Josh Pyke & Bob Evans brought stories and singalongs to Corner Hotel
If you're going to bill a show as “An Evening with…” this is how you do it. Watching longtime mates Josh Pyke and Bob Evans rattle off hits and stories to an adoring crowd was a great highlight in a year that was desperately in need of some.
There was no backing band, just a couple of guys and their guitars. Pyke and Evans walked onto the stage and launched straight into the old Pyke classic Make You Happy followed by a great rendition of Evans’ Nowhere Without You from his 2006 classic album Suburban Songbook.
Between every song, the pair cracked jokes and shared stories, and the packed house were all ears, laughing along as though they’d known each other for years. Pyke and Evans even broke for a quick game of rock, paper, scissors to prove Pyke can’t lose.
After taking turns singing and harmonising each other’s songs, the pair got into a couple of tracks they’d co-written while on the road, warning with, “Here’s a bit of a shit song we wrote together.” The first song was met with massive applause, so thinking that they’d lured fans in with some clever reverse psychology, they promised that the second song was an even bigger piece of shit. It wasn’t.
At this point Evans left the stage to let Pyke belt out two of his biggest hits solo —Lighthouse and Goldmines. Evans returned serve by playing a couple of his own classics in Wonderful You and Hand Me Downs.
It was hard to decide which part of the night showed the most mutual respect and admiration. Maybe it was taking turns at covering each other’s songs or the sentimental sharing of stories about their journeys. The latter of which was captured perfectly by a quick cover of The Proclaimers 500 Miles before jumping straight into Evans’ Happy Tears.
Pyke set out to upstage Evans’ trademark fairy light lined guitar with his own LED lined guitar, but as with the rest of the show, the gag was met with warm laughter from both Evans and the crowd.
This was the vibe of the entire night. Two iconic, contemporary Australian storytellers playing with their hearts on their sleeves to a crowd who were either singing along to their favourite tracks or cracking up at the jokes in-between.
Words and image by Dan Wallwork
Highlight: All the laughing.
Lowlight: They only played the chorus of 500 Miles.
Crowd Favourite: The sing-a-longs.