LIVE REVIEW: Tiny Ruins, Flowertruck, Stolen Violin @ Oxford Art Factory, Sydney (25/11/15)
The evening at the portioned and reduced capacity OAF began with a solitary figure cross-legged on-stage with a twelve-string acoustic guitar, microphone and effects pedals. What followed was a brace of only three or four songs from Stolen Violin (Jordan Ireland from the Middle East) that were dipped in melancholic delay, sounded both fragile and weighted with substance and were entirely hypnotic and haunting.
Flowertruck were a strange choice of act to play between the aforementioned dark folk and Tiny Ruins’ similarly intimate music. They’re an indie pop/rock band through and through with an emotive and overly enthusiastic frontman in Charles Rushforth. They cut a neat form of jangly, slightly dreamy, lite post-punk that you find hard to resist tapping your foot and nodding along to but too often their attempted style overshadowed their substance.
This was the first solo show in a while for Tiny Ruins, particularly here in Sydney. To make her feel more comfortable on-stage Hollie Fulbrook surrounded herself with flowers from the shop next door, a nice touch given that so many of her songs reference birds, landscapes and the natural world. Fullbrook is a mesmerising singer and songwriter but her guitar playing is just as important in her music. She fingerpicked gentle flurries of notes from her alternate tunings and lilting, otherworldly chords that gave the songs an aura reminiscent of Nick Drake. Showcasing songs her new EP with Hamish Kilgour (The Clean) she also dipped into her other releases with highlights like Priest With Balloons, Adelphi Apartments, Reasonable Man and Me At The Museum, You In The Wintergardens. The audience deserve a mention for their complete attention, silence and respect for the performer giving the hour-long set a a feeling of time and place dissolving in the presence of such fine song-craft and performance.