First of all, don’t panic. Although this is billed as Josh Pyke’s last concert before he goes on hiatus to work on writing for television and film, collaborative projects and getting back into the studio, Pyke says he won’t be touring for “a little bit”.
“If I could last for two years, it would be great. But I might get bored after six months,” the man says.
Will he be worried what it will be like when he comes back if it is two years from now, I ask? “I have to be true to what I want to be. I’ve always had a supportive fan base and I think they will hang out until I get back.”
Pyke’s 10 Years of Memories & Dust tour has him crisscrossing the country, mostly doing pubs and a few theatres. What made him choose a boutique vineyard in Lake Cathie for his performance on the Mid-North Coast?
“They chose me,” he says. “I love to do slightly left of centre venues. It makes the whole thing more intimate and fun.”
As one who finds it fascinating when musicians play guitar and mouth organ at the same time, I had to ask: “How do you split your brain to do two totally different instruments at the same time?”.
“It’s funny, because I am really bad at multi-tasking in real life. I think it’s just muscle memory.” He’s been in bands and writing lyrics since he was 12, but he wanted more control, so he learned guitar. “Music came natural to me, and I wanted to pursue it more.”
After five studio albums it would be hard to pick a favourite, but Pyke says he does love Memories & Dust. “It’s hard for me to choose, but it launched everything, so this tour is sort of a bookend.”
He says the timing felt right. He has two young children and a studio at home he is “dying to spend more time in”. “I knew I was going to do a ‘best of’ . I’ve had 12 years of knowing what I was going to do each day, so it’s time to open myself up to new experiences.
Pyke is a cat lover, and his moggy Atticus features on his Facebook page. “He’s the king of the neighbourhood.” I asked if he would write a song about the feline. “Life inspires me, so maybe. I listen back and sometimes I have been singing about something I didn’t realise. It’s the way I process stuff, my life, with the kids.”
One of the things Pyke is most proud of is his concerts with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Opera House. “I don’t read or write music, so it’s one of the best things I’ve done. I had been dreaming about it for years. I would love to do more with them but not in the foreseeable future. It was a great challenge.”
There won’t be an orchestra or band in sight at Long Point Vineyard on November 4, but you know you will hear the best of Pyke and his support Harrison Storm.