Spotlight On: Doc Jones & The Lechery Orchestra

Photo courtesy of Doc Jones & The Lechery Orchestra

My friends might have noticed I’m a little bit keen for the June Long Weekend’s Snowy Mountains of Music Festival at Perisher. There’s a great line up of artists, but it gives me a chance to check out a band I’ve been looking at for a couple of months, Doc Jones & The Lechery Orchestra.

The Snowy Mountains of Music website bills them as:
“This is quirky original music for sure, with songs about the strangest and most evocative things – the Spanish Inquisition, a late night tango on the sawdust of a circus ring, and even a song about being a teapot! But, like a good film score, the music underpinning these strange tales will let listeners lose themselves in the story. Sometimes it is busy and as over the top as the words of the song, other times spacious and beautiful, but always leaving the listener intrigued and wondering what is coming next.”

I’ve been really enjoying their music with it’s trilling flutes, moaning violins and double bass and the spicy piano accordian. But there’s just something about their sound that I can’t put my finger on, it’s no surprise that they recently toured with Lolo Lovina and the like. their catchyand sometimes theatrical sound is all at once calming and inspiring. They sound like they will put on an impressive show full of funny stories and richly layered music. They’ll certainly be worth checking out. If you can’t catch them at the festival, have a listen and make sure you keep an eye out for them soon!

Country of Origin: Australia (Sydney)
File Under: Quirky Cabaret, Gypsy, Folk
Sounds Like: The Crooked Fiddle Band and The Good Ship putting on a Cabaret.

Doc Jones & The Lechery Orchestra will be performing at the Snowy Mountains of Music Festival:
FRI 10:45pm-11:45pm – SUNDECK HOTEL
SAT 2:15pm-3:30pm – SMIGS STAGE
SAT 3:15pm-4pm – BASEMENT WORKSHOP (Songwriting & Arranging)
SUN 1:45pm-3pm – THE MAN

Goodnight Owl Change Name to Love Migrate, Release New Single

Love Migrate
Image Courtesy of Love Migrate

This time last year we spotlighted Melbourne electro-folk darlings Goodnight Owl who wowed us with their Josh-Pyke-meets-Postal-Service pop songs. Since then the band has added new band members, ditched their name for equally obtuse Love Migrate and swapped their folktronica sensibilities for soaring indie-pop. Their first single since the switch is called “Little Kid” which we’ve embedded for your listening pleasure below:

Love Migrate will be launching their new direction live at the The Grace Darling in Melbourne on the 2nd July. The set will be divided in two covering Goodnight Owl’s back catalogue followed brand new Love Migrate songs to be released later this year. Something for fans old and new – how good is that?

Review: Owls of the Swamp, “Go with River”

Go With River
Image Courtesy of Owls of the Swamp

Melbourne troubadour Pete Uhlenbruch (aka Owls of the Swamp) has just released his fantastic new album Go with River, recorded late last year in a beach hut near Inverloch, south east of Melbourne. An exercise in etheral, melody driven folk Go with River may well be one of the sleeper hits of the year – the type of album you stumble across and go “why don’t more people know about this”.

When you listen to Owls of the Swamp you could be excused for thinking you’ve stumbled across a forgotten Nick Drake record. His wonderful fingerpicking guitar style and penchant for rhythmic instrumental numbers and sparse lyrics are reminiscent of Drake at his very best.

Despite being recorded in a “beach hut” it is the production of Go with River that impresses me the most. At it’s heart it is one man and his guitar, with any other instrumentation secondary in the mix. However it is the inclusion of the backing vocals from Myrra Ros, echoy electric guitar, cello and other bits and pieces that lift the music to a new level. I’m sure if I saw Owls of the Swamp live and solo I would be completely satisfied but I’m just so impressed with the extra flourishes that have been included in the recording.

“So Far Away”, the first single from Go with River is easily my favourite track on the album, probably because it is the most accessible. Its wonderful, soaring chorus (which reminds me so much of Radiohead’s “How To Disappear Completely” despite being completely off genre) evokes a powerful sense of longing and love, made all the more touching with the deep bass of J. Walker’s cello. Superb. “Tricks and Turns”, “By the Riverside” and “Skywaters” (and, really, every song on the album) demonstrate just how talented a songwriter and arranger Uhlenbruch is, with the songs bucking structural convention and taking you on a unique journey.

Overall Go with River is a wonderful example of genuine, complex folk music from a rising Australian talent. Having not seen Owls of the Swamp live I am keen to see just how amazing these songs can be in a concert setting. Owls of the Swamp’s Go with River is available now via Bandcamp (below) or in your favourite independent music store.

Bluesfest Snapshot: Kate Miller-Heidke

Bluesfest Sunday
Photo by KT Bell

I have enjoyed Kate Miller-Heikde for some time and her music has punctuated important times in life, including the wedding of two very dear friends of mine. As I prepared to hit Bluesfest, I realised I had never seen Kate perform live, an oversight I was determined to remedy. Kate hit the stage in a gorgeous vintage frock and a demure smile which instantly had the crowd cheering. Her beautiful vocals were even more evocative live than in her recordings and her stage banter was just so adorable in her reserved way.

Very early in the set she performed Caught in the Crowd, that song about a kid being bullied at school. I have always loved that song and live it was even more haunting than ever before, it actually brought a tear to my eye.

One of the things I love about live performances is the banter and stories artists tell. This was Kate’s only performance at Bluesfest and she told of her arrival at the festival. Their carload arrived on site but struggled to find the artist entrance. They stopped and asked a volunteer marshall for assistance and directions. The volunteer asked why they wanted the artist entrance to which Kate replied “We’re performing today”. The volunteer didn’t believe them and told them they “didn’t look famous” and demanded they play him something. Guitarist Kier Nuttall begrudgingly cobbled something together but the volunteer remained unimpressed and unconvinced that they were in fact performers. By now, Kate and Keir would have been rightfully grumpy and after some more stuffing around, they eventually were given directions and let go on their merry way, but not before the volunteer had one last thing to say.

He asked, that if they were performing that day, could they give him a shout out on stage, to “Awesome Dan”.
She dutifully dedicated Dreams (with the lyrics: “I love you, but you don’t even know my name”) to “Awesome Dan, you f*cking c*ckhead” to which the crowd erupted in laughter and applause. Suffice to say Kate Miller-Heidke put on a sterling performance which will stay with many of us for years to come.

Timber and Steel‘s photos of Kate Miller-Heidke’s Bluesfest set can be seen on KT’s Flicker.

Interview: Gossling

Image Courtesy of Gossling

After a string of successful support slots Helen Croome, aka the beautiful and talented singer-songwriter Gossling, is hitting the road for a headline tour through Victoria and New South Wales. We managed to catch up with Gossling as she prepares for the tour to chat about what it will be like playing with a band, the making of her first video and how being bullied as a child led to the creation of one of her most popular songs to date.

Evan Hughes: You just announced a solo headline tour off the back of a bunch of impressive support slots. How are you feeling about being the headliner for once?
Gossling: I’m very excited because this is the first headline tour I’ve done really. As a support act I’ve been playing solo on all these tours and on this tour I get to play with a band. It will be exciting to see if anyone who came to the other shows that I’ve been playing comes to my own headline gig.
EH: I saw you with The Little Stevies a few weeks ago and again with Lior late last year and both times I’ve sat there going “I just want to see Gossling with a full band”. I’m really pumped for this.
G: It’s nice to be able to play, for people who have heard my CDs and the recorded versions, it’s nice to be able to with a band so people can see the same thing live as well. Rather than just me on the piano – not as exciting (laughs)
EH: Is your live band the same one that you recorded with?
G: The shows I’m doing in New South Wales will be with just a three piece – me, a cellist and a guitar player. The cellist has been with me for a while, she’s played on the album, and the guitarist is a singer named Ryan Meeking who does his own stuff as well – he’s coming along to play the support and then play in my band as well.
EH: It’s like now that you’re headlining you can bring your mates on as support acts
G: Yeah. Ryan and I have been mates for a while and we’ve always wanted to do a tour together so it’s good that we can finally play, that our schedules matched up.
EH: When I saw you perform at The Little Stevies’ gig and you played “I Was Young” I was just wishing you had a full band to give it the same sound as on the record.
G: Yeah, it’s a totally different song when I have to play it solo live. Unless I have a backing track there’s no way I can play it solo and sound like the recording (laughs). Hopefully in Sydney I’ll get to do some shows with drums and bass as well to give it the full, big band sound.
EH: You’re playing The Good God Club in Sydney which is perfect for you – such an intimate room.
G: That’s good to know – I haven’t been there before.
EH: Going back to that Little Stevies support slot – during the gig you introduced “I Was Young” by saying that the song was written about being bullied as a kid, which I didn’t realise (although it’s obvious once you know). You were saying you used to get bullied because of your voice and now it’s become your trademark, garnering comparisons to great artists like Sarah Blasko and Julia Stone. Is it a bit of a head spin to go from being teased to praised about your voice?
G: I guess so. I hadn’t actually introduced what that song was about before that gig and I don’t think many people realised it is about bullying. It felt quite odd telling everyone on stage that night actually, I felt like I was asking for sympathy somehow. I guess it is kind of ironic that I was bullied for having a little baby voice and now its going to be my career. Big turnaround.
EH: It’s almost a way to turn around to those people who bullied you and go “look at me now”.
G: I don’t think those people actually know that I’m Gossling though (laughs). One day they’ll figure it out.
EH: I didn’t feel like you were asking for sympathy – I felt it added an extra depth to the song.
G: Oh good, I’m glad.
EH: The video for “I Was Young” with the mock western storyline must have been fun to make.
G: It was – it was really fun. I’ve been wanting to make a film-clip for a long while and I had a production company do it for me. It was really interesting to see how a clip gets made and the story-boarding and even the filming on the day – I found it a really interesting experience. I hope I get to do another clip soon. It was a fun clip and people have responded to it well and can see the humour in it.
EH: It seemed to get picked up really quickly on Rage.
G: Yeah Rage have played it a few times which is really good because growing up I thought it was pretty cool if you got a clip on Rage.
EH: You’ve only released EPs so far. Is that what you plan to keep doing or would you like to record an album some day? Or are albums becoming more redundant?
G: That seems to be where the industry is heading. I’m not too concerned if the next release I put out is another EP. I’d like to do an album at some stage but there’s a lot of factors that I have to consider. I want to get another release out by the end of the year, so whatever form that comes in, it will just happen.
EH: A lot of artists I talk to don’t want to go through the long process of recording an album – they’re more concerned with getting their music out there as quickly as possible via singles and EPs.
G: And I think that people don’t necessarily listen to entire albums anymore because it’s so easy just to download one track from iTunes. People don’t slave over there albums anymore.
EH: So apart from the tour and getting another release before the end of the year is there anything else on the cards for Gossling?
G: I would like to do a lot more gigs after this tour, try to do a few more supports. Hopefully the middle of next year I’d like to go to the UK for a month or so and try and play some shows over there and experience what that’s like. But definitely I’d like to tour Australia a lot more, see what else is around.
EH: I think the UK will really respond well to your sound. They seem to embrace Australian female singer-songwriters there.
G: I hope so. I’d like to see what the scene’s like over there. I’ve been to Ireland before and I love all the singer-songwriter stuff that comes out of Ireland. I’d love to go over and experience it and play some shows, even if they’re only three or four people in a bar it doesn’t really matter.
EH: Well good luck with the tour – really looking forward to seeing you with a band this time around!
G: It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for having me.

Gossling is touring New South Wales and Victoria with a full band in June and July. Check out the dates here

Spotlight On: Ruby For Lucy

Ruby For Lucy
Image Courtesy of Ruby For Lucy

Ruby For Lucy have been hovering on my radar for some time now thanks to recent performances at the Illawarra Folk and Nannup Music Festivals. But it wasn’t until the serendipitous combination of their debut CD Catching Bream crossing my desk and the Sydney duo performing at my local pub within the same week that I thought it was about time I checked them out properly.

And I’m glad I did. Ruby For Lucy produce the kind of quirky folk-pop I am immediately drawn to and inspires so much of my music collection. Made up of Julie Stenton and Kat Borghetti and featuring little more than guitars, vocals and the occasional stomp-box, Ruby For Lucy’s brand of folk is all about beautiful melodies, sweet harmonies and lyrics the evoke a sense place and purpose.

Everything I’ve read about Ruby For Lucy mentions that the duo grew out of the friendship between Stenton and Borghetti and, after seeing them live, it’s obvious that this friendship is what makes them work as a band. Their stage presence is relaxed and familiar and their banter is refreshing and honest – a dynamic that not every group has (or displays).

Ruby For Lucy released their debut album Catching Bream last year and it holds some absolute gems. “Dear, My Dear” is by far my favourite track (along with it’s half-song introduction “Before The Gardener”) with its soulful melody and beautiful fingerpicking guitar. “Grandma’s House” and “One Day” demonstrate the duo’s diverse range with the former proving that not every song has to be romantic in nature and the latter seeing them flex their quirky muscles.

Catching Bream is available from Half A Cow Records. Ruby For Lucy play regularly around Sydney (including a number of busking gigs) and are definitely making a name for themselves on the folk/music festival circuit – we’ll be sure to keep you up to date with news on the band as we hear about it.

Country of Origin: Australia (Sydney)
File Under: Folk Pop
Sounds Like: Quirky, harmony-filled acoustic loveliness

The Panics Are Back With New Single “Majesty” & Australian Tour

Image courtesy of The Panics

Long live The Panics– those lads from Western Australia that, before the likes of Cloud Control, were flying the flag high for Australian indie-pop. Their last album Cruel Guards, which is probably only a distant memory for the young music lovers of our country, has been and continues to be held in high regard some 4 years after its release. It’s been so long between drinks for The Panics that the question; ‘When is their next body of work due to hit the shelves?’ has practically ceased to be asked, but today, all of that comes flooding back with the announcement of a new album titled Rain On The Humming Wire, which is due to be released on the 29th of July, as well as a national tour in support of it. The first single, “Majestic”, is an absolute winner and promises a lot for the new album. Timber & Steel have good feeling about this. Listen to the track below. It will no doubt be all over your radio soon.

Saturday 2nd July – Adelaide Unibar, Adelaide, SA
Tickets available from Moshtix 1300 GET TIX (438 849) or

Friday 8th  July – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Tickets available from Moshtix 1300 GET TIX (438 849) or

Friday 15th July – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets available from The Corner Box Office (57 Swan St Richmond) Phone (03 9427 9198) or

Saturday 16th July – The Zoo, Brisbane, QLD
Tickets available from Oztix

Friday 22nd July – The Bakery, Perth, WA
Tickets available from Now Baking and

Bluesfest Interview: Kim Churchill

Kim Churchill on the Woodford Stage, photo and interview by KT Bell

Here at Timber and Steel, we’ve developed a bit of a crush on Kim Churchill and we’re always keen to see what’s next on his agenda. Since we caught him side of stage at Woodford, he’s flitted through the US and Europe, so we couldn’t resit the opportunity to catch up with him properly after his Bluesfest sets.

KT Bell: I’m sitting here, drinking Scotch with Kim Churchill, because that’s what you do on the last day of Bluesfest!
Kim Churchill: That is! The interview’s started well. [laughs]

KT: The last time we saw you was side of stage at Woodford and you were about to disappear off to Peats Ridge.
KC: Oh yes!
KT:You were doing that crazy 2 festivals in 2 days thing. And you’ve done 2 shows here at Bluesfest, how have they been?
KC: I guess probably what every artist would say after playing a set at Bluesfest is they’ve been amazing and that is kind of the only thing that a show at Bluesfest can be. It’s one of those festivals that has created over the course of 22 years or however long long they’ve been running, similar to Woodford, they’re the gigs you live for as a musician, they’re the ones that you play all the other shit gigs, not that there’s many shit gigs, but you work through whatever tough times we have, be them small tough times or large tough times, you work through those to get to the sets at Bluesfest and stuff like that.
KT: I’m glad you had lots of adoring fans to see you and the Mojo Stage must have been great.
KC: I don’t know if they were my adoring fans, but I stole a few off Dylan.

KT: Excellent! Now, you’re just back from touring overseas, Europe and America, how was all of that?
KC: Intense! For me, the transition between being an adolescent living out of the back of a van, busking and doing small pub gigs, the transition came a lot quicker than I thought it would. All of a sudden, we’re living out of hotel rooms and planes and the whole thing was pretty intense to be honest. I don’t look back on it with complete happiness and lovely nostalgic feelings, it was hard work. But, an amazing experience, one of the most amazing I ever had and we’ll be touring Canada and America and Europe for the rest of this year, so it’ll be a chance for me to find my comfort over there more than anything. Because, to this point, I’ve sort of, especially with no surf, it bloody hurts. Like, we got to LA and had a couple of days where the booking agent, he said we were gonna go surfing and it rained, and if it rains in LA, all the poo and crap comes out of the rivers and you can’t surf in the water because it’s too dirty. So we just had to watch these perfect waves breaking off Venice Beach boarwalk. But anyway, I mean, I’ve hardly got anything to complain about.

KT: You played South by SouthWest (SxSW), how was that?
KC: Yeah, no surf there! Kind of in general, I think ridiculously overwhelming to the point where I have very little to say about the whole experience [laughs].
KT: Lot’s of gigs in a few days?
KC: Oh yeah, the gigs, SxSW is, every gig is amazing. The whole vibe of the festival is kind of like “Who are we going to find? What are we going to stumble across?” So as an artist, who, your biggest goal is to be that person that somebody stumbles across. It’s a nice situation to be in because you’re kind of handed everything on a plate, and all you have to do is deliver and then there’s always going to be a couple of thousand people that are going to wander past your set wherever it might be and they will either stop and be intrigued or continue walking. So, in that sense, it was kind of easy, and fun for that reason. I would say playing a wedding 2 years ago was a lot harder. SxSW, at the end of the day, it was a lot of fun, I certainly wouldn’t tell anybody to go there to be ‘discovered’ because there’s 120,000 people and maybe 5,000 are good for doing something in terms of helping you break America and the odds are that they’re probably doing something terribly wrong on the 20th floor of a hotel at any given time. [laughs] But it’s a festival at the end of the day, so you see a lot of amazing bands and you have great gigs.

KT: How does the music and festival scene overseas differ or compare to Australia?
KC: It’s larger, definitely larger. It’s more intense, kind of you have to, I find with festivals in Australia, it’s quite easy to wake up early in the morning and go for a surf and have a bacon and egg roll at the surf club and there’s that kind of relaxed element that only Australia offers. Whereas, overseas, bam! 9 o’clock starts and there’s interviews and there’s breakfast and there’s coffee with this person and you’re in the middle of this city and there’s thousands of people watching shows and you’re watching shows with them. The whole thing is just more intense. At the same token, you get that kick from it, being at those kinds of festivals, you sort of get the kick out of masses of people and the animosity of the whole event. But I feel a lot less at home, naturally.

Kim Churchill on the Mojo Stage big screen at Bluesfest.
Photo Courtesy of Tao Jones

KT: So have you been writing much while you’ve been on the road, or have you just been too busy playing?
KC: No, the more busy I am, for some reason the more I write! As soon as I stop, and I have time to write songs, I can’t f*cking write one! [laughs] It’s a pain in the arse. So, say when we were touring in Europe, it was one of the most thick, dense periods of songwriting I’ve ever had. I feel like there’s so much new stuff to write and record now that I’m a bit lost as to where to go in the future with my music. I’ve been writing a lot of very heavy  stuff on electric guitar and stuff that would probably suit a band, and then lot’s of calm and pretty folk stuff that’s finger-picking on acoustic guitar, and then everything in between. So, writing a ridiculous amount of music and now just kind of trying to process how to find the best stuff from that and create an album that isn’t half a heavy metal album and half a folk album [laughs], something in between.
KT: So, Folk Metal?
KC: Folk Metal! Yeah!
KT: Kim Churchill shall master Folk Metal.
KC: [laughs] I like Folk Metal!

KT: When we spoke at Woodford, you said that you were on track for recording later this year, is that still  on the cards or is it pushed back a bit?
KC: Oh no, it’s been happening, we’re just waiting to pull the right things out. We did quite a bit of recording at Sun Records in Memphis, which was amazing! We got to record though the mike that Elvis sung through for the first time. And, that was amazing. We’ve recorded quite a bit in Byron and we recorded  in Canada as well. Just waiting to grab the songs in the right way I guess. It’s been quite a complicated process and it’s taken longer than I thought it would, to reach something that I want to release. Probably now there’s about twenty songs that we could release and we could put two albums out or two singles and an album, or two EPs and an album or something. But, it’s not right yet.  So, recording will continue until the stage where it’s right enough.

KT: At Timber and Steel, as you know, we spotlight artists who we see are coming up and we think we should support.
KC: You do an amazing job too, I’ve got the mailing list.
KT: Thank you. And we try and cover as much of the Australian scene as we can and I actually interviewed Ash Grunwald earlier this weekend and asked him one of the things we ask a lot of established artists, which is who to watch out for and who is coming through on the scene who we should follow, and he said instantly, without batting an eyelid, Kim Churchill.
KC: [laughs] He’s a legend
KT: And he did tell me that you toured with him, you supported him a few years ago
KC: Yeah man! you know what, I actually , I pushed that guy and he proved himself as an amazingly nice person. I was 18 or something and that was when I was trying to get a gig, at a wedding, busking at market, you know, whatever! And, I saw he was playing this venue about half an hour away that some acts used to tour through, and he could pull a big crowd there, sort of five or six hundred people. I begged him, I found his number personally, Ash Grunwald’s number and I called him and I said “please let me play’. And he did, and I’ve had the utmost respect for that guy since then, he’s an amazing person, so I’m quite honoured to be the person that he mentioned.
KT: He just had such great things to say about you, so I wanted to make sure you heard that one from me!
KC: Oh, good on him! Man, I saw a bunch of his music on a Hollywood movie, the other day.
KT: Yeah, he was saying, Limitless.
KC: Yeah, the amount of work that guy has done, and the element of old blues  he brings in to a very new sort of rock music style, he deserves everything he gets. He blows my mind, that guy.

KT: He’s one of the legends here this weekend, and you jumped up with Micahel Franti on Thursday, because you’ve been touring with Michael Franti, which must be amazing.
KC: It has been amazing!
KT: Jaunting back to Sydney in the middle of the weekend for gigs with him, that must have been a bit mind blowing. So with all these legends in Bluesfest, are there any musicians that you haven’t played with yet and you have an absolute burning desire to meet, play with, jam with, any of that?
KC: Oh man, there are so many names that I would want to say, and the first names I would want to say, this Bluesfest has given me the opportunity to see some of my favourite acts from previous tours and stuff, the Hussy Hicks, A French Butler Called Smith, The Mojo Bluesmen, Transvaal Diamond Syndicate, all those acts, they’re the acts you see at festivals all the time and you go “they should be playing the big festivals, they should be doing the big stages”, and that’s what Peter Noble [Bluesfest’s Creative Director] I think has nailed, as he gets everything from them to Dylan to Elvis Costello, to BB King to Wolfmother! Like, he gets it all. The act that I would most like to write, record, meet, everything with is Dylan, and it always will be, so that is my answer to the question is, Bob Dylan. Whether that will ever happen is something that we will wait to find out about and we shall see.

KT: Like I said, we ask who to listen too and people have said you, so I’m asking you who to listen to, who we should check out.
KC: Alright, at this festival, everybody should go check out Mavis Staples, she is brilliant, she blew my mind, Trombone Shorty, in the Australian scene, the Hussy Hicks, A French Butler Called Smith and the busking comp winner Minnie Marks, she plays guitar like nothing I’ve ever seen before, she sings like Janis Joplin, she’s 17 and she’s going to blow the world apart.

KT: Thank you so much for your time Kim, pleasure again, see you again soon. Thanks for the Scotch!
KC: Thank you, cheers. Oh, you’re welcome!

Storm In A Teacup Interview: Liz Martin

Liz Martin
Image Courtesy of Liz Martin

Although the upcoming Storm in a Teacup concert series is mainly a Melbourne affair, Sydney is represented thanks to the lovely and charming Liz Martin. Evan Hughes got a chance to sit down with Martin to chat about Storm in a Teacup, her recent album Dance a Little, Live a Little and her plans for the rest of the year.

Evan Hughes: The Storm in a Teacup tour is, apart from yourself, all Melbourne artists. Being based in Sydney how did you get roped into it?
Liz Martin: It’s the Vitamin connection. I’m on Vitamin Records and I’ve just released a new album called Dance a Little, Live a Little. Glenn [Wright, Vitamin founder] is really keen for me to get out and about, so it’s a way of me mixing it up a little. I’m going down to Melbourne and doing a gig down there and also up to Mullumbimby. It’s a nice cheeky way of me getting out there a bit because I don’t have a tour as such.
EH: It’s a bit of different show in that there’s going to be a lot of collaboration between the artists rather than each band doing their own set.
LM: Which is perfect for me because I hate and try to resist at all times doing anything that’s just on my on. I’d much prefer to play with other people and have that interaction. So this is going to be fun! The other groups involved means there’s ended being a lot of different instruments right down to the ukulele – there’s quite a few ukulele players (laughs). Violin, horns, piano, guitars, bass – there’ll be nice little reinterpretations of all of our songs I’m sure.
EH: Have you played with any of these guys before?
LM: No, not at all. I haven’t met them – there’s been lots of e-mailing! I’ve been listening to their stuff – I’ve heard TinPan Orange before and Jordie Lane and Jen Cloher of course. It’s going to be sweet to meet up with them and have a play, that’ll be great.
EH: Do you get to practice beforehand?
LM: I’m going to fly down on the Wednesday and the first gig’s on the Thursday. So we’ll rehearse Wednesday and Thursday and then jump up there and do it. It’ll be fun, I’m looking forward to it.
EH: A lot of the guys on the Storm in a Teacup tour play with each other already in Melbourne. There’s a real camaraderie down there. It’ll be nice to be included as part of that.
LM: Yeah, for sure.
EH: For the Sydney show, being the sole Sydney artist on the bill, are you going to try and show the guys a good time? Show them what Sydney has on offer?
LM: We’ve only got 24 hours in town and then we’re off to Mullumbimby but I’ll show them (laughs)!
EH: You’re playing to Factory in Sydney right? You’ve played there before?
LM: Yeah, I’ve played there a few times in different outfits. I love it – it’s a nice space and it’s a good place to play music. It’s got a great sound system and a good side stage. It’s a nice place to got to as a musician and a punter I think.
EH: Are you guys playing Mullumbimby because Vitamin Records’ association with the Mullum Music Festival?
LM: I’m guessing that’s why. Vitamin Records is based up there and most of the lineup are part of VitaminTinPan Orange, Husky, myself. I guess it’s going up to Glenn Wright’s neck of the woods and playing a gig up there. That’ll be fun. Then I’m going to stay up there for a few days and have a little rest – that’ll be lovely, I’m looking forward to that.
EH: Nice.
LM: I’ve never done anything like this before – a string of shows, a one off little concert series with a whole bunch of different bands playing different types of music to each other and collaborating and adding new sounds to each song. That’ll be really nice. I’ve been doing it a little bit with my new album anyway because we’ve got different versions of the band – the original album’s got about 10 players on it with string sections, horn sections. So I’ve been mixing that up a little bit anyway but it will be nice to do that with people I don’t know and see how it all comes together.
EH: Dance a Little, Live a Little was released at the start of April. How’s that been going for you so far?
LM: It’s been great. It’s been really well received – it’s been featured a couple of times as an album of the week, someone else has just contacted me to make it album of the week on another radio station so that’s cool. It’s really fun to play live, very very fun. There’s lots of different parts with melodies and harmonies that come through. It’s really beautiful – that was part of the thinking, I wanted to write stuff that was fun to write and fun to perform.
EH: I really get that sense of fun but it also seems quite focused. There’s a joy in the music.
LM: Yeah, there is. When I was writing it I was having time off work – I’d just had surgery and it ended up being about six months recovery so I had a hell of a lot time in my room. And just prior to that my father had passed away so it was just enough to shake me up and make me go “I don’t want to be miserable. I don’t want to write a woe-is-me kind of album, for it all to be about pain and misery and my own immediate experience”. So [the album’s] got a sense of humour and it’s got lot of references to things out of my past with childhood sounds, lots of references to old movies and soundtracks, Salvation Army band – all sorts of things to make it a bit more playful. There’s still a few ballads in there (laughs) but there’s some nice fun pop and kind of weirdo sci-fi instrumentals. The arrangements as well I think are playful – some of the horns are really quite funny. So it’s got all of those elements to it.
EH: I know what you’re talking about – I really like the sound. You could really have done a woe-is-me record but you’ve done really well in coming up with this positive, up beat music that must be fun to play live.
LM: Yeah. And it will be fun playing it with these guys as well.
EH: Post-Storm in a Teacup have you got anything else on the cards?
LM: I’ve got a few gigs around Sydney but then I’ve got to work out some way of doing a tour. I’ve been talking to lots of the communities down the south coast – I don’t know if you know but there’s a bit a trail, from Sydney you follow the south coast road and you head right down as far as the border and there’s heaps of places like Candelo and all those little country towns. They have amazing little community halls and things like that so I really want to go on a road tour down the coast. So that’s the next sort of focus after Storm in a Teacup.
EH: Well good luck with everything! Thank you so much for chatting to us.
LM: Thanks heaps!

Liz Martin will be joining Jen Cloher, TinPan Orange, Husky, Jordie Lane and Harry James Angus for the Storm in a Teacup tour this June. Full details are here. Liz Martin’s new album Dance a Little, Live a Little is available now

Busby Marou Announce Their First Ever National Tour

Busby Marou
Image Courtesy of Busby Marou

Busby Marou are just awesome live. We’ve seen them at festivals, we’ve seen them in support slots but up until now we’ve never had the pleasure of seeing the boys in their own headline national tour.

Well that’s all about to change with the announcement that Busby Marou are packing their guitars and ukulele’s and hitting the road to see the country this July. Taking in four states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia), Busby Marou will be joined on tour by the likes of Avalanche City, Halfway and Jackson McLaren and The Triple Threat in various support capacities.

The full list of shows is below:

Friday 1st July – The Old Museum, Brisbane
Friday 8th July – The Sound Lounge, Gold Coast
Sunday 10th July – Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton
Thursday 14th July – Jive, Adelaide
Friday 15th July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Saturday 16th July – The National Hotel, Geelong
Thursday 21st July – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli
Friday 22nd July – CBD, Newcastle
Saturday 23rd July – Spectrum, Sydney

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