ANDY BULL @ BLACK BEAR LODGE, BRISBANE, FRIDAY JUNE 11
Andy Bull is a national treasure and, in this format, his gifts as a singer, musician, producer and songwriter are front and centre and shine even brighter than usual. The Sydney chanteur, armed with no more than his Nord Stage 2, sparse R&B beats and, of course, his ethereal and enchanting pipes, deliver an hour-long set that demonstrate the sheer scale of talent within this one gifted individual.
Opening with a meditative rendition of 2014's 'Nothing Is Wrong', his set his a 'best of' affair which pulls from both his albums and his EP with a handful of covers and even something new sprinkled in for good measure.
'Baby I Am Nobody Now' is the evening's first *big* highlight appearing early and with a cheeky wink as the closing keyboard arpeggio (which leaps into an extended jam of sorts on the recording) stops cold and evokes a huge cheer from those in the audience in the know. Whitney's gorgeous 2016 'No Woman' gets the Bull treatment next, his arrangement and vocal giving it new life and introducing it to new fans.
His tales of his early days as a naive youngster in the business, trying to appeal to commercial radio and being told by his record company to be like Delta Goodrem are hilarious, as are his interactions with audience members about Tinder, a new album and more.
Very early single 'Small Town Girl' a song from his debut album which he confesses to having somewhat of a difficult relationship with makes an appearance much to everyone's delight and is followed closely his career-transitional 'Dog', which is still an utter pop masterpiece.
His triple j Live A Version take on Tears For Fears' 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World' and The Replacements' Swinging Party' are performed back to back before the excellent 'Talk Too Much' and a little something he's been tinkering with that may or may not end up with the title 'Don't Cut Me Off', regardless here's to hoping we hear it again. And finally, the tour's namesake - 'It' All Connected' - and 'Keep On Running bring it home. "I swam in the sea of approval," he sings on the latter, but honestly, Bull's remarkable and medaditive set has lulled us into something more "I floated in the tank of magnesium."
As he leaves a grateful and gobsmacked audience, it's obvious to all that in an ideal world, we'd be fighting to watch this set in a much larger venue. Not many artists can sit behind a keyboard and captivate like this for an hour or more - Prince, Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), that guy from Cigarettes After Sex all immediately spring to mind. For now, at least, we can count ourselves lucky to witness such a set in intimate environs.
Nothing Is Wrong
Baby I Am Nobody Now
No Woman (Whitney cov
Small Town Girl
Everybody Wants To Rule The World (Tears For Fears cover)
Swinging Party (The Replacements cover)
Talk Too Much
Don't Cut Me Off (New Song)
It's All Connected
Keep On Running
Watch Andy Bull's self-made video for 'It's All Connected' - it's very good!