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Live Review: The Audreys, Timberwolf

31 August 2015 | 4:11 pm | James Dawes

"The variation in tones and textures, complementing the moods of the songs, kept the set enthralling."

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Your typical rock gig formulation of a slapdash bar, wobbly drunks and sticky floors was out the window tonight. As you walked through the doors into the church, you saw a sophisticated setting providing a warm intimacy within the building's eloquent architecture. Despite or perhaps because of the Adelaide duo's longevity, The Audreys drew a full house.

Timberwolf, a rising indie folk-blues singer-songwriter took the stage with an accompanying bass player who provided angelic backing vocals. The audience sat in silence, engaged; his intriguing professionalism and graceful performance involving a raw quality to his cryptic songwriting showed a promising future. His captivating set showcased his diverse writing styles, switching between the upbeat, strum-heavy, acoustic folk and the ghostly Pete Green meets Jeff Buckley electric blues guitar. The ambiance of the cathedral provided decadent reverb, delivering a haunting, yet lush, ether that shaped the sounds of the soulful Timberwolf.

The church's owner then introduced The Audreys. Taasha Coates began telling the crowd of their younger days playing small local pub gigs where the church owner approached them with the invitation to be one of the first acts to play at the Church Of The Trinity. That was ten years ago. They confessed they thought the idea was 'crazy' but were proven wrong, having recorded their debut EP in the church and playing at Trinity Sessions throughout their career.

The blend of the natural acoustics with digital desk reverb and delay created depth within the vocals as they wallowed around through the high ceilings, backed by pulsating guitar tones that penetrated your soul. The Audreys showed professionalism without the ego. They're extremely polished and experienced performers that are entertaining to watch. All the subtleties, like Coates' wavy hand movements and Tristan Goodall's casual slithering around the stage, created a performance that was visually pleasing as well as musical. The variation in tones and textures, complementing the moods of the songs, kept the set enthralling with changing instrumentation throughout the night. Goodall's banjo, however, was dodgy, continuously crackling, interrupting the flow of the otherwise serene set. The performance was also interrupted by random, awkward jumps between clean and dirty guitar tones and Coates' '80s Casio 501 keyboard drum machine loop repeating while a chilled-out folk song was played over it. Due to the otherwise relaxed, seated vibe of the show, it was difficult to tell whether or not the addition was well received. The intimacy of the righteous church saw satanic transgression as Goodall exclaimed, "Someone unplugged my amp!" after only the first song. The set ended with a sustained, distorted guitar chord during which the duo left the stage. The chord turned into a deafening high-frequency feedback signal that lingered for five minutes, even as the lights were being turned on, leaving the audience shocked and rather uncomfortable. However, despite some minor shortcomings, the relaxed, larrikin vibe of The Audreys made up for the technical issues — the atmosphere, on leaving, was positive and forgiving.

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