projects, Big Scary and No Mono, are savant-like. His ability to structure beautiful songs that stir emotions, encourage you to think, feel and dance are like no other. There’s a texture to this music that swirls and glides over you and his performance proved that this becomes even more visceral in a live setting.
The set started with the first track from his 2014 About Face record, My Rush, before flowing into Another Day from the latest album. The upbeat melodic verse, a signature of his songwriting, prefaced a transition from guitar to keyboard, which Iansek played completely solo for the track, Fold. His ability to hold the crowd in the palm of his hand was on show, but the awe went both ways. “I don’t know what to say”, declared Iansek as he looked over the crowd from the low stage.
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When Iansek started Freedom Fighter, the room held their breath in and their tears back. The beautiful track, being performed live in a rare setting, was something to behold and not lost on a crowd that, for the most part, stayed silent during the set.
The band playing with Iansek were nothing less than exceptional. The brilliant Georgia Potter (Moreton) remained on stage following her set and they were joined by Gus Rigby on bass and Christopher Port on drums. Their accompaniment served as a perfect background to Iansek’s magnetism, but their vocal backup and banter served to further enhance the collective.
As they entered the self-described “classic #1 Dad section of the set”, there was anticipation for So Solider. They duly delivered, with Potter singing the Ainslie Wills part flawlessly, like it was written for her. This part of the set also saw the crowd get boisterous and found them heartily singing along. The beam coming from the band was proof that this moment was not lost on them.
After a short intermission, the group returned and Rigby declared, “He (Tom) doesn’t often do encores, so you are lucky!” A touching and delicate rendition of Golden Repair opener 4Bit ended up becoming one of the highlights of an extremely powerful and moving evening of music.
“I’ve only ever played some of these songs live to my son. I didn’t realise anyone else was listening.” Iansek cheekily remarked. We have always been listening, Tom, and judging by the loving audience at The Lansdowne, many will never stop.