“This is probably the first gig where everyone’s just sat back and watched me play my music – and no one’s requested The Gambler.” Dan Baker.
It was one of the fastest gigs to book out in Townsville, with a waiting list of RSVPs and a packed-out venue on the night.
But it wasn’t at the Civic Theatre or Quayside Terminal: it was in a quaint, freshly-mown backyard.
The inaugural Neighbourhood Sessions was raw, soulful, and showed in the most magical way how less can be best, with nothing but three musicians, their guitars, and a can of Aeroguard all that was needed to capture the hearts of their audience.
As the sun began to set, Dan Baker’s goosebump-inducing vocals stopped everyone mid-sentence – his voice alone is so unique, but then he manages to astound even further by nailing every long note he sings. It left every single audience member speechless, and is sure to have earnt Dan a few more fans.
Local producer and singer-songwriter Sam Wright took to the stage next, and showcased exactly what makes Neighbourhood Sessions great: they aren’t molded, plastic artists having to perform the same rigid set list – they’re real, natural musicians that chop and change songs, admitting when they can’t remember their own lyrics, and testing new material out. While Sam admitted that forgetting his glasses may make a few songs a bit difficult, he kept the good vibes flowing, adding to them with his quirky lyrics (Horses, anyone?).
Swooning songstress and the brains behind Neighbourhood Sessions, Nicole Cross, joined Sam to combine two of Townsville’s most unique and beautiful voices, performing several stunning duets before Sam left Nicole to round out the evening.
Nicole is one of Townsville’s secret superstars. On speaking to her, you would never imagine the incredible voice hidden away. But as soon as she starts singing, her vocals change, conveying so much more emotion, depth, and maturity through her lyrics.
Neighbourhood Sessions was like nothing I’ve experienced in Townsville before. You aren’t sitting in a pub having a drink with music in the background. As Dan Baker said, the artists were the primary reason we were there – we were sitting there watching them, giving local artists concert-level attention in a much more laid-back setting.
In a movement that’s already revolutionising the Brisbane and Adelaide live music scenes, it looks like Neighbourhood Sessions is set to stamp its place in Townsville. With each gig only able to accommodate a certain number of people and no locked in venues or dates, make sure to follow their socials to keep up to date.