By Poppy Tohill
Artist: Busby Marou
Date / Venue: Thursday May 29th, Backbeat, Auckland
After recently interviewing Thomas, the Busby half of Rockhampton, Australian duo Busby Marou, whereby Busby informed me that Jeremy never wear shoes, the first thing I immediately noticed as they took to the stage last night at Auckland's Backbeat for their first ever exclusive showcase in New Zealandwas the fact that Jeremy surprisingly was wearing shoes. Wednesday night saw Busby Marou open forJames Blunt where Jeremy wasn't wearing any shoes, so seeing shoes on his feet for this gig came some what as a surprise.
By the third song however, the shoes came off and the socks were revealed as Busby joked about how he'd noticed Jeremy had been wearing socks while in New Zealand, which must confirm how cold it is here, he laughed.
Socks or no socks however, Busby Marou were absolutely phenomenal. Joined by their two talented band members Damon Joel on percussion and Enzo Russo on bass, the entire bands excitement to be performing their own show here was in and of itself enough to ensure you enjoyed the night also, as it was impossible not to watch them and want to smile and have a little boogie.
Opening their set with the foot tapping and up beat ‘All Of You,' a single from their self-titled debut album, the tune proved a perfect choice to warm up the audience.
Increasing the energy levels, was the faster paced ‘Get You Out Of Here' which showcased the mind blowing guitar skills of Jeremy, the Marou half of the group. As he let rip into the most outstanding and mesmerising guitar riff, which left the entire audience in awe of what they had just witnessed.
Slowing it down once more, they then went on to perform an exceptional song from their debut album titled5 Rocks, which Busby went on to explain is a beautiful beach near their home town, although the song is about nothing in particular, he chuckled. With the most stunning guitar melody, Busby and Marou's calming smooth vocals merged together exquisitely determining this tune as a definite highlight, as it continued to gradually build momentum with yet another impressive burst of guitar riffs from Marou.
Their second single ‘Luck' from their newest album ‘Farewell Fitzroy' was written with Don Walker of Cold Chisel obtained the perfect happy, upbeat rhythm, which got the crowd up on the dance floor.
The intriguing and extraordinary ‘Waterlogged' adorned with ukulele, tambourine, a touch of interesting percussion and some very impressive whistling (which sounds so identical to a bird it will actually blow your mind and maybe even scare you at the same time) proved a highly popular favourite amongst the crowd as well as not to mention one of my personal favourites off the entire album.
The catchy melodies and rhythms of their very first release, ‘Biding My Time,' and first single off the new album ‘My Second Mistake' (two more personal favourites of mine) proved popular for the dancers, the swayers and the head nodders alike, evidently justifying it is far too impossible to stand completely still when listening to these guys.
Not only are Busby Marou talented at performing their own songs however, but after stunning versions ofChristine Anu's ‘My Island Home' and Cyndi Lauper's classic ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,' it became pretty obvious, if it wasn't already, that these guys can do no wrong.
With everyone now pumped and ready to dance, the band brought it all to the stage, completely letting rip for their second to last song ‘Underlying Message.' Beginning with a beautiful melody finger picked by Jeremy on ukulele as Busby strummed along in the background, they continued to build up momentum as each instrument gradually became louder and faster.
Then for the instrumental and solo, that was it. No one could take their eyes off Jeremy as he began the most insane solo on the ukulele which was probably not much bigger than his foot to be honest. Then suddenly, without giving you time to blink he was holding the ukulele in his mouth, while continuing his solo on guitar, before grabbing the ukulele (while still playing) and using it as a slide for the guitar.
There is honestly no words in the entire dictionary that you could possibly use to explain just how breathtaking it was. The whole band were entirely lost in the music without a care in the world just completely and utterly going for it, before slowing it right back down and ending on one simple strum as they had started out on acoustic guitar and ukulele. It was the most incredible and awe-inspiring thing I've ever witnessed in my entire life, and not only did it leave me, but everyone else in the room was also left speechless, having to pick their jaws up off the ground.
With that, they brought the energy right down to the floor for their final intimate number. Asking everyone to sit down on the floor in a circle as they took to the centre and performed the most stunning and magical unplugged version of their song ‘Konomie.' Bringing their first ever New Zealand show to an end with the beautiful acoustic melodies they are well known for.
Warming everyone's hearts and ears, Busby Marou announced they'll be back to tour New Zealand in September, and if tonight was anything to go by, you are going to want to make sure you get along to see them, because Busby Marou don't only have the X Factor, they ARE the sole definition of X Factor.