Live Review: Josh Pyke w/ BANFF @ Triffid
In a smokey hall we huddled together, and waited. With Josh Pyke’s home-brewed beer Summer in hand, we were ready for what was sure to be a special night. Despite endless stream of beer and deliberate anticipation, none of us were prepared for the blissful Brissie singer-songwriter BANFF.
Lively chatter continued as the light guitar strumming and piano chords began to echo throughout the room, until the luminous vocals of Benjamin Forbes, better known as BANFF, crescendoed and the dust began settled. The stigma against support acts has officially lifted. For some it was completely entrancing, while others were whipping out their phones to Google the guy.
“For some it was completely entrancing, while others were whipping out their phones to Google the guy.”
After collaborating with industry peers #1 Dads, BANFF’s indie-pop music has developed a sound that is flooded with soul. It’s Coldplay-like, peculiar, and ethereal at times, which were the perfect hymns for the weekend. During the his time in the limelight Banff navigated through various songs, including tracks from his debut EP, ‘Future Self.’ His singles The Great Unknown and Anyone Else, lifted us off the ground and prepared us for the talented, and wonderfully whimsical Josh Pyke.
Pyke kicked off the set with the first single on his 2015 album Book of Revelations. The crowd was instantly smitten, swaying along as he sung about struggling to “find love buried under duress”. It was by no means an upbeat, bouncy introduction, but it was a fitting for this intimate gathering. We then proceeded chronologically through the ‘But For All The Shrinking Hearts’ album, to the second track Songlines, which perfectly contrasted with the dark undertones of the opening number. It’s flamboyant chorus is characterised by an upbeat rhythm, with marching band quality, which reminded me of the celebratory flashmob in ‘500 Days of Summer.’
I’ve seen Pyke on numerous occasions, but something was different this time. He had an air of confidence I hadn’t seen before. He effortlessly interacted with the audience, almost as if he was surrounded by close friends, rather than a room of strangers. His immeasurable wit was also in its prime. At one point a devoted fan screamed out “I love you!” To which he replied, “I love you too, but I want you to like me. On Facebook.”
“Pyke is a wordsmith and a scholar. His dreamy acoustic guitar strums, velvety vocals and beautifully crafted lyrics really are (and excuse the cliché) food for the soul.”
Whilst we navigated the waters of his new album, the night came alive with dynamic duo, The Summer and the lively Leewood Side. Pyke knows knows how to please. These vintage tracks had the audience grooving and singing along, matching his every word, all the way to the end. After boycotting the usual encore protocol and remaining on stage, Pyke cut to the end and closed the show with Warm In Winter, and the sentimental Vibrations In The Air, a track he wrote 12 years ago.
Pyke is a wordsmith and a scholar. His dreamy acoustic guitar strums, velvety vocals and beautifully crafted lyrics really are (and excuse the cliché) food for the soul. His contagious and comical stage presence has made him more relatable, and in turn made his lyrics more emotive. Watching his evolution as an artist has been a joy, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.