DARWIN ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE STUDIO THEATRE 13 DECEMBER 2014
Genre – Folk; Alternative; Alt Rock
By Steve Kelk
Mellow is the way of the walk.
A calming influence settled over Darwin with the arrival of Husky from Melbourne, ably supported by Darwin-based alternative maestros Green Stone Garden at the Darwin Entertainment Centre. The Studio Theatre at the DEC proved to be an engaging venue for these two superbly talented acts and the type of music they bring.
Husky (led by the titular Husky Gawenda) bring a 21st century sound to the folk/alternative genre but keep an old school feel about it – they would not be out of place playing on the same stage with Crosby Stills Nash and Young back in the day. The Husky track ‘Saint Joan’ in particular had this 1960’s-born writer smiling with sweet nostalgia. That is not to say the music is retro – it isn’t. But the arrangements and harmonies are timeless and the musicianship is sophisticated such to appeal to the traditionalist and the more youthful listener alike.
Green Stone Garden warmed up with a soulful solo piece by lead vocal Mike Meston before launching into their eclectic set of alt rock. Again, musicianship stands out as a key feature of this very professional outfit. Introspective lyrics and a calm stage presence make for a more cerebral experience with this band but that is not to say you will drift away with their pieces – there is a driving undertone of emotion with their work that keeps you slightly on the wrong foot in the best possible way – ‘The Island’ certainly captures this aspect brilliantly.
Collectively, these bands stirred the feelings of the crowd and none so much as when Husky finished with an ‘in the round’ acoustic anthem on the floor in front of the stage. With the crowd and bands (GSG joining in) merging into one in the middle of the Studio Theatre, you really could feel the love in the room – a more intimate moment at a sizeable music performance has not been witnessed before by this writer. Ever humble, Husky Gawenda made himself available to fans after the show for a chat or a photo op, further cementing the close connection with the band’s devotees.
Thanks are due to the Darwin Entertainment Centre and staff for providing a top-class venue, facilities and service. No doubt we will see the DEC attracting many more class performers to their Studio Theatre. A big shout out as well to James Gough of Nook Events for making it happen.