Having grown up listening to my father play Pete Murray on long road trips again and again (and again), seeing him perform live on Friday night was rather nostalgic. Touring after the release of his sixth studio Camacho, Murray put on an energetic show featuring the entire track list of his new album, not an easy task according to the singer, balanced out with quite a few old crowd favourites.
Supporting Murray was indie rock guitarist and singer Ben Wright Smith accompanied by Miles de Carteret, both of whom looked like they’d strolled straight off the beach and onto stage. The mix of electric and acoustic guitar was the perfect starter course to Murray’s rock band set up. Despite being used to playing smaller venues, both Smith and de Carteret easily filled the large stage with their enthusiasm, bouncing around whilst playing. Although perhaps aiming for a younger demographic than Murray’s, their joyous attitude and boppy set list soon had the whole room nodding their heads and swaying along.
Opening with Only One, the first track from Camacho, followed by Sugar from Summer at Eureka, Murray and his backing band started off strong. The band was tight and polished as was Murray himself, understandable at this point in the tour and after so many years experience. After a few more tracks from Camacho they played Class A from Murray’s 2006 album See The Sun, featuring an absolutely thumping drum solo. This was followed by the title track Camacho, which according to Murray is Spanish slang for ‘sexy dancing’, and did in fact feature some ‘sexy dancing’ from members of the crowd, including a man with a fabulous moustache whom Murray picked himself.
Following this Murray slowed it down, playing Connected from Camacho, and Home, which he dedicated to the late producer of his first album. Better Days from See The Sun was a definite crowd favourite as they belted the lyrics back to the stage. After wrapping up with a few more songs from Camacho, and a marriage proposal between two crowd members, an encore saw Murray perform Opportunity, possibly his most well known song, with just himself, acoustic, and electric guitar. Finishing on his new single Heartbeats from Camacho, Murray bid farewell to the crowd.
Overall Murray and his backing band put on an extremely solid, well rehearsed performance that perhaps was only lacking some energy between band members on stage. But putting this aside, it was a thrill to see some of my favourite songs from childhood reproduced on stage, with that certain flair that only comes from a live performance.
– Emma Whitworth