[Live Review] Ash Grunwald

Ash Grunwald

The Triffid June 19

ash grunwald (12 of 16)

The petite blonde Brisbane girl Sahara Beck warms up the crowd for her short set at The Triffid. This talented guitar playing powerhouse has been a favorite opener for many musicians in Brisbane lately and is making quite a name for herself with her mellow music yet resounding voice. She sings emotionally and plays with abandon, a small legion of fans eagerly listening.

Following her is Hein Cooper a relative newcomer having only been discovered in 2013 in a bar. He has just released a new self titled EP and the crowd show interest even if they are waiting for the main act to commence. His set is short and sweet, sadly just a taste and not enough of this talented young man. Finishing his set with the ethereal ” Art of Escape” his sound is mournful yet pleasant with echoes of a young Jeff Buckley.

Ash Grunwald takes the stage later in the evening and by now the room is full, everyone waiting with bated breath. Having had immense success at Blues Festival Grunwald is out to tour with some new songs that will be released in September funded through Pledge. Brand new song ” Rambling” is received rather well by the crowd with loud whoops.

His guitar work this evening can not be faulted, he is a powerhouse and not a note is wasted. He changes guitar regularly for each song and makes each Les Paul Gibson work in different ways with the expert use of a stomp box.  He is immersed in the music and plays each song as though it is coming out of every fiber of his very soul. For any guitar lover it is an absolute amazing show.

He welcomes on stage his back up singers Danni Carr and Lisa Candy that have been with him since Bluesfest and invites the crowd to sing along. He tells everyone in the crowd to sing along to ” The Chainsaw” and sings a few bars to teach the words  ” We’re groaning” to be sung on command. ” You don’t have to be good, you have to be loud” he jokes. It’s a gritty bluesy song and the crowd loves it.

For the most part of the evening Grunwald has been rather reserved and let his music do the talking. He saves the performance for pure playing and not for talking.  He prefers to let the other band members take the lime light. His keyboard player Ian Perez dressed in a red jacket is all too happy to take the center stage, with his eccentric playing; mostly with body parts other than his hands. He’s funny and entertaining as he lets loose entirely, curly hair flopping around but it is a little of a shame that he manages to up stage Ash the entire time. After all it is an Ash Grunwald show and not and Ian Perez show.

Always having been known as the Festival musician tonight Ash Grunwald has played a rather impressive show of both old and new at The Triffid. He has united hipsters and hippies with his blend of powerful vocals and flawless guitar playing.


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