Carus Thompson took to the stage with support Nathan Gaunt in an early matinee show to showcase his new tunes from the album, Island. The low-key, intimate family vibe was representative of the Australian troubadour’s close connection to the lives of those around him, gathering a small crowd of easy-going supporters who were content with a beer in hand to listen to his stories unfold.
Carus has enlisted a full band to help capture the essence and bring the true feeling of his new songs to the stage. Consisting of electric guitar, drums, keyboard, bass and even a trumpet for a couple of songs, they were the perfect accompaniment to Carus’ dynamic stage presence, keeping up and even taking the reins for a few well-placed solos. Carus’ new material focuses primarily on Australia and the contemporary problems we are facing day to day, issues of immigration and the ice-epidemic that Carus has been quite vocal about. As a performer, he does well to embody the true-blue Aussie aesthetic; relaxed, entertaining and an embracing egalitarian.
The set itself was well-paced; touching on light subject matter before delving into more serious, gloomy stories; slow-jams giving way to upbeat sing-alongs; no one song felt out of place.
The setting had the vibe of a real family affair. Looking down into the crowd you could see a handful of toddlers dancing and running between the feet of the patrons, but as Carus quipped, “if you don’t have someone under two in the audience, it aint rock n roll.”
Minor technical difficulties plagued the first three songs, with Thompson’s vocals cutting in and out, diminishing the effect of otherwise powerful choruses, but it was all taken in stride. He exuded a level of positivity and energy through his performance that is hard to ignore.
Although perhaps the early gig turned away the Saturday boozer looking for a warm-up for the evening, one is left with the impression that maybe this is what Carus himself wanted.
Where: The Workers Club, Fitzroy
When: Saturday March 4
Reviewed by: Ed Acheson