Despite the fact that all of the acts had just spent 10 hours on a bus (they made a BBQ pit stop in Toronto prior to NYC), and that immigration issues kept one of the bands from performing, the Aussie BBQ 2012 at the Bell House provided an energetic and diverse lineup from Oz, as always. It also provided some tasty barbecued pork and chicken; Vegetarians were out of luck but we omnivores snacked away.
The highlight was clearly the band Pets With Pets. The only thing better than the lead singer’s howling, haunting vocals was the drummer, who was utterly riveting. It was impossible to look away from him as he smashed away.
There were other spot-on performances as well; Traveller & Fortune played twice, giving us an extra opportunity to enjoy their harmonies. Also, anyone who drags a bass clef around the world deserves a lot of credit.
Anthony Hughes was asked to perform at the last minute to help fill the gap caused by the immigration problems that kept The Jefferson from playing. He seemed unfazed about the unexpected circumstances and even played a right handed guitar upside down, (he himself is a lefty). He ended his set with an amusing cover that ran the gamut from Oasis to Sir Mixalot.
Jess Cornelius, the Melbourne-based singer/keyboardist/musician who goes by the name Teeth & Tongue, showed off her beautiful voice and ethereal presence; her song “I Feel Good” was especially captivating.
She was followed by Busby Marou, an efficient duo who’ve toured with the likes of KD Lang and Dolly Parton, who had a musicality and craftsmanship that is always refreshing to hear. The two main members jumped off the stage to end the set with a sweet, acoustic number that had the beer-happy crowd huddled around them.
Words and Photos by Eileen Murphy