Live Review: Andy Bull – Raval, Surry Hills (21.07.10)

As Andy Bull just finished mixing his new EP, The Phantom Pains, he has given a bunch of Sydneysiders the unique privilege to hear some of his new materials at Raval in Surry Hills, Sydney.

It is also only a few days after Triple J, the nationally-networked Australian radio station, aired his new song “Dog”, featuring the Australian singer-songwriter Lisa Mitchell.

Andy could not have chosen a better venue than Raval in Surry Hills: intimate, warm, sophisticated and cosy, it ticked all the boxes for a Wednesday night out in Sydney.

The first part of the show was performed by Aidan Roberts (The Maple Trail), an amazingly talented multi-tasking musician & singer-songwriter from the Blue Mountains, New South Wales. Aidan came on stage with his acoustic guitar and kicked ass as he performed seven of his very personal songs. “Barking Dog and Swallow” was a real delight, where he used a violin bow on an electric guitar and samples.

Just before his last song, Aidan invited Andy Bull to join the stage where the pair offered some wonderful vocal harmonies to their song.

Then, it is after an endless break – assuming that Raval wanted its guests not to get dehydrated and visit the bar at the back of the room – that the curtain unveiled the shy and slightly intimidated young man behind his black piano.

Without a word, Andy Bull started playing a soft and mellow tune from his new EP, and immediately captivated his young and primarily female audience. He was then joined by his band mates, Carlos, Nick and Alex, for a succession of brand new songs including “Dog”, “Work is a Slow Way to Die” and “King of Misery”, a pretty depressing song, which talks about a part of ourselves that is joyless sometimes.

Andy addressed to his public that working on new pieces of music and playing with the band were the most enjoyable things he’s experienced recently: a breath of fresh air.

Gaining more confidence on stage near the end, he asked the audience for special requests and kindly picked three songs, including “Small Town Girl” from his debut album (We’re Too Young – 2008).

“Grown Folk”, a lullaby, according to Andy, concluded the night with a very intimate and perfectly executed stage performance.

Smiles and cheers in the room were definitely a sign of appreciation & enjoyment, so keep an eye out for the new EP to be released in September.

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