REVIEW: Butch Walker - (support from Josh Paul) Wooly Mammoth Brisbane 26/01/2019

Butch Walker may not be a household name here in Australia, but many of the people he has written songs for and produced definitely are, having written songs for everyone from Avril Lavigne to Beyonce and run production for innumerable bands, Butch's influence spreads wide. Butch's career stretches back to the mid 80's as the lead guitarist for glam band "Southgang" before moving into more pop rock territory with this band the Marvellous 3 (who released a number of albums before folding in the early 2000's) Butch's solo career continued along much the same lines. Now for the first time as a solo artist Butch has made the trek to Australia to do an east coast run of shows (including a sold-out Northcote Social Club). Whilst Butch's solo material has not made him a massive star here, it has gained him some VERY supportive fans. This is evident by the early turn out as the doors opened at the Wooly Mammoth. There is an interesting mix of people both long term fans and people who are aware of a certain part of Butch's back catalog. First up Josh Paul plays a subdued acoustic set, there is nothing wrong with what he's doing, but he lacks any real fire and quickly loses the attention of everyone in the room. The same can't be said about Mr Walker, from the moment he hits the stage he has the small but loyal crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. Captivating hardly cuts it as a description, Butch gives a master class in how to not only write great song but his delivery is nothing short of exceptional.

starting on acoustic guitar, butch soon moves across for a few songs on piano before moving back to hollow body electric. The set is comprised of a broad range of his solo material with the exceptions of a cover (INXS, and a few Marvilous 3 songs, including, of course, the massive pop rock hit "Freak of the week". Butch seems genuinely chuffed to be playing, you can tell that he loves what he does and he loves his fans .... and hates DJs .... as demonstrated by the irritation at the doof doof bleading through from the next room. But all is taken in good humour with jokes flowing between Butch and the audience all night. To be honest, i haven't paid much attention to anything Butch has done since the Marvellous 3 broke up, (was a massive fan of the ReadySexGo album, but I'm now regretting not seeking out more of his music. Tonight was one hell of a great show, this was how great song writing was meant to be. We don't tend to give scores for gigs here at Everblack, but in this case ten out of ten ... or more .... just great, Butch Walker is far to good to be playing small clubs like the Wooly Mammoth. I hope he comes back soon.

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