Waywards @ The Bank
4 April 2019

The tender, dark and delicate voice of Elizabeth Fader suited the cosy and dark Waywards stage. Despite just a scattering of early-arrivals, they were super-attentive and hanging off every fragile lyric.

With a song about the Marrickville Bowlo, the awkward moment of calling for encores when you don’t really need one and the next single – “in around 8 weeks” – called Super Moon, there’s the makings of a well-constructed album underway. The expert finger-picking on the guitar, playing completely solo and with somewhat demonic lighting showcased the ability to hold the attention of a room and provide some chuckles in between.

The hard-working and talented Ben Panucci assembled somewhat of a super-group to perform his eclectic brand of music that seemed to range from prog rock, to funk to soul and everything in between. The guitar work of the front-man was on show, but the keyboard and bass synths from Andrew Bruce highlighted the funk, the clever guitar-work from Ollie Thorpe punctuated through the tracks and all expertly held together by drummer, Tully Ryan.

Playing songs from his album of last year, Age of Consequence, Panucci, along with his band were cheeky and endearing clearly proving how much fun they have on stage and how talented they are as musicians

Starting solo on the small and dark Waywards stage, Lisa Caruso’s voice crackles through the hum of the patrons with her opening track, My Romantic. Immediately, the unique tone of her voice draws the audience towards the stage before she introduces her full band to the stage.

This, the launch of her latest single and another step towards a debut album release later in the year, is a perfect chance for a sneak peek at some of the new yet-to-be-released material.

Every song feels like an experience, complete with emotion and longing. A track called Jamie about someone called Katie (I think I got it the right way around) is a longingly beautiful cut to look forward to. “This is a happy song”, declares Caruso, despite the next song being written at the time of Trump’s election.

It’s the strange juxtaposition. The music is beautifully delivered and fills your body with those happy sad emotions, the lilt of Caruso’s voice raising those butterflies in your stomach higher than you’d expect.

The bar is neither smokey, not seedy, but sometimes it feels like the setting should be both for the old-style guitar twang that comes from the stage, however the guitar is abandoned for Dream Lover a sassy, bass-heavy track that fills the space and lets Caruso explore a bigger sound.

A Holiday ends the set with the feeling of wind in your hair, a cleansed soul and the feeling that your heart will never be the same as Lisa Caruso’s voice soars into the night.

Lisa Caruso
Ben Panucci
Elizabeth Fader