Celebrating 8 years of Friends of Josh Pyke!
In mid August in dawned on me that September was just around the corner and with it came the realisation that Friends of Josh Pyke would be celebrating it’s eighth birthday.
While reminiscing about the past eight years I was reminded of one of my favourite things about running Friends of Josh Pyke. Getting to read and hear all of your stories, your favourite gigs, your favourite songs.
So to celebrate our birthday, lets take a trip down memory lane and share your favourite memories of the past 8 years. Feel free to leave a comment with your favourite memory.
Thanks for sharing your stories with us and most importantly thanks for sticking around for 8 years.
For those in Sydney, be sure to head to the Roller Den tonight for Josh Pyke’s Busking For Change and help support The Indigenous Literacy Foundation. If you can’t make it, donate online here.
Here’s my Josh story. I am always on the lookout for new music. It was 2007 and I was listening to the free tracks that SXSW provides every year. I came across Josh’s Middle Of The Hill. Even half way through the song, I knew I was listening to something special. So the search started for more information. I came across FOJP and thought ‘Sure. I’ll sign up.’ That started contact with the warmest bunch of fans I’ve ever met. I’ve had lots of conversations, live discs, and all sorts of other stuff. They even tolerated me not knowing about Australian football. Sabi has been a real pro at running things and has been very kind and tolerant. And it steadily continues. I always know what’s going on and feel like I’m an Aussie even though I’m a big ocean away. I vicariously experience all the excitement of JP tours through all of you. It has been a very good and significant experience in my life. Thanks to all.
One of the first times I got to see Josh Pyke live was at the Gov when he was touring for Memories and Dust, I’ll have to guess it was roughly April/May 2006 because I remember getting tickets as a birthday present. Adelaide must have been one of the last shows on the tour, because Josh was sick and he had all but lost his voice by the end of the set. Since “Middle of The Hill” was one of the final songs, and he couldn’t sing it, he asked that the crowd help him out. It was amazing, because of course the beautiful people of Adelaide there that night knew every word. It gave me shivers! Josh was so touched by the performance that the next 5 or 6 times I saw him play, he would manage to bring up how much he loves Adelaide and how “that one time I lost my voice…”. A couple of years ago he was touring again and he was about to play Middle Of The Hill, and as he went into his speech about the one time he lost his voice, he said “you know what, if you were there that night, get up on stage right now and we can sing it together”. So I did, and it was one of my most cherished memories to date. There were about 20 of us squeezed up onto that same stage at the Gov. Truly brilliant, and a testament to Josh and the way he feels about and treats his fans.
My favourite memory is possibly when I took on the role of FOJP street team London correspondent. Josh was playing at Bush Hall in Shepherds Bush. I got there early to get some people to join the mailing list and consequently ran into Josh before the show. His wife was setting up his merch stand and looked like she needed a hand so I offered my services. The show was intimate, with Josh playing solo and telling funny stories between songs as per usual! After the show he was signing merch and taking photos with fans. I wanted to join the line but had to leave to catch my train. Josh and Sarah noticed that I was leaving and brought me to the front of the line for a photo. Ever since, Josh has always recognised me and shows and makes time to talk to me afterwards. This is the photo from that night.
I’m privileged to say that choosing one particular favourite Josh Pyke moment is a tough mission. From touching the beard, Middle Of The Hill stage invasions, to gaining irreplaceable friendships (Bobby, Siobhan & Sabi) from the fateful hand of mutual Pyke love; I’m not really sure where to start! But if I had to pick a definitive favourite moment it would have to be when I was given the opportunity to interview Josh earlier this year for The AU Review. Interviewing Josh was a huge tick off the bucket list for me and certainly a permanent career highlight.
Gertrude’s Brown Couch – May 3rd 2013
I enjoyed this show so much as it was very, very intimate, I loved the Q&A FOJP did with Josh & his version of ‘Birdcage On The Faultline’ with his ukulele was completely amazing!! (and such a great surprise) It was the first time we got to hear some songs from TBATEOE and the stories behind them. When I heard ‘Haunt You Love’ I nearly wept… it was so beautiful! Afterwards I gave Josh the felt doll I had made of him and he seemed very touched & happy with it. I was thrilled he wore the red shirt that night, as it was what I had dressed the doll in. As always Josh gave us so much of his time and was very warm, friendly & funny. He never ceases to make me feel very glad that I’m a supporter of his. After Josh left the stage I was so elated I hugged a few strangers, and when we got out into the street to go home I did a few random squeals of joy & scared some locals. It was just that kind of night!
The Forum, Melbourne – Friday, 11th May 2012
Everyone likes to be made to feel special, and Josh certainly made us feel extra special on this occasion, by sending us a personal email invite to join him backstage for a meet & greet before the show.. We were welcomed with the usual warm hug… We sat on comfy couches with Sabi and the winners of the ‘Love Lies Haiku Competition’. Josh seemed a little awkward to begin with, but soon settled into some fun banter, most notably joking with me that I should have named my son Luke Sky WALKER to make better use of my perfectly-suited STAR WARS surname! From the earliest of days, Josh has been very comfortable around Carmen & I and this night was no exception! He & I always playfully gang up on Carmen and tease her… Backstage on this night, the buttons on Josh’s shirt popped open, so Josh & I immediately accused Carmen of being responsible! We thoroughly loved the show that night as always, before waking at 4am the next morning for our roadtrip to Adelaide, where we did it all over again the following evening! I’ve said it numerous times before, but Josh Pyke is the loveliest man in music and I’ve enjoyed the many opportunities I’ve had over the years to get to know him better!
My favourite JP / FOJP memory is from the Fans First Tour at Gertrude’s Brown Couch last year. The crowd was super cosy and I finally got to meet the wonderful Sabi!
I flew from Geneva to Manchester to see him at ‘the day and night club’. I’d met him in London previously so you could say I had made an impression. I ran into him at the pub the day I flew in. And I spent the afternoon with him and now wife Sarah. The show that night was fabulous. He played a song just for me and til this day now that I’m back home, we still talk about our chance meeting that day. He’s just a great guy all around!
My favourite thing has to be the Wesley Anne show just for the fan club. It was a really fun night! I got to meet Josh and we all requested some songs. Added bonus: I can listen to the CD and hear myself requesting a song that Josh played (most of).
My all time favourite Josh Pyke memory (I’ve seen him play every time at the westernport hotel, the corner, Arta Centre and even in Geelong) but the best performance was at the Meeniyan Town Hall. The intimacy of the location, the lighting, acoustics and his melodic voice was absolutely indescribable that night!
My fav FOJP moment was when we had a whole bunch of cool kids, FOJP peeps at the one show, in Newcastle. Amazing to see how much JPs music brings people together.
I do sure love being a part of FOJP and I still await the day that Josh starts doing some USA shows.
I have many favourite memories! But, my favourite thing ever to come out of FOJP is getting to be friends with the fabulous Sabi! We have been on so many random Josh Pyke adventures and they are some of my biggest life highlights!!! It’s absolutely true when they say music brings people together I truly value being able to share such amazing music with such a fabulous little Josh Pyke family!!! Thanks Sabi, for all your incredible hard work, you are a very special human.
My favorite Josh Pyke memory is lining up to hear him play with Bob Evans and Katy Steele with my then 3yo at the balmoral hotel in Vic Park, Wa in 2005. He’d just had middle of the hill in hottest 100 but atmosphere was amazing.
I’m not much of a picture taker, but I did take this picture of my first ever JP gig, which was at the Hi-Fi Bar back on his Memories and Dust tour in 2007. This photo brings a smile to my face, as I had an absolute ball at that gig, and 7 years later I still jump at the chance to go to any gig JP does in Melbourne! I feel like I have watched him develop as a musician over the years, and I feel very lucky to have been able to witness that, as well as gaining some new friends through FOJP!
This little passage for “Friends of Josh Pyke” is all about the beautiful memories I have with my best friend; discovering a singer-songwriter from the other side of the globe, enjoying the music, and finding meaning and happiness in both listening to the records and also going to JP’s shows. It all started in 2007, whilst still at college, we went to our first JP show together, where he was supporting Scott Matthews at The Waterfront in Norwich. It was so wonderful to welcome him to our little old city in UK but we were blown away. The music made sense, it was so pleasing to our ears, and we just didn’t want the concert to end. This was the beginning of Rachael and mine’s love for this particular Australian. Seven years have passed, and we always made sure we went to see Josh Pyke when he travelled back to Europe. Every concert in Norwich, Cambridge and London was wonderful. I was lucky enough to see him play at Sydney Opera House for “The White Album” tour too. Although Rachael and I now live 400km apart, we are meeting once more to see JP play this October in Norwich, back at the Waterfront where it all started. Josh’s level of creativity is never-ending and we love to be part of the FOJP community from now until forever. We may always have to wait a long time for JP to be flown over our way, but keeping up-to-date with new videos, interviews and listening to the records, always makes us feel a little bit connected to this special corner of Australia.
My favorite JP memory is from when I saw him perform at the Shoalhaven Entertainment centre in 2012. I had a couchsurfer staying with me and I convinced her to wear a Penguin costume with me as I had jokingly said to Josh Pyke that they might make another appearance after a few of us had worn the costumes to Falls festival 2011 where we also saw JP perform. Anyway, we both wore the Penguin costume and JP invited us on stage to sing Middle of the Hill with him! Good times!!
(Favourite memory) going to his free concert at Joondalup festival. My friend knew the security guard, so we got in to meet JP!
My favourite JP memory comes from a hot and sweaty Melbourne Big Day Out in 2008. Having travelled half way across the state just to see Josh in the flesh and for the first time, may I add, I wanted it to be something truly memorable. My friend and I whipped up some handmade t-shirts with the words ‘Pyke Me’ and took up prime position at the front of the stage several hours before Mr. Pyke was due to play his set. Our hard work paid off though! A few days later we were mentioned in Josh’s online Big Day Out diary, photograph and all! But the fun continues! I was lucky enough to see Josh again later that year at an intimate show in Warrnambool where I got to met him and he even signed my famous ‘Pyke Me’ shirt.
The first time I saw Josh Pyke would have to be my favourite! It was November 1st, 2007 in Brisbane on the “Monkey With A Drum” tour and I was 15. My brother was taking me as a birthday present. Quick back story, I had seen “Memories & Dust” on Saturday morning Rage earlier that year and was hooked. It was bloody brilliant. Not long after my Dad went on a business trip and asked me if I’d like a little something, I asked for the “Memories & Dust” album. It was on constant repeat afterwards. The show was the first time I was going to a ‘proper’ gig, prior experience was Robbie Williams with my Mum. So I was pretty well excited about this. And it was amazing, hearing all “Middle of the Hill” in the flesh was something else. That post-gig enthusiasm was something else and I loved the way it felt. It sparked my love for seeing live music. I still have my original copy of the album and it’s well weathered. The cover is missing after using it as art inspiration throughout high school, the disk is scratched from lending it to friends and I love that a whole lot. Thanks a bunch Josh and FOJP!
Favourite JP memory: would have to be the fabulous beard touching incident of August 2013. the moment my fingers touched his facial follicles, I knew I would spend the rest of my days either wishing I could possess a Y chromosome so that I could grow a beard like the Pyke, or dreaming of marrying a man whose beard game was as fierce as JJP’s. JP sets the standard for beards everywhere.
Friends of Josh Pyke led me to meeting my closest friends, and for that I’m forever grateful. Over the years, (and without really realizing it at the time) this incredible community began to grow. And as it grew I got know some of you, maybe we’ve met at a show or spoken online. Friends of Josh Pyke has introduced me to an amazing group of people from all over the world. You can probably see now there’s no way I’d be able to name just one favourite memory. Friends of Josh Pyke has given me an unbelievable opportunity to support my favourite musician. With it has come this continued appreciation and respect from Josh and his team. I couldn’t possibly ask for anything else.