A dedicated crowd gathered to watch Augie March take over Corner Hotel

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A dedicated crowd gathered to watch Augie March take over Corner Hotel


The history of Augie March is an interesting one, with busy peaks and troughs in playing, touring, writing and dropping solid records over the course of their 20-year existence. Always treading the line between underground and commercial recognition, the crowd atmosphere was thick with anticipation.

Openers The Pink Tiles set the tone with their fun garage-pop grooves. As more people rolled in, they invited the growing crowd to join them up the front of the room. Guitarist and vocalist Victoria DeFruita and bassist/vocalist Mara Williams offered cool harmonies, which shone while performing their latest single Time For Love.

Following an acknowledgement to the traditional custodians of the land, Jess Rebeiro took the stage and showcased some new songs from her forthcoming record Young Love. Her dark, gentle, folk sound and laid-back vocals were punctured by the jangle of a smooth bluesy lead guitar.

Next, surprise special guest singer/songwriter and Yolngu man Stanley ‘Gawurra’ Gaykamangu warmed up the crowd’s hearts with a cover of festival namesake Leaps & Bounds by everyone’s favourite uncle, Paul Kelly. With a quick lesson on the importance of love, he followed with a stunning original and I was unapologetically moved to tears.

With the bandroom now a warm cave packed from front to back, native Melburnians Augie March took the stage, launching into Rich Girl, taken from their 1999 record, Waltz.

Frontman Glenn Richards was not there to pander to the crowd, instead delivering their solid and now-classic indie pop-rock sound with the commendable consistency of a veteran performer.

Covering a broad range of their musical repertoire, the band were joined by a horn section to perform There’s Something At The Bottom Of The Black Pool, with lead guitarist Adam Donovan’s wailing guitar moments spurred on by Kiernan Box’s uplifting handiwork on the keys. Between songs the cheeky banter and cheesy jokes came from drummer David Williams recounting their first Augie March gig at 79 Johnston Street, Collingwood in the mid ‘90s.

Glenn Richards was quick to shut down requests for chart topper One Crowded Hour during the encore, responding to a heckler by asking at what point the band had asked for requests. Instead, playing sound-scapey Definitive History from their most recent record, 2014’s Havens Dumb to conclude the night.

Highlight: Seeing award-winning Australian music legends perform in the flesh.

Lowlight: Minimal audience interaction.

Crowd favourite: The Drowning Dream.