Live Review: Bob Evans + Tigertown - The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle (09.05.13)

You know you're in for a good night when there’s three people lined up an hour before doors open and already there’s enough buzzing excitement to not only fill, but shatter the aptly named surroundings of the Cambridge Hotel's Glasshouse… (I’m not ashamed to confirm I was one of those three, the other two girls were complete strangers, but whose obvious enthusiasm proved infectious.)

Kicking off the nights musical festivities was Sydney’s Tigertown, stripping back there usual dream-pop quintet and narrowing it down to a simplistic duet between husband and wife Chris and Charlie Collins. I must say, I was somewhat sceptical upon the idea of hearing Tigertown perform as a duet; I was lead to believe that their normally awash, synth-drenched sound was somewhat quintessential… What a fool I was. Tigertown proved their humble versatility by conjuring a delightful acoustic set that simply radiated enchantment. The raw simplicity of “Morning Has Finally Come” and new single “What You Came Here For” taking deluge on an awakening crowd.

Gracing the stage in typical Bob Evans fashion: infamous hair-do and bottle of red wine tucked under his arm, plus the noticeable added benefit of a tour beard in progress, Evans had the crowd’s undivided attention within an instant, kicking off with a surprise rendition of The Divinyls' "I Touch Myself" in honour of the recent passing of Chrissy Amphlett, followed by a welcomed mix of fresh material including "Go", "Just Don’t Wanna Grow Up Anymore" and "Maps". He also reached into the ol’ back catalogue with "Hand Me Downs", "Sadness and Whiskey", "Friend" and "Pasha Bulker"… all executed in an ineffable intimate solo format.

There is nothing better than a gig where an artist plays both tracks new and old and still every mouth in the room is singing along, but yet has the decency to remain attentive throughout the course of the set. Evans clearly impressed by also ditching the stage for the floor and accompanying the crowd in a nectarous serenade of "Don’t You Think Its Time", before questioning whether this was actually a paying crowd of punters or in fact the Newcastle Youth Choir in a Flash Mob moment; a reasonable question due the perfected performance. Not one beat was missed, creating one of those enthroned moments that you just can't help feeling privileged to have been a part of. The entire night following in much the same effect, Evans summed it up amicably, returning to the stage with a bewildered expression and a satisfied “Fucking beautiful, Newcastle”.

Fucking beautiful indeed…