It’s been just over ten years since Lisa Mitchell appeared on our television screens. The Australian Idol alumni member was still just as sweet and endearing as she popped out (quite literally popped up out of nowhere onto stage, mid-song) to join Dustin Tebbutt on stage at the Newport Hotel in Fremantle, as part of their Australian tour.
The duo, as they explained on stage, met whilst touring overseas, sharing the same keys/guitarist/back-up vocalist (and pretty much all-round musical genius known to us as “Ben”). The rest is history! as they now boast a unique show with Mitchell’s angelic harmonies combined with the epic crescendo of Tebbutt’s sonically dreamlike tracks: an event of ear magic. The pair took turns leaving the stage for a few solo performances, before reappearing to reconvene carefully crafted joint performances. It stirred the shiver-senses to hear some of Tebbutt’s songs sung by a female lead vocal; and vice versa.
It was pretty clear from looking around at the Fremantle audience that the music of Mitchell and Tebbutt reaches out to young and old alike and, as always, the supportive and relaxed vibe customary of Fremantle patrons prevailed. Negatives? If there were any to pick out (and I do really mean picking a needle out of a haystack) it would be a craving to know what it would sound like without the weighty backing tracks behind the majority of tracks. Maybe it’s just me, but I reckon sometimes stripping it back down to even a few short moments of the simple and intimate is enough to taste the personal connection yearned for at a fairly cosy gig like this.
As I said, that’s really picking at straws... The show left onlookers satisfied and singing along to favourites such as Mitchell’s 'Coin Laundry' and 'The Breach' by Tebbutt, finishing up with an epic double act performance that sent those goose-bumpy chills we get when we know we’ve heard and witnessed something very, very special.
Review/Photography: Olivia Szulgowski