Spring has finally arrived to wipe away memory of the bitter cold in Melbourne town. At least it did on this particular Friday night. The horde of music fans packed out the beloved Corner Hotel to see Sydney native Dustin Tebbutt launch his mini- album Home. Tebbutt has been on the musical radar all of 2 years, but has made an indelible impression on the music cognoscenti, and the discerning music fan, in that time.
From the outset Tebbutt strums effortlessly on his acoustic guitar, accompanied by another guitarist and Dave Jenkins on drums. His ethereal falsetto vocals and acoustic folk music are subtle yet powerful. Despite the hum of chatter in the crowd, the music is potent and mesmerising. Tebbutt draws us into his world of storytelling, tinged with melancholy and influenced by his recent songwriting sojourn in Sweden.
Recent hit “Where I Find You” sees the fans swept away singing the lyrics to the song. Tebbutt also regales us with a funny story about doing a 32 point turn in their mini van down the lane way near their hotel in Melbourne to howls of laughter in the crowd. “Today was the release of my mini-album. A lot of these songs we’ve never played live before,” admits Tebbutt, inciting claps and cheers from the audience. A stellar rendition of Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks” first performed by Tebbutt on JJJ’s Like a Version last year, is lapped up by adoring punters.
“You guys are beautiful” exclaims Tebbutt. “Silk” the single he recorded with Thelma Plum is performed with aplomb. In between songs Tebbutt amuses us with tales about taking his dad to gigs. He once took his father to a gig at the Basement in Sydney and his dad spent the entire time fidgeting in a chair. His dad left the venue to return twenty minutes later with a hammer to nail in the nails of the chair. More embarrassing was the time he took his dad to see his idol, acclaimed classical guitarist Slava Grigoryan. His dad promptly fell asleep in the front row, and Tebbutt felt guilty by association.
Tebbutt invites us to “pretend collectively that there was an encore” and doesn’t leave the stage, much to the crowd’s delight. Recent single “The Breach” is met with applause and prompts confessions of love from the crowd. “We love you Dustin” screams out a male punter. “We love you too” retorts Tebbutt. The love in the room is palpable.
It’s always a joy to see punters supporting local talent, and judging by the full house at the Corner Hotel, the local music scene is alive and well. Dustin Tebbutt and his musicians mesmerised the throng of punters with dreamy soundscapes and melancholy themes, and laconic humour thrown in for good measure. Tebbutt’s star is on the rise.