a Recording Studios review of the Sydney date of Gostwyck’s EP release tour March 2016
If you found yourself at The Vanguard in Newtown on the evening of March the ninth, you would have met with a feast for the ears. But don’t think grandiose halls, crystal chandeliers and diamond-studded goblets. Instead, picture a red brick cottage with a thatched roof and glowing fireplace. This was a three course feast of comfort food; chicken pot pie the way Grandma used to make it. Perhaps one day you’ll be sat by a fireplace not dissimilar, recalling memories made with the recording studios in your heart and mind. Those lucky enough to have been at The Vanguard at the aforementioned time would simply have better recordings to savour and enjoy on repeat. Gostwyck’s EP launch was just that good.
Naturally, the evening began with an entree. Well, actually, it began with non-metaphorical drinks at the bar and a clamber for the merchandise available for purchase; CDs from recording studios, up-cycled shirts from Vinnies. Then entree was served. The Gypsy Scholars ladled out hearty soup with a side of cheeky banter. Their words and music alike were genuine, heartfelt and accessible, without delving too deep. Banjo, mandolin, flannel shirts and a few classic ‘hey’s made for a thoughtful (they are scholars, after all) yet gleefully fun starter. Now for the mains; Stockley.
New by name but experienced by trade, the Sydney six-piece supplied the meat and three veg of the night. They brought to the table a host of new tunes, fresh out of the recording studios where they have been cooking up their next release. Reliable as always, their performance was solid, but let down by the mix. Admittedly, The Vanguard is a concrete bunker with bar and mezzanine; experiences of the audio would undoubtedly vary. Lyrics tended to be lost in a sea of sound, except where the crowd helped carry the vocals, showing their love for the older, well-worn songs. So satisfying was the performance, they nearly stole the show. But Gostwyck rose to the challenge.
They were the dessert you didn’t think you had space for, until five minutes later you find you’ve gone back for a third slice of that apple pie, with extra ice-cream to boot. Their energy on stage was electrifying, their joy playing together tangible. Every crumb of banter showed how ecstatic they were to be there.
Again, the sound fell short. Sub-bass frequencies weren’t contained; when Stockley’s violinist returned as a guest, her solo was mostly a silent one. The deafening cheer when her mic was eventually un-muted stood as testament to how invested the audience had become. Everyone was content to archive the experience with the recording studios in their hearts and minds, rather than memory on their devices. Phones remained in pockets. Gazes remained fixated on the stage.
Through it all the band never lost focus of their tight grooves and harmonies, and fluid transitions.
Gostwyck’s debut EP ‘It’s All a Dream,’ recorded in Sydney Recording Studios, is now available on all major platforms.