In Fremantle, 1998, John Butler formed the John Butler Trio. Twenty years later, while the trio changed over the years, the music they produce and perform remain similar, raw and passionate. This year, late in March the Ulumbarra Theatre in Bendigo was gifted with the talented and experienced group of musicians, John Butler Trio.
Before the trio came the storm, Danielle Caruana aka Mama Kin (John Butler’s wife) and her guitarist Tommy Spender, gracing the stage as Mama Kin Spender. This very dynamic duo creates an energetic and empowering atmosphere, but also features somewhat of a primal aspect in their music. Mama Kin Spender truly warmed the audience up in preparations for the John Butler Trio.
At first, I wasn’t sure if a theatre is the right atmosphere for a band such as John Butler Trio, thinking that the type of music they create is best enjoyed out in the open, in nature. Pretty quickly I was convinced that John Butler Trio could play anywhere, any time and it would still be a positive enjoyable experience. Throughout the night John would mention that we (the audience) were so quiet. The energy was there, subdued until after the song, out of respect for the artist. Regardless, the trio brought enough energy for all of us.
The crowd remained attentive and mesmerised by John, his tremendous passion and raw guitar skills were a sight to behold. It’s clear what twenty years of experience in the music industry brings to the table, an invaluable ability to naturally gel with the other band members and keep the audience’s attention with passion.
By the end of the night the audience remained quiet throughout the songs, with large bursts of energy afterwards. The night came to a fitting end when John would perform two songs for an encore with his wife, Mama Kin. Capping the night off with a bang!
Touring worldwide in 2018, there will be plenty of opportunities in the future to see John Butler Trio. If you have the chance, do so.
Note: Photos were taken at the rescheduled John Butler Trio performance at Leura Park Estate on April 7 2018.
Ulumbarra Arts Centre, Bendigo – March 22
Reviewed by Alex Lynch
Photographed by Opus Imagery