She started with a song about a great kiss and ended with one about breaking out of jail, but nobody was plotting to escape Lucky Bar + Kitchen on Thursday night.
Australian artist Tullara took to a Whanganui stage for the first time and from the moment she began strumming her acoustic guitar she was in her element.
She plays the guitar like it's the last time she ever will.
For an hour Tullara entertained River City locals with songs such as the anthem for single ladies Marry Me Cause I'm Lonely, and an ode to her father called 6 Months.
6 Months is the most moving moment of her performance as Tullara talks about growing up on a parrot farm and losing her dad to cancer more than five years ago.
The song is gentle and pleasant, full of quips about driving with her old man who would always turn her music down.
Wearing double denim, jeans and a jacket with brown boots, Tullara tells a few tales, like the fact she has been recording her debut album in Vancouver, Canada.
Her partner lives in Wellington so Tullara is no stranger to New Zealand. She is set to perform in Stratford on Friday before finishing up in New Plymouth on Sunday.
Born in Grafton, New South Wales, Australia, Tullara was one half of folk/roots duo Siskin River, but started releasing her own music in 2016 with Better Hold On.
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Her music has been streamed more than 1 million times on Spotify and she has received praise from artists such as John Butler, of the John Butler Trio.
About halfway through her set, Tullara produces a broken banjo, telling the audience it was damaged during a recent flight, but is still playable.
"This is my only banjo song ... so far," Tullara says.
It's not my favourite song of the night, but it shows how diverse this Aussie songstress is and her willingness to try new things and develop as an artist.
In some songs, Tullara shows off the range of her vocals, going high and also getting gravelly and raspy. That is something I would like to hear more of from her.
Before the show is over, Tullara bursts into an amazing instrumental.
Every time the audience thinks it's over, it isn't, and she takes her fast-moving fingers in another direction, forcing further cheers from the raucous crowd.
When the performance is over, everyone erupts and in her quiet unassuming manner, Tullara says "thank you" before finishing with her upbeat song Jailbreak.