REVIEW: Suit wearing, crooner Cam Avery live at the Freo Arts Centre
Its common knowledge Kevin Parker's Tame Impala posse, are pretty immense talents in their own rite. Cam Avery was no exception on Saturday night when he took to the stage and unveiled a range of stunning new tracks along with some old Growl favourites. Dressed for the occasion in a suit, he blew everyone away.
Since taking over bass duties from Nick Allbrook circa 2013, Avery has been a busy bird. The LA based artist recently signed with iconic US label ANTI (Wilco, Tom Waits) and has been working on his highly anticipated debut solo album Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams. The LP is set for release on March 10th via ANTI and Spinning Top Records.
Inspired by the old records he loved —Johnny Hartman, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Sarah Vaughan, Etta James, Avery says of the self-produced album, “I just started saying ‘yes’ to things while making the album. I figured: I’m in my mid 20’s, I play in a band, I live in Los Angeles—I’m ripe to dream. But the pipe dream, the underlying theme of the album, if you really listen, is that all I really want is to have someone in my life and to be in love.”
Channelling Nick Cave in a suit, Avery's dark and romantic style appealed to both young and old. Oh boy, he was bluesy and laden with unadulterated croon. His set focussed on beautiful and intricate piano arrangements and softly reserved percussions. It was difficult not to swoon when Cam serenaded his manager Jodie with a Elvis Presley cover.
The second cut off his debut solo album, ‘Wasted on Fidelity’ was a wry and swinging glimpse into the debauched haze following a failed relationship. His smooth tenor glided over the idyllic, leafy surrounds of the Freo Arts Centre courtyard. Until an audience member shouted "PLAY MORE SHIT"... Cam had a laugh, and then the band (FKA the Growl) went ROCK AND ROLL BABY playing old bangas including John the Revelator.
His gig at Freo Arts Centre clearly evidenced that Avery's solo aesthetic has progressed from the distortion-soaked sound of his first project The Growl to a more clear, ambitious and cinematic sound. With a deep, husky baritone, it is so easy to draw comparisons to Nick Cave and Scott Walker. I say, why the hell not! I am loving Cam Avery's bold new crooner direction. Wear more suits.