Tenderfoot‘s return to Sydney for their recent single tour was a triumphant one. Frontman John Vella and the band have gone through a lot to arrive with a fresh perspective and a debut album Beginnings ready to be released. Spearheaded by the single The Scenery, the band have taken a confident step forward with their recent national tour. After playing well received shows up and down the east coast, the band wrapped things up with a big hometown show at the Brighton Up Bar.
Wrapping up their national tour with a show at Sydney’s Brighton Up Bar, Tenderfoot refused to step gingerly as they happily showed off their debut Beginnings.
It’s a sold out night at the Darlinghurst venue. Walking up the stairs into the Brighton you’re greeted by a packed out room, people murmuring excitedly as they wait for Tenderfoot to take the stage. The guys have dabbled in various music ventures before now, so there is a keen interest from those present to see what Tenderfoot can bring. Bringing along a guest guitarist and keyboardist, the band launch into their arsenal of introspective alternative rock. Perhaps alt rock is too broad a genre to place these guys in, however their sound is one that encompasses a broad range of styles ranging from folk, to country, a hint of Australiana and a bit more classic rock. Credit is due firstly to how well these songs are put together.
Beginnings is yet to be released (we’ve heard it and it sounds pretty good) but the tracks clicked with the audience immediately. Stranger’s Love and Chasing The Rain went over quite well, the extra keys on hand helped flesh the songs out. It’s good to see the band bring the full sound of the album to their live show. They’re putting their best foot forward and being shy is not an option. Vella proved to be a charming frontman. No he wasn’t strutting or dancing or wowing the crowd with an impromptu stand up routine.
What worked well was his earnestness. His songs openly deal with themes of sadness, isolation and loss, but his delivery was one full of heart. This isn’t a man stuck howling about his demons, this is a man admitting to his problems and having the courage to move forward. It’s a theme that runs throughout Beginnings and it translated well on stage. In terms of vocal performance Vella was spot on. Light and charming, it’s his voice that is the focal point of Tenderfoot’s music.
Let’s not forget the band, all of whom were in good form. Ambient, moody but with a good dash of fun the vibe was infectious, some punters even taking to having a dance up front. An issue with the Brighton at times is that when people start chatting it’s quite audible throughout the room. That wasn’t an issue this night, the people present were transfixed from the get go. A big highlight for the night saw a few friends jump on stage for a fun cover of The Band’s The Weight. For a debut national tour Tenderfoot have nailed it, and they didn’t let up for a moment to bring a memorable show to Sydney.