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Live Review: The Audreys

26 February 2018 | 12:10 pm | Stephen Munchenberg

"The duo still enthrals their audience musically - Goodall switching effortlessly throughout the show between guitar, banjo and a bright red ukelele bass."

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The Audreys are surely one of Adelaide's most endearing, enduring and enjoyable musical exports and these days they come together at least once a year to play a show in their hometown. In fact, for the past decade the band - effectively just singer Taasha Coates and guitarist Tristan Goodall - have performed one-off gigs at the Adelaide Fringe, and this year was no exception. The fabulous Spiegeltent is a fantastic venue for them.

As the duo took quietly to the stage, Coates introduced opener Lonesome Valley as a song about death, before advising gleefully that this first song would be followed by more songs about death, heartbreak and loneliness. Featuring just ukulele and soft guitar it was a perfectly subtle beginning.

While their songs may indeed be about heartache, longing and deceased Hollywood actors (You & Steve McQueen), an Audreys show is also full of much mirth, with the rapport between the two performers being infectious. Coates would go on to joke that their setlist had been left to the last minute and then almost entirely forgone in favour of "doing my hair". While flashing the setlist at us to prove that this was indeed the case, she also promised to throw in a surprise cover (which Goodall suggested was a surprise to him).

Although tonight's show wasn't before a capacity crowd and the omnipresent gags did fall a little flat at times (perhaps we've heard them one too many times), the duo still enthrals their audience musically - Goodall switching effortlessly throughout the show between guitar, banjo and a bright red ukelele bass, Coates on ukulele and occasional melodica.

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INXS' Don't Change is a regular Audreys staple and tonight it sounded sublime. Later they stumbled into Jolie Holland's Old Fashioned Morphine.

Finishing all too soon, after just an hour, they left us with When I Die, a song from Coates's excellent 2016 solo album, Taasha Coates & Her Melancholy Sweethearts (which Goodall assures us he secretly helped write) and, at last, the 'surprise' cover tune alluded to earlier - a well-executed banjo version of Cat Stevens' The First Cut Is The Deepest.