Bernard Fanning, Toronga Zoo: Jan 30

What better way to wade into the Sydney weekend than with the romantic melodies of support band Little May, their sound equally as surreal as the purple and orange chaos in the dusk sky.

Clad in denim, flannelette and pointy camel boots, his hair dehydrated, looking like it’s been sprayed with a Halloween cobweb spray, the Peter Pan-esque Bernard Fanning confessed upon entering the stage that he will be playing “all new stuff” tonight.

Fanning played songs off his new album to be released this year: raw folky goodness. As instruments in history books do the rounds, Fanning’s iconic voice tailed off into the ether.

New track Belly Of The Beast got the crowd’s attention as the ever-political Fanning went on a two-minute rant about corrupt governments and human rights injustices. This could have been written off as a Bono moment if the track had no substance but he quivered with conviction. He is joined by Little May who tentatively tapped instruments, seemingly less passionate about the message.

Fanning played Wish You Well and much of the audience moved to the front of the stage to swing-dance with partners, children and friends. “Why’d you give up on me so soon?” was chanted out as they tried to savour the moment.

Fanning finished with a tribute to Joe Cocker: a cover of The Letter. Throughout the song Fanning smashed the keyboard looking like a crazy scientist under the harshness of the now-raised house lights.

bernard_fanning_taronga_zoo_0115_josh_groom_4.5d26410ceeb873e24a1286b76f778d99 Photo credit Josh Groom.

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