After ten years of consistently recording and performing music, Josh Pyke is a real veteran on the Australian music scene. Intimate and laid back, Pyke always gives his audience an insight into his life through his gigs. His show at the Factory Theatre for the Lone Wolf Tour proved to be no exception, his indie-folk tunes inspiring awe and reflection in an enthused audience.
As the fourth sold out show of the tour, it quickly became clear why Pyke has such an established connection with his fans. From the moment he stepped on stage, he drew the audience into another world. The lighting helped to create the atmosphere, highlighting the fire and moon in the backdrop to create a woodland scene.
‘Bug Eyed Beauty’ kicked off the night and set the tone, demonstrating his controlled voice and sweet lyrics. Whilst solo acoustic shows can sometimes sound hollow, Pyke had a full, striking sound. This was largely due to the bright quality of his Maton guitars, and his use of looping for rich vocal harmonies and solid rhythms.
He played a wide range of work, from ‘Silver’ to ‘Leeward Side’, pleasing fans old and new. Particular highlights included ‘Our House Breathing’ and ‘Staring Down The Sun’, able to be given full attention and acknowledged for their beauty in such an intimate setting.
But just as it seemed that he could do no wrong, Pyke’s nerves snuck through as he forgot the lyrics to one of his most successful songs, ‘Middle of the Hill’. Everyone laughed along and shouted the words back at him, to which he chuckled “Now we’re back on track!”
However, Pyke is a natural solo performer, even when he falters, seeming like an old friend on the stage, playing just for you. He told of his journey from being a truck driver to a musician, and in every lyric of his songs, we were taught to see the beauty in everyday life and love.
Pyke is not just a musician; he is also a poet and a storyteller, three things that go hand in hand in the indie-folk music world. With nine songs in the Triple J’s Hottest 100 in five different years, and collaborations with artists such as Holly Throsby, Bob Evans and Urthboy, Pyke has already left a lasting legacy on Australian music that he is constantly adding to.