ARIA award-winner Josh Pyke gears up for WA return as part of Good Day Sunshine festival

Breanna RedheadSouth Western Times
Josh Pyke
Camera IconJosh Pyke Credit: Supplied/RegionalHUB

He has played on some of the biggest stages across the globe, but coming back to the South West for the return of one of the region’s most popular festivals has this Aussie singer-songwriter buzzing.

ARIA award-winner Josh Pyke is one of the A-Listers headlining Busselton’s Good Day Sunshine on Saturday, held for the first time since two years of COVID cancellations.

Speaking with the South Western Times, Pyke said he could not wait to be back in WA for the festival, in an area that had always been special to him.

“My sister and her partner actually live over there so it will be nice to see them and spend some time with them,” he said.

“I always like to focus heavily on regional places, when I plan a tour I’ll always plan a capital city tour then a regional tour.

“Not only is it a great excuse to travel around myself and visit all these amazing places, but I like to bring the music to the people rather than them making them travel a long way to come to me.”

Set to return to the South West again in late October for stops in Bunbury and Margaret River as part of his solo tour, the 44-year-old said he was looking forward to the social aspect of this weekend’s festival, describing the shows as “two different beasts”.

“Festivals are amazing purely because it’s so good to catch up with artists who you haven’t seen in a while or meeting new ones for the first time,” he said.

“A lot of people forget we’re so busy touring we often don’t have the chance to catch up with one another, so it’s really great to be able to see some of those guys again and just hang and chill.

“But there’s also something so special about an intimate crowd ... when it’s a solo show you know they’ve come for you and you can have these amazing conversations with the audience, they are both so good but such separate beasts.”

Though the Middle of the Hill singer will have only a brief stop in the South West, he said it was one of the most scenic places he had experienced.

“I’ve spent a long time on that south coast over the years ... 10 years ago I took a campervan trip from Perth to Esperance and back,” he said.

“The Valley of the Giants, Cape Leeuwin ... it was just so scenic and so beautiful.”

Along with his hits, fans will also be treated to new tunes from Pyke’s latest album To Find Happiness.

Written during COVID isolation, he said he was “blown away” by fans’ response to album when he was finally able to share it with them live.

“It’s a bit of a weird time, being at home on your own, it’s kind of untested waters in seeing how people will react (to the album),” he said.

“I was lucky enough to play eight shows earlier in the year and I was just blown away that people still knew every word to every song.

“It’s great to know that I was still able to hit home and really connect with people through my music in a time where you don’t really know what people are doing or feeling.”

Released in March of this year, he said being able to share it live felt like an “official launch”.

International singer-songwriter Leon Bridges will front the line-up at Barnard Park on Saturday, bringing his soulful sounds to the South West.

The Grammy award-winning artist is best known for his 2015 hit Coming Home, which was a radio favourite in its prime.

Ticket holders will also be dazzled by the sweet sounds of Aboriginal artist Thelma Plum who first rose to popularity in 2019 with her debut album Better in Blak.

Having previously played in the metro area, the festival will mark Plum’s first gig in the region and a return to WA since last performing at Falls Festival in January 2020.

Joining the big names on stage will be New South Wales folk trio Little Quirks, along with WA’s own Abbe May and youngster Siobhan Cotchin who made a name for herself in the Australian alt country/rock scene in 2020.

Set to the backdrop of the picturesque Busselton Foreshore, the festival also promises the South West’s “finest” food and beverages to satisfy festival-goers.

Produced by Macro Music, the festival is set to be a smash hit after the success of the company’s inaugural Out of the Woods weekender festival earlier this year.

Tickets for the Good Day Sunshine Festival are still available via https://gooddaysunshinefest.com/tickets/.

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