Newtown Social Club is finally open for music, and what better way to kick off a whole lot of impressive live music than with up and coming singer Dustin Tebbutt?
He took to the tiny, lantern-lit stage to play a quiet and atmospheric set. His songs have a distinct formula, peaceful at first with a very slow build, and then before you even realise it, you’re being enveloped in sound from every which way. Tebbutt’s band, a group of cool and silent guys, did their job of complimenting his voice perfectly.
The sound quality at Newtown Social Club only had a few tiny hitches; the only problem was it wasn’t loud enough to drown out chatter and laughter at the start of each song while Tebbutt played solo. In a small space like that, every sound is noticeable so it was disappointing to hear people talking over the top of an artist they’d gone out of their way to watch.
Tebbutt’s cover of Houses’ ‘The Beauty Surrounds’ was a real standout of the set. The lights on stage went out completely, and finally, the chatter in the crowd stopped while he played completely solo with an acoustic guitar.
Not one to shy away from addressing the crowd, he told us about a bookshop he visited in Melbourne and went into great detail about the man who worked there and the books he bought. Before starting the next song, he confessed he’d only told the story in so much detail so one of his band mates could get his guitar sorted out but had forgotten that he wasn’t playing guitar on that song at all.
His two singles ‘Bones’ and later, ‘The Breach’ got the best reception of the night, and rightfully so. These songs are beautifully written, the melodies and lyrics in both are haunting, and the way they were played with such simplicity was perfect.
It was a short set, but somehow felt like exactly the right length for him to connect with the crowd. Selling out a venue three nights in a row on one of your first major tours, off the back of EPs, is no fluke. Dustin Tebbutt has a warmth and genuineness that shines through when he plays, and we will definitely hear more from him in future.