Live Review: Patrick James + Winterbourne - Fly By Night, Fremantle (06.09.14)

Patrick James’ Broken Lines EP tour hit the West Coast on Saturday night with a show at the Fly By Night in Fremantle. Despite the miserable weather a sizeable crowd turned out for James’ return to the Fly, this time playing the main stage.

Opening the evenings proceedings were Central Coast duo Winterbourne, playing their first ever show in Fremantle (and possibly WA). Given the amount of people heading over to chat to them and buy CDs after their set it is likely to be the first of many. It was a great performance, with some beautiful harmonies and an infectious upbeat and rootsy sound. Amongst the high points of the set were new song “Our Love Is A Lie” and “Cold”.

One slight criticism would be that their songs started to sound slightly similar by the end of the set; but then again what they do, they do incredibly well, and to be honest it didn’t really stop me enjoying their set one bit. Both James Draper and Jordan Bradey are accomplished musicians and not to mention charismatic and confident performers. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we see Winterbourne playing more shows over West.

It seems as if Patrick James has been on tour almost continuously since I saw him play the Ellington on his last headline tour. Already this year he has been on the road with Pete Murray, Boy & Bear and Kina Grannis. All this touring seems to have really paid off, the old songs are sounding better and larger than ever, and James just seems even more comfortable on stage, with the band and with the audience (lets just say there was plenty of banter). The band were in great form as well, even though its still fairly early on in the tour, they were sounding tight and the harmonising on a few of those songs was superb.

Given the nature of the tour, songs from James’ new EP featured throughout the set. Of those new songs, lead single “Messages” perhaps garnered the warmest reception from the audience, though all of the new songs sounded fantastic live. Like with previous tours James dropped a cover song into his set, last time it was Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors, this tour it was a sublime rendition of The Church’s “Under the Milky Way”, though I’d imagine he would have done a great job covering Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”.

Some of the set’s many highlights included beautiful renditions of “Burn Away” and “Wait” from All About To Change; whilst the unplugged, acoustic rendition of “Bugs” played down amongst the crowd probably stole the show. Like most shows you go to there was a bit of background chatter throughout, but it’s safe to say that during that song you could have heard a pin drop. Beautiful stuff.

Disappointingly it sounds like Saturday’s show might be the last WA headline show for the near future. Though it’s safe to say he’s left on a definite high note. Hopefully it won’t be too long a wait until he’s back.