Holly Throsby and Dan Kelly

A decent sized crowd was gathering in the Republic when I got there. There was a lovely little waif with a guitar on stage, Brigit Pross, with a very sweet voice. She is one to keep an ear out for, you'll be hearing more of her.


Probably half the punters were inside listening, while the other half were out the back smoking, warming up for a mellow Wednesday night. There was a pleasant, anticipatory buzz, just the right mood for a few drinks and some acoustic tunes to do down well.


Next up was Dan Kelly. I have to admit, although Holly Throsby is an extremely talented musician, he was my main reason for going. I've been a big fan of Dan Kelly and the Alpha Males for ages, so I was hugely curious to see what he'd do on his own.


He did well. He did songs from their two albums "The Tabloid Blues" and "Drowning in the Fountain of Youth". I had wondered if he'd try some covers more suited to a solo act, but nope, it was all his. But I missed the band. I could hear the gaps in the songs where they were supposed to be, and even Dan urged us to try to imagine them at certain points, mentioning when we would ordinarily be hearing psychedelic guitar solos.


Still, it was better than I hoped, and I had hoped it would be pretty good. Dan's voice can hold it's own without the harmonies I so love from the Alpha Males, even though he did encourage to crowd to chime in with it's own attempt at harmony for a few numbers like "Drunk on Election Night" and "Summer Wino". His presence fills the stage with no trouble, with enough charisma to keep your attention on the stage without the entertaining interaction between the Alpha Males. He's got a sweet line in stage banter and the songs are solid enough to handle being stripped back without suffering. He proved himself to be an all round excellent muso, with or without supporting flourishes.


Holly Throsby's set was lovely. Sweet, whimsical, touching, folky and generally gorgeous. Her music is more personal than the social commentary and stories of Dan Kelly and provided a wonderful counterpoint. She played a mix from her more recent Under the Town album and its predecessor On Night. Her delicate arrangements perfectly showcase that soulful voice and allow her poetic introspection to touch her audience.


All the acts were well received by the crowd, lots of applause and cheering. Not a lot of movement though. Most people just stood there. There was the odd couple near the front giving it a go, but the staidness of the majority was a bit disappointing, even if a few did get more go in them towards the end. It was great music, a bit slow, sure, but with a lot of life and it would have been great to see more people losing themselves in it.


Lack of dancing aside, it was a great night, with absolutely top class, heartfelt music from all three acts. If you saw the show, you would no doubt be thinking I haven't done it justice here. You'd be right. With such intricate, clever music, a page of words will never capture the uplifting feeling of hearing it take life right in front of you.

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