The voice that has taken Debra Byrne from Young Talent Time to stages and screens all around Australia was still there in all its former glory during a highly entertaining concert at Archies Creek Hotel last Sunday afternoon.

 

DEBRA Byrne has got a pretty good sense of humour and she demonstrated that during an animated engagement with the audience at the Archies Creek Hotel last Sunday afternoon.

After the life she’s had, it would certainly help.

It was a different sort of concert, pitched for its statewide run as ‘An intimate and up-close performance with Debra Byrne’, culminating in a big event at the MEMO Music Hall, Acland Street, St Kilda, next Sunday, December 5.

The show was mix of songs and conversations about Ms Byrne’s interesting, sometimes challenging life in music, on stage, on TV and in film.

“During 1994 I’d met up with (Australian singer-songwriter) Paul Norton to do some writing and we came up with this really great song, but we got a bit hungry and went out for some lunch. By the time we came back, we couldn’t remember how the song went,” she told the crowd.

“So, we wrote another one and this is it…

The song she played with the Debra Byrne Trio was ‘Diamond in the rough/Say goodbye to the broken hearted.”

At one stage she took a liking to teacher Malcolm Beasley, who was celebrating his birthday at the show and told him he reminded her of the Father Christmas she’d just seen down at her local shopping centre.

“You don’t mind me saying that, do you?” she said.

She also said how hard it had been for her getting through the lockdowns in Melbourne, looking after grandchildren but craving some adult conversation and a chance to play.

“You’d see people while out on your walks and you’d be desperate to say something to break the boredom but now people have gone back to not giving a stuff.”

There were plenty of special moments with Ms Byrne for the crowd, at one stage acknowledging that she’d allowed emotion to get the better of her while trying to sing a song that was a personal favourite of her treasured collaborator of 25 years, legendary Melbourne guitarist, Dion Hirini, who died suddenly in March this year.

She stopped singing the song, explained why and then moved on.

Towards the end she sang a song dedicated to Peter Foley and the team from the Caravan Music Club, saying it was just wonderful to have the opportunity to get out and play again.

“Thanks for your support for the live music scene,” she said.

She finished with a rendition of the Eagles’ song, ‘Take It To The Limit’… she’s certainly done that.

Afterwards Ms Byrne took time out to meet with fans and even gave Malcolm Beesley a hug and wished him a happy birthday.

“I love coming down here. I used to have a caravan down here for a long time and we’d go to Cape Paterson and Kilcunda and all around. I love it.”

Someone else described the performance as “honest”, it was that, with Byrne prepared to show her vulnerability, but also her talent as the voice still soared to some really sublime moments – An absolute pleasure.

It was a big weekend at Archies Creek starting with Marshmallow Overcoat on Friday, then Roller One, Foggy Notion and Georgia Knight on Saturday night, followed by the Debra Byrne Trio on Sunday arvo.

Next weekend kicks off with two shows by You Am I and Magic Dirt on Thursday and Friday night, December 2 and 3. The Friday show is sold out but there are still plenty of tickets for the Thursday night show.

Tickets at https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing?embed&eid=832624

Debra Byrne paid tribute to Caravan Music Club promotor Peter Foley (in the hat) and his team dedicating a song to them for the way they’ve supported live Australian music through the pandemic.