Chatting with Josh Pyke & Bob Evans ahead of their ‘Another Evening…’ national tour

As I dial into the conference call to talk to Josh Pyke and Bob Evans about their upcoming ‘Another Evening with Josh Pyke and Bob Evans’ tour, I catch the tail end of a conversation about the possibility of Josh shaving his beard off. Given that my name is also Josh and I also have a beard, I become slightly concerned. But Mr Pyke promptly assures me, “No no, I’m definitely not shaving my beard off.”

Bob then chimes in with, “Josh Pyke, what would it take for you shave your beard off, like for charity?”

Josh: “Well I’ve had this beard since I was like 15 years old, you know…”

Bob: “Fuck off, you haven’t had a beard since you were fifteen!”

Josh: “I have, I actually have, some kind of beard. Like a goatee or whatever.”

It’s about now that it dawns on me that I only have fifteen minutes for the interview, so I better ask some intelligent questions about music. And being the hard-hitting music journalist that I am, I first ask Bob, “What do I call you, Bob or Kevin?” He answers, “Bob.” Right, well that’s that out of the way.

The tour itself is a sequel to its very successful predecessor from 2006, which saw the pair play together at several iconic venues across the country. The idea this time around is very similar, albeit with ten years’ extra material to choose from for set lists. Yet there will be something new about the format of the shows. Bob says, “Last time the show was pretty traditional. I went on and played my set, then Josh followed. We played a couple of songs together with overlap. But this time, we’re presenting ourselves pretty much as a duo. We’ll be onstage together the whole time.”

Regarding set lists he adds, “It’s really about what songs were going to a) work best in this format and b) what’s gonna give the crowd something that they’re going to remember. There’s a couple of songs I’ve put in because I want to see how they work live. But for the most part, it’s about celebrating the songs that Josh and I have written that connected with people the most.”

In the past 12 months, both artists have been busy. Josh Pyke’s critically acclaimed But For All These Shrinking Hearts was released last year and Bob Evans’ Car Boot Sale this year. They’ve both toured on the back of those albums and I asked both guys how they felt their respective albums had been received.

Josh says, “Yeah, it was amazing. It was my highest debut ever. It debuted at number two on the mainstream charts. To have it received like that is a real testament to my core fan base. It’s my fifth album, so to have that kind of response is amazing.”

Since the release of that album he has also released a live recording in tandem with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. About that he says, “That was the number one classical record for a while and I just won an ARIA for it, so I feel really stoked at the moment. You don’t know, after ten years, if people are going to stick with you, so it’s been a great run.”

About Car Boot Sale, Bob says, “I’m really happy with the record I made. I made exactly the kind of record I wanted to make. I went into it without trying to please anyone in particular. It’s the first record I’ve put out in a while that’s been pretty much ignored by radio. So that was a changing environment for me but really, I’m just grateful to be able to make the music I wanna make and have people rock up to my shows.”

“I mean, I’m still juggling playing in Jebediah and being Bob Evans at the same time. It’s fun, but career wise there are disadvantages to that as well,” he says with a chuckle. “But hey, it’s the best problem to have in the world.”

Bob has raised the topic of Jebediah, so I take the time to fanboy a little and tell him how much I appreciate the Jeb songs that nursed me through high school. Then a throw a curveball. As Bob Evans, Kevin Mitchell displays a very different creative side of himself. So I ask which one he enjoys more, “Oh that’s impossible to answer. I love both of them for different reasons. Which is why I’ve worked so hard to keep both alive, because they both kind of nourish me in very different ways. If I lost either, it would leave a massive hole.”

I’ve always imagined that playing your own music with another person must change the dynamics. On this, Josh offers, “We don’t totally know yet. I don’t really remember what happened last time because it was a long time ago. But when I play solo, I build songs with other instruments. In a duo, I feel the dynamics will be built with harmonies. In terms of the way we interact on stage, we’re not going to script anything. We’re just going to do what we do in our solo shows, which is just riff. The dynamic will be pretty fun, loose and casual.”

The tour will begin in Adelaide on November 24th at The Gov. When I mention to the guys that I’m very happy they chose my hometown to kick off the tour, Bob offers this, “I started my last tour in Adelaide as well and it was probably one of the best shows of the tour. I’m all about Adelaide at the moment. Plus, I feel like I spend time in South Australia every night when I drink wine.”

Josh laughs and adds, “I’ve gotta say, The Gov is one of my favourite venues and I didn’t play there last time, so I’m really looking forward to getting back there. So much fun.”

ANOTHER EVENING WITH JOSH PYKE AND BOB EVANS NATIONAL TOUR

November 24th | The Gov, ADELAIDE
November 25th | The Pretoria, MANNUM
November 26th | Clancy’s Fish Pub, DUNSBOROUGH
November 27th | Live at The Orchard, PERTH
December 2nd | Powerhouse, BRISBANE
December 3rd | Sol Bar, SUNSHINE COAST
December 4th | Soundlounge, GOLD COAST
December 8th | 48 Watt St, NEWCASTLE
December 9th | The Factory, SYDNEY
December 10th | The Street Theatre, CANBERRA
December 15th | Sooki Lounge, BELGRAVE
December 16th | Corner Hotel, MELBOURNE

 

 

 

Tickets available from www.joshpyke.com or www.bobevans.com.au.