Live Review: The Audreys - The Vanguard

2 July 2012 | 6:54 pm | Liz Giuffre

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Were you expecting to hear Bruce Springsteen on the banjo when you signed up to The Audreys' tour? Me neither. But, dear reader, what the people didn't know they wanted is what the band delivered – and totally cool it was too. As part of an encore deal thing that saw them play a different Boss ditty every night of their 15-odd dates, tonight's finale, Glory Days, was icing on an already very rich cake.

Taasha Coates and Tristan Goodall took the stage together early and as their own main act and support, rounding up a 'best of' and 'what next' tour with a sleepy Sunday night. Beginning with Paradise City (or “Paradise Shitty” as they apparently once called it after multi-play fatigue), the spark was back. Over the next couple of hours (including a cocktail break for Goodall and a couple of lucky punters and what was likely a check on new bub break for Coates), the pair collected the best of their three discs to date. You And Steve McQueen, still a gorgeous thing; Anchor still a melancholy sea shanty; Susanne still heartbreaking; Comfort Me still beautiful if not bittersweet; Oh Honey still sexy and Poorhouse still perhaps a state of play for artists everywhere, but a damn fine-sounding place to be.

While Goodall and Coates joked about the process of writing and promised versions that were once works in progress (including Train Wreck Blues, the single and album track that never was until now), tonight's big hit was the guest spot by one-time Audreys collaborator Cameron Goodall (Tristan's brother) on guitar and vocals. Lending both to the first-ever live performance of A Little More from debut, Between Last Night And Us, it soared with a growing melody and its freshness seemed to surprise all involved (including those on stage, who beamed throughout). After Cam left, the two continued with the promised “43 songs about loneliness” that would make up their set and, as the growing goodwill, but slightly sloshed downstairs audience kept count, it soon became apparent that sad songs still make great material for songwriting. While Coates joked that probably only Katy Perry was happy to write happy songs (and that the required performance in hotpants was not one she was up for), it's important to make clear that songs about heartbreak make for a good night out when sung so sweetly. And when there's a little Bruce Springsteen on banjo to round them out too.