Review: Another Evening With Josh Pyke & Bob Evans at The Corner Hotel, December 14 2016

10 years ago, as Josh Pyke’s career was beginning to gain great traction, and Jebediah’s Kevin Mitchell was a few years into his solo career as Bob Evans, the duo teamed up for a series of concerts. Now, a decade later, they decided to revisit and resurrect that tour, and last night ‘Another Evening With Josh Pyke & Bob Evans’ hit the stage of Melbourne’s famous Corner Hotel.

After a small delay to the evening, explained away as a technological issue of powering a MIDI keyboard with an iPhone, the much-anticipated event was underway. As the opening chords of Pyke’s ‘Make You Happy’ rang out, fans were instantly enraptured; ready to soak in an evening of tunes they’ve no doubt acclimatised themselves with over the years.

With more than 30 years of experience between them, the crowd was in good hands, with the natural showmanship of each musician, coupled with their impeccable musicianship coming to a head and providing every member of the audience an opportunity to swoon at the luscious vocals that both supplied.

The chemistry between the two was immediately apparent, with each of them trading jokes, and telling stories to both the crowd and each other like the old friends that they are. In essence, the entire performance felt less like a paid gig, and more like an opportunity to catch up with your good pals who play great music.

The evening’s setlist was divided diplomatically, with the duo swapping between each other’s songs and teaming up for a couple of newly written ones before a two-song solo set from each of them on other side of the intermission.

Highlights from the setlist included performances of Bob Evan’s wistful ‘Don’t You Think It’s Time’ and Josh Pyke’s gloriously nostalgic ‘Middle Of The Hill’.

Lucky fans also witnessed Josh Pyke singing lead vocals on Bob Evan’s ‘Sadness & Whiskey’, while Evans returned the favour, performing ‘Lines On Palms’, which descended into an impromptu cover of The Proclaimers’ ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ and a long discussion about Scotland. The much anticipated encore consisted of ‘Not The One’, written by the pair during their tenure as part of the Basement Birds, and a fitting cover of The Beatles’ ‘Two Of Us’.

‘Another Evening With Josh Pyke & Bob Evans’ was a welcome return for the duo, and undoubtedly left fans both old and new wanting more from them. The performance of two newly written songs between them may be a good indicator that there could be a collaborative album in the works, but that remains to be seen. Nevertheless, if such an album does eventuate, the accompanying tour will no doubt be another incredible event.