REVIEW: Peter Bibby brings a dose of Medicine to the Small Ballroom

Rayannon Innes -


This boy is a long way from home and he has story or two to mediate on.

With the release of his single Medicine taking him and his Mid-land bandmates on a tour across the country, Bibby speaks words that wring at the heart of anyone on this continent – especially if you’re young and working class enough.

With a natural accent that could make Courtney Barnett sound metropolitan, Bibby’s new material brought the ballroom to its feet in sweet, persistent sing along. As if the boys were playing a gig at their Perth home-town local, the room was filled in unified song to the words of ‘Hates My Boozin’ where dreamy riffs swim amongst the ode; “my cashflow may be low but my inspiration is wealthy”.

Equally crowd compelling was the melancholy felt in the words of “Goodbye Johnny” where the simple wish to give a friend a farewell hug is foiled due to a flu – “Yeah you saw those glands sticking out the side of my neck, you didn’t want to deal with any of that”. Clearly a sentiment that hit close to home, many a mate was found arm-in-arm, passionately swaying to the echo-y guitar hooks accompanying Bibby’s wailings.

A special mention must also be made to Bibby and fellow bassist’s innovative vocal collaboration on the mic later in set. In an interval between songs, the two band members bellowed out a succession of sounds that harmonised to replicate the surprising yet unmistakable wind music of a didgeridoo.

The evening’s honest nods to all things country Australia puts films like Crocodile Dundee or Australia in the West Australian dust.

Through blending the sounds of country, indie, blues, and even a sprinkling of metal, Bibby’s song writing is a refreshingly frank depiction of a life for the many of us who would rather share a drink with good friends then grind away on a penalty rate-less Sunday.

If it's on in Newcastle, it's on Newcastle Live

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