A huge audience files in for the only performance of Warrandyte blues and soul outfit, The Teskey Brothers this Fringe. Sadly some of that audience some of that audience didn’t know how to be a good audience. More of that later.

The Teskey Brothers open with the opening song on their Half Mile Harvest debut, Crying Shame. From the off they are impressive, tight and are creating original music in the Stax mould. A traditional guitar bass and drums line-up is enhanced by an exceptional two piece horn section that provide a lot of the soul element for me. In a short space of time The Teskeys have found a solid fan base both here and overseas, in fact right after a couple of dates in Australia they head over to the USA for a long tour. Taking these American blues back to its own birthplace.

Front man Josh Teskey’s smoky voice can move from a whisper to a holler and he infuses an authentic flavour into these lyrics which are often about pain and heartbreak. His brother Sam on lead guitar is pretty amazing, making his guitar groove and wail throughout. Liam Gogh on drum and Brendon Love on bass are an air-tight rhythm section. Playing songs from that debut album stand outs were a catchy Louisa and a soulful extended jam on Shiny Moon. My suspicion is that without the tight time constraints on music acts in the Garden, a lot of these songs would have been much extended and jammed upon. There was a new song Right For Me, which was terrific and they wound up with the punchy soul classic Otis Redding’s Hard To Handle.

Directly in front of me a group of four are loudly chatting away through the first four songs before I ask them to quiet down. I’m met with a steely response and ‘it’s a rock’n’roll show mate’, but other people can’t hear the rock’n’roll over your talking, can you move it to the back or wait ‘til after the show is only an hour long? ‘Calm down mate’, with some back up from other annoyed people in my row and the row in front, they quieted down (mostly) for the remainder of the show, but as they were getting up to leave I thanked them and got the charming response ‘you’re a ball bag’. If that’s true, at least I am a polite (and sober) ballbag that doesn’t disrupt other people trying to watch a show, disrespecting the performer by talking through their performance.

Fringe Review by Ian Bell