Michael Paynter's recent packed-house gig at the Toff in Town [Melbourne] was proof that this young man is one to be watched, and watched and watched. Getting a glimpse of Michael was tricky for those who were at the back of the venue, but his melodic vocals ensured that you were captivated for every moment.
[ADVERT]Playing to a home crowd was clearly a joy to this iconic singer, with fiance Keinzley in the audience and a rousing contingent of friends, fans and support crew; this gig was like being in a friend's lounge room. It had all the comforts of a mate's home, including the banter and random witty shout outs, from Michael and the crowd alike.
Holding a few hundred people, Michael played a mix of his old classics, newer hits including Weary Stars and a couple of surprise covers. His beautiful rendition of UK dance outfit Disclosure's song Latch was a pared back and highly evocative melody. Classic of his style and breathtakingly magnetic. His version of Icehouse Man of Colours was hypnotising and not only receives praise from Iva Davies (the man himself), but the murmurings through the crowd in hushed tones also echoed these sentiments.
Switching between guitar based songs and his piano, it truly was a stellar performance. The intimate gig allowed fans to be completely immersed in this one hour performance, with the emotion from Michael palpable to the audience. Part-show part-concert, being absorbed in the heartfelt music, storytelling of his journey and incredibly funny jokes (he could seriously moonlight as a stand-up comedian as a second career) was truly an honour. Seeing a performer genuinely enthused about the trajectory his challenging career has taken is incredibly inspiring.
His vocal range and capacity to engage the audience for every single moment, made this an incredibly memorable gig from both a music and Melbourne perspective. We do love our gigs in this city and it's true that we are loyal to our mates. Michael proves he is exactly that to his friends. A great guy, a talented performer and an awesome ambassador of Australian music.