Pete Murray – The Byron Sessions Tour

Pete Murray

The Byron Sessions Tour

The Hi-Fi, West End

Wednesday 24th April 2013


Reviewed by Jennifer Johnston


Pete Murray and friends played to a packed crowd, at The Hi-Fi in West End, last Wednesday, on the eve before Anzac Day.


Murray deliberately pared it down to the basics, minus electronic or back-up band, just acoustic guitar; the occasional harmonica; his syrupy soulful voice and the accompaniment of individually musically talented friends.


Opening with a solo rendition of Saving Grace, Pete commanded centre stage in grey shirt and skinny jeans immediately connecting with the audience.


His opening song was an indication of how the night was to unfold, the music  stripped back to where he began in his early Dooley’s days, when it was just Pete and his guitar.  The difference now, he has expanded his repertoire of songs and his musical friends.


Pete Murray - BSB The Byron Sessions (3)

Following the opening number, Murray sat on a stomp box and welcomed us into his lounge room and suggested we make ourselves comfortable, sit back and chill. For just under two hours, Murray treated the Hi-Fi audience to an evening that was both intimate and casual. Incorporating song choices from a number of his albums, but largely from his most recent release, Blue Sky Blue The Byron Sessions, Murray and “friends” gave one of his best shows I have seen in a while.


Murray engaged the audience with entertaining banter between sets. Showcasing his easy humour, he changed the Free chorus into a musical parody, when he incorporated the suburb of Beenleigh into the lyrics.


Original, amusing, clever – the crowd loved it.



Back stage shot Pete and friends

Among Murray’s muso mates, is the irrepressible Jimmy Barnes.  Casually name dropping, Murray broke into his version of Cold Chisel’s iconic song, Forever Now.  Pete’s rendition, gently rocking the joint gave a nice mellow spin, far removed from the screaming, high octane Barnsey version.


The Byron Bay Session features many guest artists and we were treated with a few special performances throughout the evening. Twinkle toes (Dave) on bass guitar, ripped a beautiful version of LED. Matthew Baker (ex-Thirsty Merc) lead guitar, worked his magic on Lines, bringing the first electric sound to the evening.


Pete on stomp box 2

JC (John Collins, ex-Powderfinger) showed he still has the power with the bass guitar on Hurricane Coming. Nathan Kaye, or “Chook”, as the support act, also appeared intermittently, entertaining with his lead guitar, rap accompaniment and energised antics.


Pete’s humility often shines through. He shared the story of how the security guard in Rockhampton approached him to say his lyrics in Better Days literally “saved” him. Pete asks the crowd, “how can you get better than that?”


222543-60421-7Murray’s intention for the Byron Sessions Tour has been to provide a laid back, more intimate atmosphere and to really connect with the audience, something he enjoys.  Purposely selecting smaller venues to create that connection, Murray admitted after last night’s show, “the Hi-Fi being a larger venue, makes it tough to hear your audience.  I really enjoy the banter with the crowd and was struggling tonight to get the feeling and response from them.”


“I find it easier to create that connection at smaller venues,” he said.


Pete, despite your concerns, the Hi-Fi crowd felt a real connection with you.  Last stop: Coffs Harbour.



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