Folk Club Artists for May

Patrick James
Image Courtesy of Patrick James

And so we continue our trend this week of daily news related to The Falls. This time around the duo have announced the artists for the first three weeks of May’s Folk Club at Sydney’s Hotel Hollywood. Folk Club takes place every Wednesday night and features music from The Falls and their friends as well as an interview with the feature artist on their songwriting process and a video of the night which is uploaded to the world wide webs (check out previous vids here).

May’s artists so far include Patrick James (above), Lissa, Evan & the Brave, Griffith Goat Boy, Lily So & Co. and Boy Outside. The music starts at 8pm each week with full details on the Folk Club facebook page.

The current lineup for May (with more to be announced soon) is below:

Wed 2nd May – Patrick James + The Falls + Lissa
Wed 9th May – Evan & the Brave + Griffith Goat Boy + Lily So & Co.
Wed 16th May – Boy Outside + The Falls

Interview: The Falls, Part 1

The Falls
Image Courtesy of The Falls

The past couple of years have been a strange and exciting adventure for Sydney duo The Falls. The definition of the “self-made artist”, The Falls’ Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown have cut through the doom and gloom surrounding the music industry at the moment and have found success along the way – regularly playing Wednesday nights at the Hotel Hollywood in Sydney’s Surry Hills for their Folk Club nights scoring some really exciting support slots and crowd funding their first EP Hollywood. Their first single “Home” is a wonderful piece of catchy folk-pop full of The Falls’ trademark harmonies and is being launched at The Vanguard tonight where they are supporting Jack Carty. We sat down with Melinda and Simon over a couple of beers in their native Darlinghurst to chat about the single, the EP, the crowd funding process and recording in (possibly) Sydney’s oldest men’s toilets.

Evan Hughes: Let’s start with the new single “Home” which has just made an appearance on triple j Unearthed, you’re launching it as part of Jack Carty’s show at The Vanguard and it’s being officially released next week…
Melinda Kirwin: Yeah, it comes out on iTunes on the 1st May. It’ll be actually available to buy so that’s pretty exciting.
EH: You’ve got to be excited about that.
MK: We’ve never had anything available before so this is really huge for us.
EH: How have you found the recording process? Did you record in a studio?
MK: We recorded with Tony Buchen at BJB Studios which is now closed. We were really lucky to be one of the last sessions there. We recorded with him there and did some overdubs at 301 where he has a suite. It was amazing recording at BJB.
EH: Is “Home” part of a wider recording like an album or something?
Simon Rudston-Brown: It’s part of an EP that we’ve done which has six tracks. The EP’s called Hollywood and it’ll be coming out soon as well. “Home” is the first single from that release.
EH: And you’ve been filming a video for it as well – do you feel like rock stars yet?
MK: [laughes] I think I’m going to feel more like a rock star when we finally hit the road and are on tour and flying from city to city. We’ve got a pretty hectic schedule over the next couple of weeks because we’re touring with Jack Carty and then we’re doing a tour with Evan & the Brave to support the release of “Home” and start promoting the EP. The EP will be released on the 1st June. I actually just want to get all of the songs out there. I’m not enjoying waiting – I just want to put them all out.
EH: I guess that’s the standard process though – single first and then the EP.
MK: We did get some rock star treatment on the video clip which was pretty good. I liked that.
SR-B: Did we? I had to make sandwiches. I catered the video clip – I didn’t feel like a rock star when I was buttering bread at seven in the morning [laughes]. It’s all worth it.
MK: It was nice, we had hair and make up and stuff like that so for me it was quite unexpected to be completely looked after at the shoot. It was pretty hectic as well – it was good to see what that’s like. We had some pretty big days and we had a really great team of people on board. I’m excited to see the results.
EH: Are you guys still self managed?
MK: We are.
EH: How do you juggle the creative side of things with organising all the other aspects of managing a band?
MK: With great difficulty. It’s really hard trying to juggle all the different roles you have to take on and make sure you don’t neglect any of them. I think after we release this single and the EP I really want to put some time aside just to focus on songwriting again. The gig side we really enjoy – the gigs are the fun part and it’s really nice to just get out there and play – but the bit we’ve got to make sure we don’t neglect is the songwriting. It’s the really important bit.
SR-B: Melinda is managing the band so she’s juggling those things. We haven’t spent a lot of time writing.
MK: Since the beginning of the year
SR-B: We had some new songs for this EP and then because other things have needed to be done and organised we haven’t really had a chance to get together and write together. We’d like to get this out and set aside some time again to do that. We’d love to put an album out.
MK: There’s lots of songs and lots of ideas that I’m itching to finish and work on together. We’ve just got to put that aside for the moment. It’s really important that we focus on the release right now because it’s our first, the first thing we’ve ever released. We want to make sure we give it everything we’ve got to try and get it out there.
EH: What was the process to decide what was going to go on the EP this time around?
SR-B: We included try a lot of new songs. There was a couple of songs, particularly the song “Hollywood” which is the last track, we were still actually writing the night before we went into the studio. It seemed the right song to include.
MK: It tied to whole thing together because we’ve been playing at The Hollywood for so long. It became the EP – that one song – because it was so nostalgic. It’s a part of everything we’ve been working so hard on over the last two years. It just brought everything together and now the EP is called Hollywood and we recorded most of the reverbs on the EP in The Hollywood.7:49
SR-B: In the toilets. The men’s toilets.
EH: Isn’t it the oldest men’s pub toilet in Sydney?
SR-B: I don’t know.
MK: I wouldn’t be surprised.
SR-B: It’s pretty smelly down there.
EH: I’m sure I read somewhere that the Hotel Hollywood has Sydney’s oldest urinals.
MK: I know that they just pulled out the old urinal and weren’t sure what to do with them because they were so old. I don’t think there were any takers for them.
EH: There should be a Sydney pub museum or something that they could be donated to.
MK: Totally! Because of the urinals and everything that’s down there we’ve been calling it “pee-verb”.
SR-B: It was tricky choosing the songs because there was a lot to choose from and a lot that we really liked but we just kind of chose a batch that worked really well together and that were a good representation of what we do as a duo. That’s how we perform and we wanted an EP to sound not like we’ve suddenly got a twenty piece band – it still sounds like us as a duo but with some texture and colouring from other things. I think that had a bit to do with the songs we chose and obviously songs that were fresh and exciting to us at the time.
MK: And it’s cool because the first track on the EP, “Please”, is pretty much the first song we ever wrote together. And the last track is “Hollywood” which was the newest song we’d written at the time. So it’s like the little story of us.
EH: Like book ends.
MK: Yeah, totally.
EH: Did you test which songs worked and which songs didn’t at your regular Wednesday nights at the Hotel Hollywood?
SR-B: Not so much testing them out but more just getting them up to a level where we could perform them really well.
MK: I think The Hollywood is where we really figured out who we were and what we wanted to sound like. When we first started playing at The Hollywood we tried doing some stuff with a band because we thought we needed a band. And when we first started playing acoustically [as a duo] at The Hollywood we felt like there was something missing. But then as it went on and we were playing their every week we started to really figure out our sound, just the two of us, and figured out that that’s actually what our sound is – two vocals and acoustic guitar and stompbox. It’s kind of what’s led to the current recordings is that we took that sound and built around it and didn’t go too far.
SR-B: You ask 20 people, for example, what the single should be and you get them all saying something different. On the same day we had one person say “it’s definitely got to be this song” and somebody e-mailed us five minutes later and said “I wouldn’t even put that song on the EP”. At some point you just have to go “well what do we want to put on the EP, what do we want to put out?”
MK: “What is us?”
SR-B: You’ve got to just decide yourself. We did ask people what they thought but in the end we just decided to go with our gut.
EH: And Hollywood was crowd funded right?
MK: Yes
EH: Talk us through the decision making process around that and how difficult that was.
MK: We kind of ran out of money and we’ve never released anything. We’d been investing a lot in our music and doing shows and putting on The Hollywood. We really wanted to release something and come up with a way to do it but we didn’t want to borrow money. Because we haven’t released anything before we thought it was premature to approach a label as we didn’t have a track record. I’d seen some friends of mine in America who had been doing some self funded projects through Kickstarter and that’s where I heard about the crowd funding thing and started looking for options in Australia. It didn’t really exist to a huge degree here yet – I looked at Kickstarter but you couldn’t do it unless you were based in America. And that’s when I came accross Pozible and thought we should give it a go. It was really nerve-racking – it was a big decision for us to make too for us to ask people to contribute to making our album, to take that leap. We didn’t want to ask people to help fund it and that’s why we liked the idea of Pozible because you’re not just asking people to give you money, it’s like pre-selling an album. We put together all these different packages so people could do something as small as just purchase a digital download or an actual physical album. Then we put a lot of packages together that were associated with our studio time like a set of polaroid pics from the recording process.
SR-B: And gigs. We also sold us to come and play a gig and we did a few of those.
EH: Like lounge room concerts.
SR-B: Yeah, lounge room type concerts
MK: And we did a wedding.
SR-B: It was great how many people supported it and got behind it. And also a few local businesses in Darlinghurst wanted to help so they put on a raffle.
MK: The Bunker cafe on Liverpool St, they helped us out. So did Blender Gallery in Paddington and Miss Chu as well. There’s no way we could have done this release without the support that we got. We were literally running on empty so it was amazing to see who would actually come out and help. It gives you renewed faith in what you’re doing that people what to help you get there, get across the line.
EH: Did you find the help flowed fairly easily once you were set up with Pozible?
MK: It kind of happened on its own. We didn’t want to be pushy either. We kind of just sat back and went “we really hope that you can help us do this” and it was amazing. We didn’t have to push it very hard. People were so helpful. It was incredible – I recommend it to bands because there’s so many people who want to help you get heard.
EH: People always talk about “the music community” in Sydney and Australia and I guess this shows that that community is there – that there are people who really care about getting music out there. The media beat up how illegal downloads mean nobody cares about the artist anymore but there really is a group of people out there who do care and want to see you succeed. You guys have proved that.
MK: I think once people hear the stories of what it’s like as an artist at the moment I think they’re even more willing and excited to help artists. The music industry is in a complicated place and it’s nice to see people haven’t changed that much. Downloading has changed the industry because people now have access to music like they have access to running water – you can just get whatever you want when you want it. But I think when people see that it benefits the artist if they buy their music I think they want to if they can.

Look out for Part 2 of the interview coming soon. The embedd of “Home” is below along with the full list of live dates for The Falls:

“Home”

Thur 26th April – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW w/ Jack Carty
Sun 29th April – Chino’s, Newcastle, NSW w/ Jack Carty
Sat 5th May – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT w/ Jack Carty
Tue 8th May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC w/ Jack Carty
Wed 9th May – The Hotel Hollywood, Sydney, NSW w/ Evan & The Brave
Thur 10th May – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD w/ Jack Carty
Fri 11th May – The Front Gallery, Canberra, ACT w/ Evan & The Brave
Sat 12th May – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC w/ Evan & The Brave
Saturday 19th May – The Waiting Room, Brisbane, QLD w/ Evan & The Brave
Sunday 27th May – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW w/ Evan & The Brave

The Falls Present Folk Club

Folk Club
Image Courtesy of The Falls

2011 was quite a big year for Sydney duo The Falls taking on the local music scene with their residency at The Hotel Hollywood, turning it into the city’s must-see live show each and every Wednesday night. And with 2012 well and truly underway fans of live and acoustic music are in for a treat as Wednesday’s at the Hollywood takes the next step in its evolution and becomes Folk Club.

The first rule of Folk Club is you don’t talk about Folk Club.

Well, actually, that’s not true. You should talk about Folk Club. You should get a big group of your friends together and get along, it’s going to be fantastic.

The bare bones of Wednesday Nights at the Hollywood are still there. Folk Club is still on on Wednesday nights and it’s still on at The Hotel Hollywood in Sydney’s Surry Hills. And The Falls will still be performing a set each and every week along with two other very talented artists.

But that’s where things start to get a little different. Each week there will be a “feature artist” (usually the artist chosen to perform the final set) who will be interviewed during their show by the night’s host, local actor Jason Crewes. This part of the show will be filmed and the audio recorded to be later turned into online videos and a Folk Club podcast. As the year progresses the online content from the shows will no doubt adapt and change but you’ll need to down at The Hollywood every Wednesday if you want to brag to your friends that you were there.

All sounds pretty exciting right? Now all you need is the information like where, when and who is first?

2012 is going to kick off this Wednesday 29th February with The Falls, Boy Outside and The Merri Creek Pickers. But the official launch of Folk Club is actually Wednesday 7th March which you should definitely get down to – Jack Carty and Jordan Lesser will be there. The March lineup (so far) is below:

Wed 7th March – Jack Carty + The Falls + Jordan Lesser
Wed 14th March – Maples + The Falls + Luke Webb
Wed 21st March – Little Bastards + The Falls + TBA
Wed 28th March – Patrick James + The Falls + TBA

For more information check out the official Folk Club Facebook page. And while you’re there friend The Falls so you get double to updates. And of course keep tuned to Timber and Steel where we’ll update you on all things Folk Club related.

“Man, I see in Folk Club the strongest and smartest musicians who’ve ever lived” – Tyler Durden

Wednesday Nights at the Hollywood: December

Jack Carty
Image Courtesy of Jack Carty

As the year wraps up so to do the regular folk and acoustic nights that pepper our cities. One of our favourite regular nights, The Falls’ residency at the Hollywood Hotel in Sydney, is finishing up the year with three more shows culminating in their Christmas Extravaganza on the 21st December.

The Christmas Extravaganza was hinted at in this article about Achoo! Bless You’s free Christmas track and will star them, The Falls and the one and only Jack Carty (above). The Wednesday nights leading up to the Christmas Extravaganza also have some pretty amazing music with Fred Kinbom, Sam Walker and NGAIIRE all making an appearance.

Wednesday nights at The Hollywood Hotel kick off at 8pm and are absolutely free. Check out the official Facebook Invite for more details. Why not see in the festive season with some live music this December?

WEEK 1: Wed 7th December – Fred Kinbom, The Falls, Sam Walker
WEEK 2: Wed 14th December – NGAIIRE, The Falls
WEEK 3: Wed 21st December – CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA! feat. Achoo! Bless You, The Falls, Jack Carty

Wednesday Nights At The Hollywood: November

Packwood
Image Courtesy of Packwood

It may be controversial but we’re going to come right out and say it – November’s lineup for Wednesday’s Nights at the Hollywood Hotel in Sydney may be the best yet. No disrespect to those amazing artists that have come before (and there have been so many) but just looking down the names of returning favourites and new additions gets us more excited than a banjo player at a hoedown.

Joining The Falls’ Wednesday night residency at the Hollywood this month are arbori:, Lissa, Jack Carty, Evil J & Saint Ceceilia, Brendan Maclean, Packwood (above), and Mustered Courage. We told you it was amazing! As usual entry is free and the music kicks off around 8PM. For more information (and lineup changes) make sure you RSVP to the official Facebook event here. The schedule for the next five weeks is below with arbori:, The Falls and Lissa taking to the stage this Wednesday the 2nd November.

WEEK 1: Wed 2nd November – arbori:, The Falls, Lissa
WEEK 2: Wed 9th November – Jack Carty, The Falls
WEEK 3: Wed 16th November – Evil J & Saint Ceceilia, The Falls, Brendan Maclean
WEEK 4: Wed 23rd November – Packwood, The Falls
WEEK 5: Wed 30th November – Mustered Courage, The Falls

Wednesday Nights At The Hollywood: October

Achoo! Bless You
Image Courtesy of Achoo! Bless You

After a brief hiatus Sydney’s favourite acoustic residency is back with The Falls returning to Wednesday nights at The Hollywood Hotel, Surrey Hills. As usual the duo will be showcasing some amazing local, national and even international acts on the bill each week including Little Bastard, Stu Larsen, Achoo! Bless You (above), Faith Lee and Michael Mooney (Canada), among others.

The music starts around 8pm and entry is free for all (your attendance and a few dollars over the bar for beer keeps nights like this alive). The program kicks off tomorrow night and the lineup over the coming weeks is below. Make sure you RSVP to the Facebook event to keep up to date on any additions or changes.

WEEK 1: Wed 5th October – Little Bastard, The Falls, Lacey Cole
WEEK 2: Wed 12th October – We Are The Birdcage, The Falls, Achoo! Bless You
WEEK 3: Wed 19th October – Stu Larsen, The Falls, Faith Lee
WEEK 4: Wed 22nd October – Michael Mooney (Canada), The Falls, Ceci Herbert

Wednesday Nights At The Hollywood: July

Lissa
Image Courtesy of Lissa

In the immortal words of Sandy Denny: “Who knows where the time goes?” We woke up this morning and suddenly realised it was July, and had been for almost a week now. Last we checked it had just been Easter – I think we need to pay more attention to such things.

One fantastic thing about it being July though is we have the new lineup for The Falls’ Wednesday night acoustic/folk residency at The Hollywood Hotel in Sydney. If you haven’t managed to catch one of these nights yet we really suggest you do – it’s probably the best regular folk night in Sydney and it’s absolutely free.

Tonight is the first in their July program and features Fergus Brown, Lucy Hall and of course a set by The Falls themselves (definitely worth the price of admission). The full program for the month includes John Vella, Ryan Nico, Whiskey Indian November, Johnny Took and Lissa (above) and is below. Make sure you RSVP to the Facebook invite so you can keep up to date with any additions and changes. Happy folking!

WEEK 1: Wed 6th July – Fergus Brown, The Falls, Lucy Hall
WEEK 2: Wed 13th July – John Vella, The Falls, Ryan Nico
WEEK 3: Wed 20th July – Whiskey Indian November, The Falls, Johnny Took
WEEK 4: Wed 27th July – Lissa, The Falls

Wednesday Nights At The Hollywood: June

Stu Larsen
Image Courtesy of Stu Larsen

With the weather turning cold and the winter rain starting to set in you’d think you’d be excused for not wanting to step outside. But quality live music never sleeps and neither should you – instead you should be investing in some warm clothes to get you to and from venues. Because you know it’s going to be warm and dry when you get there and the music is always going to be worth it.

Sydney folk stalwarts The Falls have just announced the June lineup for their regular Wednesday Nights at the Hotel Hollywood in Sydney. This is seriously one of the best regular folk/acoustic nights in Sydney and you’re always guaranteed an intimate, spellbinding performance. Joining The Falls next month are the likes of Hello Vera, Rosie Catalano, Achoo! Bless You, Evil J & Saint Cecilia and Stu Larsen (above) with more names likely to be added soon. And best of all it’s free!

Keep up to date with Wednesdays at the Hollywood by friending The Falls on facebook and RSVPing to the June event here. The full lineup for June (so far) is below:

WEEK 1: Wed 1st June – Hello Vera, The Falls, Rosie Catalano
WEEK 2: Wed 8th June – Achoo! Bless You, The Falls
WEEK 3: Wed 15th June – Evil J & Saint Cecilia, The Falls
WEEK 4: Wed 22nd June – The Falls
WEEK 5: Wed 29th June – Stu Larsen, The Falls

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