Arriving on stage before a sold out Corner Hotel audience, Husky received a warm welcome fitting for the return of the prodigal sons of Melbourne’s music scene.
Last year the band – comprising of Husky Gawenda (vocals, guitars), Gideon Preiss (keys), Evan Tweedie (bass), Luke Collins (drums) – played a string of national sold-out headline shows following the release of their debut album Forever So, featuring singles ‘History’s Door’, ‘Dark Sea’ and ‘The Woods’.
In addition to this, last year Husky also played popular support spots for headline acts including Gotye, Devendra Banhart, and Noah & The Whale, also enjoying appearances at some of Australia’s largest music festivals. Entering a new chapter of their career in 2012, the band has already toured with Laura Marling, played cracking spots at St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, and booked performances in Germany, the USA and Canada.
To the delight of this hometown crowd, this hour-long set focused heavily on material from Forever So, with notably stellar renditions of ‘Animals’ and ‘Freaks’. A constant touring schedule has served the group well, with all players supplying a tight performance all-around with songs sounding phosphorescent and inviting. Engrossing instrumental interludes punctuating segues between songs also featured prominently, offering the audience a musical wave to ride and follow.
Towards the end of the set, after a series amusing antidotes from lead singer Husky Gawenda, a surprise came in the form of a Leonard Cohen cover (a dangerous proclamation for any musician, as Cohen covers come a dime a dozen now days). The track ‘Lover Lover Lover’, originally featured on Cohen’s 1974 masterstroke New Skin for The Old Ceremony, was presented by Cohen as a sparse acoustic lament. Employing their dreamy, infectious sound Husky effectively crafted a distinct take on the song, providing a fresh, innovative version of Cohen’s work.
Closing out with a quick, two song encore, the folk foursome left the stage having effectively satisfied the audience, an audience that will no doubt remember witnessing the band perform at an intimate venue like The Corner. One gets the feeling from Husky’s swiftly rising popularity, that this is only the beginning.