Live Review: Husky and The Trouble With Templeton – Oxford Art Factory (03.05.2012)

Brisbane-based The Trouble With Templeton are on stage at Oxford Art Factory, enchanting the audience with their laidback acoustic style. The lead singer is quite the conversationalist, as is evident between each song when he addresses the crowd.

He said he’s enjoyed his stay in Sydney so far and thanks us for having him but it would have been great to see more appreciation for the band – people stand in a semi-circle around the stage and leave a huge gap at the front, instead of moving right up to the barrier. Conversations can be heard over the lead singer and this is a trend that unfortunately continues for the rest of the night.

Towards the end of the set, the lead singer, playing an acoustic guitar and the keyboard player are joined by an electric guitarist. It’s what their sound needed from the start of the set, at times the singer’s voice was too loud for the quiet instruments on stage. The keyboard player provides some beautiful harmonies when she sings and the last three songs of the set are definitely the
strongest. They leave the stage after thanking the crowd many times, a band obviously in love with performing and sharing their music with new people.

Husky walk out to applause and jump into their beautiful keyboard-driven melodies. They don’t just play music, they create a surreal atmosphere that can take you within their lyrics and the imagery they give you.

‘Forever So’ builds its intensity with a driving drum beat and the melody on the keyboards. At times the music is so overwhelming I find myself with goosebumps and tears in my eyes, unable to take notes about what’s happening on stage.

‘Hundred Dollar Suit’ and ‘The Woods’ have long intros and are both deceiving – they sound as though they’ll be slow ballads but both pick up tempo towards the end.

Lead singer Husky Gawenda banters with the crowd, saying they love being in Sydney which prompts an audience member to say “Yeah, it’s fucking sick!”. He mentions walking back to the hotel after sound-check which prompts a female audience member to ask “Which one?”. He replies “I’ll tell you later,” and makes everyone laugh.

Their cover of INXS’s ‘Need You Tonight’ sounded amazing on triple j’s ‘Like A Version’ a couple of weeks ago but seeing them play it live is almost an experience in itself. The slowed-down tempo, the soulful harmonies and beautiful keyboard melody make this song tonight’s stand out, that is, until they cover Leonard Cohen.

They engage the audience and encourage them to sing the chorus of ‘Lover Lover Lover’ back to them, something that would probably work better when your audience aren’t too cool for school. It’s disappointing to still have people talking over the music and to see people starting to shuffle out before the encore.

For those of us who stayed, we were rewarded with more of the same melodies, imagery and harmonies that made this gig so special. Husky have found their strength in emotionally attaching with their audience and there’s no doubt this gig will be remembered as one of the highlights of 2012.

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Justine McNamara

I'm an Australian living in New York. I work in marketing but I write about music, New York, and my own personal experiences.

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