Live Review: The Teskey Brothers with Orchestra Victoria + Emma Donovan & The Putbacks – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne (22.01.22)

Sidney Myer Music Bowl

While the sun-scorched Melbourne, homage was paid to the release of The Teskey Brothers’ newest album Live at Hamer Hall at the Sidney Myer music bowl alongside the Orchestra Victoria (OV). With what seemed to be a full house, close to two and a half hours of folk, blues and rhythm were unleashed on an expectant audience.

With their distinct flair and style, the Teskey Brothers controlled the evening with a sense of excitement and energy, even managing to distract the audience from the heat bearing down on them for about an hour and a half. Yet, before the festivities could begin, the Teskey Brothers guest, Emma Donovan, and the Putbacks put together a set that laid a strong foundation.

Emma Donovan & The Putbacks
Emma Donovan & The Putbacks

Jamie Messenger’s arrangements of the Teskey Brothers came to life at the Sidney Myer music bowl through a set laced with all of the band’s hits. Yet, the orchestra needed the time to show off a little as well, starting the joint set off with a stirring overture that ran through many of the themes that made up the Teskey’s biggest singles.

After some quick thank-you’s, Josh Teskey quickly led both the 45 piece orchestra and the Teskey’s into “Man of the Universe”, the upbeat track quickly had people down the front put on their dancing shoes and those at the back were ready to bop along as well.

Josh Teskey
Josh Teskey

The fun continued through the additions of “Carry You”, “Rain”, “Let Me Let You Down” and of course “So Caught Up”. As usual, the crowd was singing and dancing through the songs, but the addition of the orchestra really filled out the tracks giving them all another dimension that not even the Live at Hamer Hall recording could give them. There was an added element of beauty that will be hard to forget for those lucky to have been in attendance.

Sadly, Sam Teskey, the band’s lead guitarist wasn’t able to attend the performance, but his stand-in was more than enough to fill the gap with some searing guitar lines that would make the nearest blues fan melt.

Wonderfully, the Brothers also had an Auslan interpreter, so anyone in attendance was able to enjoy the evening. Thankfully this is becoming a trend at more shows and having artists such as the Teskey Brothers endorsing the practice helps it go a long way.

Orchestra Victoria
Orchestra Victoria

Following the modern schtick, the band walked off to the growing sounds of one more song and a crowd hungry for more. Of course, without skipping a beat, the band came back out for a couple more running through two of the band’s fan favourites, “Pain and Misery” and “Hold Me”. As the final cadence of the strings rang out of the bowl, the night was over but it was completed in the most wonderful way, the coming together of two worlds, classical and contemporary.

The night was a stellar success and more bands should follow The Teskey Brothers’ in combining with classical themes.

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You can check out more of Dan’s photos of the night HERE