Throughout an evening of immersive soundscapes and great songwriting, Jacob and Drinkwater managed to make an arts centre theatre feel like a house concert with old friends.
The duo generated an array of textures, underpinning some pieces with pizzicato bass from Lukas Drinkwater, where others were led by richly textured melodies that made the same instrument sing under the bow.
Bringing an entirely different quality, Tobias Ben Jacob's exceptional, dextrous guitar playing was mirrored by Drinkwater on electric guitar. The pair experimented with all the most 'expensive' chords, joking that they had even augmented a brand new key signature previously (and quite possibly, fictionally) attributed to Mick Hucknall.
Besides clever chords and progressions, both musicians mixed in a range of extended techniques on their respective instruments, always perfectly understated and complimentary to the songs.
The songwriting on display was polished and thoughtful, evoking the times, places and people that inpsired the lyrics. There could be no better suited vehicle for these words than Jacob's voice. Sometimes soaring, sometimes delicate, his vocal delivery shared similar intensity to artists like Cole Stacey of India Electric Co.
The takeaway from the dazzling musicianship and masterfully written songs is ultimately how it left us feeling as an audience. The excited buzz of the interval crowds jostling for a place at the bar was the sort of glowing review that could sell out a stadium. From the chatter around the room and the queue forming to speak to the duo at the merch stand, it was clearly evident that everyone was delighted to be sharing this musical journey.
Words: Leonardo MacKenzie
Photos: Jo Elkington
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