Note - I may be inconsistent with referring to Bob as Kevin in this post. Bob Evans and Kevin Mitchell are the same person, yeah.
The Bella Union is the perfect venue for a gig - it's intimate, drinks are cheap, and there are tables and chairs, plus armchairs and couches. I've often thought of taking my own chair (one of those walking sticks with a fold out seat would be perfect) to a stand up gig, and so I am thankful for any venue with a chair that is close to the stage - the Bella Union definitely met my needs! I went on my own (like I do for most gigs) and sat next to a nice couple who are also into a lot of Aussie music. I also met a blog reader (hi Jackie!) and a dermatologist who saw me speak at the hospital last month.
Thelma Plum and her guitarist Andrew, who has no surname. I adored her from her first song. Thelma Plum - how could I have missed her? Methinks I need to listen to more Triple J (she was a J Award finalist) - she is wonderful! I think she's the next big thing.
Triple J Unearthed.
Bob Evans' music makes me nostalgic - I think back to when I first heard him on Triple J, six years ago when I moved back to Albury to get my life back on track, and I am so thankful for that time, not only because I discovered his music. I also think about my little old car (it was 27) deteriorating, and as he sang Ode to My Car, I remembered how I played that song on its trip to the wrecking yard. He says it's a silly song ("not a metaphor for a relationship like some think, it's actually about a car") but I think many people can relate to their old car being at the end of its life.
The banter with the audience is part of the charm of his shows (I do hope that if he ever takes a break from music, he will have his very own radio show, because he's very funny and a good talker). Initially he commented on a few occasions about how quiet we were, adding that it means the night is all about him. A lot of the banter was very funny, in a self deprecating way. I like a musician who's not afraid to take the piss out of himself. He told us how his first album has sold as many units in 10 years to give it copper status "you never hear about copper albums", he said. He also introduced The Power Of Speech as a bossonova song, "the sexiest type of music, next to heavy metal", and talked a little of his "lack of prowess" with females when he was a teen - "I know, it's hard to believe when you look at me now", he said, pointing to himself. He took requests (but only of the songs he'd rehearsed), and invited a guy (Jesse from Warnambool) on stage to play the harmonica during Turn. He was surprised when Jesse more prepared than him, and did a great job on the harmonica. He also threw me out a hello when he spotted me while reaching for his wine.A video is here.
After the show, Kevin met with fans, signing CDs (each audience member got a free Double Life CD) and teatowels, and posed for photos. The time spent with fans, plus regularly thanking us for spending our money and watching him play ("it always blows my mind that people watch me play", he said, later adding "Missy Higgins is also playing tonight, you may have enough time to catch the end of her show") indicates how much he enjoys playing music and values his fans. He was absolutely lovely. He gave me a hug (I'm still quite sore and I appreciate him being very gentle) and asked whether I'm feeling better, and hoped the couch was ok for me. I thanked him for the interview, and apologised for the questions being potentially too personal - he said he didn't mind answering them for someone he knows.
Thank you for a wonderful show Bob/Kevin! Can't wait for more new songs.