I first heard Melbourne songwriters The Orbweavers last August. Playing support at the Toff in Town, they were as mesmerizing as they were warm and accessible.
Thankfully I’d checked their set times in the morning of an overcast Melbourne Sunday – assuming they were playing the Northcote Social Club at night would be fair, right? Wrong, this was a Matinee show, so with the far more school-night suitable start time of 3:40pm, their Loom album launch encore kicked off.
The stage is decorated today. Leaves scatter the front, and the rear is draped with handmade arts and crafts, many inspired by elements of the periodic table. U for Uranium gets a mention, as does Si for Silicon. However it’s the inclusion of Radon – Rn 86 – that makes me wonder if it’s by accident or design given the tram – Route Number 86 – runs past the venue’s door. I digress.
Opening with the tale of a bower bird, The Bower from 2009′s Graphite & Diamonds , the Orbweavers make a low key entrance with a song that holds your attention lyrically as it meanders calmly through the room.
It’s the current album Loom though – Triple R’s Album of the Week back in October 2011 – that provides the lions share of the set. The reflectively beautiful Merri, about the river running through Melbourne’s north is introduced by singer and guitarist Marita Dyson in he own understated, warm and humourous-without-really-trying style.
Introducing the songs is important to Dyson, each song has taken inspiration from what some may overlook – Double Thread, a tune about sewing and the dying out textile industry, You Can Run, a story about the yearnings of a greyhound on a leash, and Spotswood – an unlikely theme about Melbourne’s inner west – could seem fairly basic when used a premise for a song.
Where Dyson and co-writer Stuart Flanagan shine though is in taking these seemingly everyday themes and living up to their name – weaving stories, sounds and words through them and connecting them to a captive audience.
There are all ages here today, but what shines out to me watching are the captive eyes of a four year old (right), transfixed by Marita as she delivers the tunes to the sold out crowd at the NSC. There’s something every person can relate to in the tunes from The Orbweavers, and they’re delivered beautifully by Dyson, Flanagan, and their bandmates Daniel Aulsebrook (Trumpet). Paddy Mann (Bass), Stuart Lindsay (Keyboards/Koto) and Jen Sholakis (Drums). A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
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