In an intimate space like the Skukum Lounge at The Junk Bar (13 May), indulging in the warm hug that is live music gives you permission to pretend for a time that someone loves you, even when you’re sleeping. I mean, if that’s not your real life narrative already.
Abby Dobson, formerly of Leonardo’s Bride and a long-time stand-alone artist, hit the road in May with a swag of new songs and a reassuringly familiar voice.
The tour was in duo mode, with Abby playing two short sets accompanied by her nephew (and producer of her latest album), Simon Dobson. He adds delicate effects to his guitars as he weaves a complementing tapestry around the firm frame of Abby’s acoustic guitar lines.
When the first moment of harmony happens in the chorus of the first song, ‘Two Swallows’, it’s like a beacon of bliss. We are sailing gently around the harbour and these two will steer us, love us and hold us till we wake.
In ‘Once’, we meet a searing fairytale of forgiveness and leaving. “This passing parade can’t hold a torch to you.”
We hear the tale about how Abby’s song ‘Cloud Watching’ went on to become the theme song for the Cloud Appreciation Society (CAS), after Abby’s Mum encouraged her to send it to them. Founding member of the CAS, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, appointed Abby an honorary member – and her Mum is delighted to display said certificate.
The gentle strength and fragile power of Abby’s performance is intoxicating.
About the size of the room, she says in her polite kind of Australian accent: “I feel like I should know all of your names by now.”
She introduces her latest single, which she started writing in 2004, ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’. She couldn’t finish it until she got to a point where she could believe it. Dear Abby, thank you – you made us believe it, too.
Abby Dobson plays Ziggy’s Barber Salon (Sydney, 31 May), HOTA (Gold Coast, 1 June) and Camelot Lounge (Sydney, 2 June).