ONE of Josh Pyke's legs is shorter than the other.
Pyke made the frank admission almost halfway through his set at Lizotte's on Wednesday night, and for the next 10 minutes - as he powered through stunning acoustic renditions of Private Education, The Lighthouse Song and Leeward Side - you couldn't help but look at his right leg, the shorter one, and wonder if he was slightly swaying from side to side or it was just an optical illusion.
"It's from doing this," Pyke explained, tapping a looping pedal with his right foot as he told the audience about the chiropractor's visit where he discovered this several weeks ago.
"The end result is I have a limp and one shoe wears out faster than the other one," he told the crowd with a straight face, prompting an outbreak of laughter.
But, for the mastery he shows onstage, the slight deformity is kind of worth it.
From his second song, Memories And Dust, Pyke took full advantage of the looping pedal, layering keyboard notes from his iPad with guitar riffs or the harmonica, singing harmonies with himself, and slapping the side of his guitar to provide some rhythm.
It's clear he was in his musical element, captivating the crowd with hits Middle Of The Hill, Make You Happy and The Summer.
But Pyke also established himself as a comedic force.
In introducing Warm In Winter, he explained the track had come to him in a dream, fully formed, before he put it to paper in his backyard studio.
"It was kind of like a musical, a Disney musical," Pyke said, tuning his guitar as the crowd hung on every word.
"I think genius is a strong word . . .
"All right, I'm going to f - - - this up for sure, now."
Of course, he didn't.
Though Pyke took breaks to thank the crowd for still coming to his shows 10 years after he started out, there's a reason for his enduring popularity around the world.
His songs are heartfelt, and his irreverent stage banter and a genuinely humble attitude endure.
We look forward to seeing what Pyke comes up with next after he goes into the studio in early 2015 for album No. 5.
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