I wandered up the drive on a balmy Sunday arvo in Gooch Street Thornbury, to a wooden backyard table overflowing delicious food, great conversation and the signature warmth and laughter of any gathering at ‘The Gooch’ (as it’s fondly known to friends). As usual, our wonderful hosts Chris, Nick and Mays never disappoint.
The backyard was already chockers with eager patrons hanging out on picnic blankets, or chatting in the courtyard. Soon enough at the back corner of the yard, between two wooden pallets topped with native flowers in wine-bottle-vases, sat our brilliant act for the afternoon - Harry James Angus.
In his laid back way he chatted with us, stoked to be performing a backyard gig and sharing little nuggets about each song he played; beautiful stories about young love, original Thornburnians and their lemon trees, Scottish soldiers, and the sweetness of life, all coloured by his unique, captivating lyrics and accompanied by earthy, pared-back guitar.
Harry said he was glad for a rare opportunity to play one of his favourite guitars: 'The one that can’t plug in to anything’ and was nice enough to decline a shady umbrella to perform under since us audience still had to sit out in the hot sun - of course, we didn't mind a bit! The whole yard had a ball, time kind of stopped and the hourlong set flew by before we knew it.
Afterwards there were some ukelele serenades (naturally) and the drinks and food continued to flow freely as people began to make tracks home for the last hours of the weekend, well equipped with a cracker of a story for Monday morning.
Review by Louise Berger