JACK DAVIES and SOIBHAN COTCHIN, FREMANTLE ARTS CENTRE
Photo credits Sheldon Ang
Around The Sound‘s Sheldon Ang gets mesmerised by Jack Davies and Siobhan Cochin’s Mum at the Fremantle Art Centre!
“I’m sure Siobhan will be performing on the big stage this time next year” says Dave of Fremantle Arts Centre. Siobhan Cotchin was just one half of the night’s performance along with Jack Davies.
Despite their recent formation, Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks have been regulars of the WAM nominations and scooping the Nannup Music Festivals Emerging Artist in 2019. To validate their artistry, they were Runner Up in the grand prize, WAM Song of the Year of 2020 with Half Frozen Beer, but winning in the Country category.
Due to Covid, the performances were carried out simultaneously in two rooms, with each artist performing twice to both sets of audiences.
Around the Sound was directed to Jack Davies’ solo performance. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica, baggy pants and a beanie, Davies epitomises Freo, the kind that captures the imagery of cappuccino, culture, left wing politics, purple haze, seagulls and chips by the ocean.
Davies’s performance was a mix bag of his solo work, such as High Street Blues, A Little Hungry Song, It’s Been a Long time and the tracks of the Jack Davies and The Bush Chooks upcoming EP including Broken Glass, Long Time and Michael.
Word for word, the audience held onto every syllable of the lyrical story teller, be it funny and sad, bright and lugubrious; while barely out of his teens, Jack Davies is a musical hypnotiser.
After the gig, Around the Sound caught up with Davies for a quick chat about his performance.
Sheldon: Tell me about the seagull song, the audience seems to love it…like most of your songs.
Jack: The seagull song, aka tragic tale of the seagull and a box of hot chips, is a song I wrote when I was 17, and have never recorded. It’s just a silly story song, so I like to play when I have a quiet and attentive crowd. It’s really nice when folks laugh along.
Sheldon: And the audience also witnessed a rare sight of Jack Davies in “Michael” – a song about the tragic death of a man’s brother.
Jack: Michael is another story song, but written about a real event. It was quite a surreal and heart wrenching scene – something that I don’t take lightly.
Sheldon: Your band got the runner up prize for the WAM Song of the Year for Half Frozen Beer.
Davies: We were so happy to receive the runner up at the Song of the Year grand prize. I wrote the song a couple of days before we recorded…so honestly, I didn’t expect much of it…we just tried to make it fun and a little different. So we were really surprised and happy to seeing it getting an award, considering the other incredible nominees in the category. The bridge of the song was written about the rusty old shed out at the back of my old house. I love that shed a lot, so I’m glad to have it in the song! It’s a great shed. It used to be a chook shed before I moved in.
Sheldon: How do you find playing in this venue?
Davies: The Freo Arts Centre is a beautiful venue, so much history and art in that place. Great staff. And great pizza, and very great pizza, It’s a huge privilege to be playing here.
Sheldon: You must be glad to perform again.
Davies: I’m so glad to be able to gig again…I don’t really have any other job so it is really keeps me afloat. Was a strange and uncomfortable few months beforehand.
This group of audience then moved to Siobhan Cotchin’s second performance – also fresh from two nominations for Tear Myself Apart in the Country and Rock Categories.
At only twenty years young, Cotchin is already a well accoladed singer songwriter, after winning Nannup at fourteen and nominated for WAM Song of the year in 2017. Seating next to Tracy Cotchin, Around the Sound was told by Siobhan’s mother that they had to decline several shows due to scheduling clashes and overload.
From the first verse onwards, the room was electrified by Cotchin’s vocals, showcasing the evidence as being one of the most sought-after indie rock artists in Perth. There were the favourites with catchy harmonies and chorus – Do You Know What I Mean, Tear Myself Apart and the latest single Just the Way It is.
For those who are familiar with Cotchin’s early work, they would have noticed a shift in tempo from the lovey doveys of the early teenage years to the coming of age saga.
The guitar from Nashville was a natural extension of the artist, plucking away ever so comfortably and dextrously like a veteran, the harmonics synchronising perfectly with her vocals. Given the credence of the studio recording, it was unsurprising that Cotchin oozed sincerity and honesty in her live performance, her countenance and vocals matching the thematic diction of the highs and lows.
The audience was also treated with a rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” (glad it was an 18+ event). It may not be as creepy as the original (no one could anyway), but the audience knew who the boss was for the forty or so minutes. Despite commanding the audience’s attention like a Ted Talker, Cotchin told Around the Sound, “I still get nervous, absolutely yes I do!”.
Overall it was a night to remember in one of the quaintest, cosiest and chic venues in Perth – and we can’t wait to return to this historical building in the following week.
Full Interview of Siobhan Cotchin in May 2020 – https://www.aroundthesound.com.au/siobhan-cotchin-interview-do-you-know-what-i-mean/