Tonicfest launch party david cuthbertson of the animators 3 by william pj kulich willpjk.com

MINI gigs have flirted with popularity in recent years. The private events are like house parties with the option of ignoring everyone and focusing on the live band crashing in the corner.

A couple of months ago I was invited to the Tonicfest launch party, held in the upstairs area of a Warragul shop. Tonicfest is a private,* invite-only music festival held in the area which features local and national artists. You can find my photos from last year’s inaugural event here.

This year’s launch featured a stripped-back set by The Animators frontman David Cuthbertson. (Click here for more about David and the band.) I say stripped back only because David was on his own for most songs – the performance was akin to that of a full band thanks to some technical tricks and raw talent.

Tonicfest launch party david cuthbertson of the animators 7 by william pj kulich willpjk.com

Above: David is joined by guitarist James “Jimmy” Jones-Ellis. Photos by William PJ Kulich.

Seeing a gig performed in a restricted space like a small shop’s second storey is fascinating. Limited lighting may have made photography difficult – especially with a crap lens and entry-level camera (always blame your tools, kids) – but it focussed attention on the main attraction. This was nothing like public gigs where people sit on the edge of the stage and chat(!) – the audience really listened. It was intense.

Tonicfest launch party david cuthbertson of the animators 8 by william pj kulich willpjk.com

Tonicfest launch party david cuthbertson of the animators 2 by william pj kulich willpjk.com

Tonicfest launch party david cuthbertson of the animators 9 by william pj kulich willpjk.com

The setlist was a broad selection of Animators releases, including the relatively drum-heavy “We, not the giant“. David not only played keys and sang during the gig, he also picked up sticks for a floor tom he had hidden behind his keyboard.

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Tonicfest launch party david cuthbertson of the animators 10 by william pj kulich willpjk.com

Tonicfest launch party david cuthbertson of the animators 11 by william pj kulich willpjk.com

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Tonicfest launch party david cuthbertson of the animators 1 by william pj kulich willpjk.com

One of the night’s highlights was the début of a new song, “The Politician”, which was written only the night before and very much still a work in progress. Check out the draft lyrics below.

Tonicfest launch party david cuthbertson of the animators the politican lyric sheet by william pj kulich willpjk.com

Tonicfest launch party david cuthbertson of the animators 12 by william pj kulich willpjk.com

Above: after the event.

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Above: hidden entrance.

For the latest news about The Animators, be sure to like the band on Facebook and follow on Twitter. And, while you’re at it, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter too.

*The organisers asked I stress that Tonicfest is strictly invite-only. It is a private party. Do not turn up if you have not been invited.

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