On an icy Melbourne winter evening, I made the much maligned trek from Northside to Southside to watch Australian folk and blues singer songwriter, Archer play at Jimmy and Mon’s beautiful home in Caulfield. And it was well worth the journey.
I was greeted by a warm home, warm hospitality and, a fridge filled with cold beer offered by Mon and gratefully accepted. Jimmy and Mon have recently bought their first home and their pride is well justified.
We gathered around on couches and benches to create a lounge room amphitheatre for Archer to perform. With a plate of candles in front of an old chair and “ARCHER” scrawled in the fogged window behind, the scene was set.
Archer took the stage like he was sitting down to share stories by a campfire, completely open to conversing with the audience and at times giving over the limelight. He sung songs of bushrangers, love and, drifters that transported me to the Australian bush, in a time of squatters and swagmen.
His low bluesy voice with a country crackle and finger picking guitar have a sparse simplicity, which leaves room for his unique storytelling to take hold. And take hold it did. At one point after Archer finished a slow, smoky love song, you could have heard a pin drop, to which host Jimmy chimed in perfectly, “You’ve got us now.”
I could have sat and listened 'til our homemade campfire burnt out and the beers in the fridge ran dry.