Jonny Fritz – April 19 2017 at Spotted Mallard, Brunswick.
When Kokomo left his lady and screaming children to go to his third gig for the week, he was nervous about two things. Could the Sweet Creep, Jonny Fritz maintain his attention for the full hour in acoustic mode? Would he wake up on the couch covered in beer cans again? When Fritz and sidekick fiddle player Josh Hedley appeared on stage in matching pink suits, Kokomo knew 50% of his concerns would be A-OK.
Kokomo has been enjoying Fritz’s latest Sweet Creep with Are You Thirsty opening the set. Stripping things back has pushed Fritz’s clever/silly turn of phrase up to the fore. Who knew I Love Leaving was a meditation on commitment phobia amid the constant search for new experience, or that Cries After Making Love was about one girl’s struggle to document how great things are on Instagram while her real life remains hollow.
Here’s Josh Hedley… Choo Choo
For his part Hedley gave nimble runs up and down that tiny little fiddle neck. With little chugga chugging choo choo train parts that were pulse pumping. Josh Hedley has earnt full name check announcements before every solo, with “Josh Hedley!” now an integral part of the lyrics.
Midway through Fritz opened the floor to requests, which is a tad misleading. Usually it means “What songs do you want to hear…that we have well rehearsed?” Kokomo had done his homework and studied 2017 setlists online. Koko hedged his bets and yelled “Middle Brother the song by Middle Brother the band!” This gave Josh Hedley(!) lead vocals on the second verse. Using this chance in the spotlight to get braggadocios about his erection. Fritz responded with a mock incredulous “Oh, Joshua!”
Fritz has said in interviews that he’s never entirely joking and never fully serious, and this duality strengthens both sides. Having seen the duo on previous tours to Australia, Kokomo should have known better than to doubt Fritz and Ole Hed ™. Of course they’d deliver the goods. They’re as reliable as the Jonny Fritz branded condom Kokomo bought from the Merch stand after the show. Both highly recommended.