After the release of their debut eponymous album in April this year, Famous Will finished up their launch tour in the cosy band room at Workers Club Geelong. Their two opening acts, Leissner & Khalife warmed up the crowd with their talented solo acoustic acts, both completely individual in style and yet equally reminiscent of Famous Will’s storytelling songwriting style.
Having never heard of or seen the band before, watching them play for the first time was such a fun experience. Approaching stage with the cheer and ease as if they were playing in a mate’s backyard, the band members chatted and bantered as they arranged themselves and expressed their extreme gratitude to everybody who has supported them throughout the development and launch of their album – it was incredibly wholesome to say the least.
Each with funky haircuts and even funkier harmonization skills, the band appeared completely at home belting out their new melodies. With tracks ranging from the Bluejuice-like, groovy keyboard feature ‘Secret Song’ to the relaxed, nostalgic atmosphere of ‘The Story’ and back up again to their signature upbeat, folk-pop style with ‘Phillies’, the new album is a ride of emotion and storytelling tackling themes of love, nature and memories. Another of the new tracks ‘Sorry, Not Sorry’ was a touching – albeit a little tongue in cheek – a tribute to a friend written about marriage equality when it wasn’t yet legalized in Australia. ‘The Story’ was a big standout for the night with a special intro from Lachy Brown whose performance on the recorder – and maybe also his bare feet – transported me back to the shire. A few covers were also sprinkled in the mix with a pretty sweet take on Crowded House’s ‘Fall at your Feet’ and Thirsty Merc’s ‘In the Summertime’ as well as a strange but fun transition to Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blue in the middle of ‘My Scars’.
Overall the experience was incredibly wholesome. With a good-natured attitude, and the emotional ride from the upbeat foot-stompers to the nostalgic ballads, Famous Will has got the goods for a funky folk night out.
Where: The Workers Club Geelong
When: Friday, July 19
Supported by Libby Leissner & Isabella Khalife
Reviewed by Jess Sercombe
Photographed by Patrick Callow