Thank Folk It’s Friday – 27th September


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Award winning Sydney singer-songwriter HeyMun shared a live version of her new single “Sailor”. Details here

Jordie Lane has released his new single “Here She Comes” ahead of his upcoming national tour. Details here

Mumford & Sons have announced they are going on hiatus for the foreseeable future. Details here

– The Fleurieu Folk Festival have announced a cracker of a lineup including Old Man Luedecke (above), Jordie Lane, The Seals, The BordererS, Siskin River, Danny Spooner, The Mae Trio, The Timbers, Kaurna Cronin, The Weeping Willows and many many more. Details here

Bluesfest announced their second round of artists including The Doobie Brothers, Boz Scaggs, Steve Earle, CW Stoneking and so so so many more. Details here

– And yet another festival lineup announcement hit this week with Laneway revealing their 2014 artists. On the folky end of the spectrum was Daughter, Frightened Rabbit, Cass McCombs and Vance Joy. Details here

Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel are working on their third album and have a tour planned this November. Details here

– Sydney’s Oscar Lush released his new album The World Is Round So I’ll Go Round last week and will be officially launching it at a secret gig next week. Details here

Damien Dempsey is returning to Australia this November with an appearance at the Australian World Music Expo as well as shows in Sydney and Perth. Details here

– Sydney folk band Arbori are touring for Timber and Steel this October and November. Details here

Robert Ellis is returning to Australia for a headline tour with Cory Chisel this November. Details here

– Sydney’s Little May have released their new single “Hide” and have announced their debut EP. Details here

Communion Melbourne are back this October with a lineup that includes Bear’s Den, The Tiger and Me, Grizzly Jim Lawrie and Kate Martin. Details here

– And Communion Melbourne is not the only headline show Bear’s Den are doing while they’re in town – they’ve announced shows in Sydney and Brisbane as well. Details here

Isaac de Heer has released his latest video “Streets of del Mino”. Details here

Timber and Steel favourite Johnny Flynn has released a gorgeous lyric video for his track “After Eliot”. Details here

– The new EP from Woody Pitney arrives on Monday but in the meantime we have a stream of his latest single “When You Go”. Details here

Whitley is heading out on a massive national tour this November. Details here


“Liz Frencham starts her Joy Spring tour in Newtown this week and continues through September along the Eastern Coast and hinterland, stopping in at Newcastle, Canberra, Wollongong, Newtown, Glebe, Allambie Heights and Katoomba and then continues into Queensland with more dates to be announced”Liz Frencham chats to Bill Quinn. Interview here


“How can anyone recharge creatively if your only input is stepping out onto an arena stage every night and playing the same 12 songs over and over again?”Gareth Hugh Evans discusses why a hiatus is a good thing for Mumford & Sons. Blog here



“If I had to explain why Oh the Light hasn’t got the recognition it deserves, I’d say it was down to its unusual blend of flavours. At times, it’s reminiscent of the country rock and rich harmonies of the Eagles or America. But carefully as he wields it, Luke O’Connor’s blue-eyed soul singing cuts starkly against that. It’s too loud and glitzy to be soft rock, mixed wide and full, like Jeff Lynne’s version of the wall of sound. The songs have strong momentum, and are sometimes catchy like the best pop music. But they’re also quite long, and, perhaps, too self-consciously verbose for that label”JDX reviews the Steelbirds album Oh The Light. Review here

Releases This Week

Black Coffee
Black CoffeeLachlan Bryan and The Wildes

Timber and Steel Presents

Friday 4th October – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Ashleigh Mannix
Friday 27th September – The Up Front Bar, Maleny, QLD
Saturday 28th September – The Valley Markets, Fortitude Valley, QLD
Saturday 28th September – The Loft, Chevron Island, Gold Coast, QLD

Friday 27th September – Astor Theatre, Perth, WA
Saturday 28th September – Wave Rock Weekender, Hyden, WA

Jack Carty
Friday 27th September – Ya Ya’s, Perth, WA
Saturday 28th September – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA
Thursday 3rd October – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 4th October – The Clarendon, Katoomba, NSW

Jinja Safari
Friday 27th September – Forum, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 28th September – Karova, Ballarat, VIC
Thursday 3rd October – Adelaide Uni Bar, Adelaide, SA
Friday 4th October – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River, WA

Liz Frencham
Friday 27th September – The Royal Exchange, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 28th September – Canberra Southern Cross Club, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 29th September – Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Thursday 3rd October – Colbourne Ave, Glebe, NSW
Friday 4th October – Humph Hall, Nth Sydney, NSW

Loren Kate
Friday 27th September – Maleny Community Centre, Maleny, QLD
Saturday 28th September – Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 28th September – Majestic Theatre, Pomona, QLD

Nigel Wearne
Friday 27th to Sunday 29th September – Wallaby Creek Festival, Rossville, QLD
Thursday 3rd October – Bottlerocket Bar & Cafe, Nowra, NSW
Friday 4th October – Harmonie German Club, Narrabundah, ACT

Olivers Army
Friday 4th October – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Potato Potato
Friday 4th October – Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick Heads, NSW

Rose Wintergreen with Rosie Catalano, Dan and Hannah Acfield
Friday 4th October – The Hideaway, Brisbane, QLD

Sunday 29th September – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW
Monday 30th September – The Front Gallery & Cafe, Canberra, ACT
Tuesday 1st October – Temora Town Hall Theatre, Temora, NSW
Wednesday 2nd October – Batlow Garden Cafe, Batlow, NSW
Thursday 3rd October – The Mill Echuca, Echuca, VIC
Friday 4th October – Paris Cat Jazz Club, Melbourne, VIC

The Lamplights and Buffalo Tales
Thursday 3rd October – Bangalow Bowls Club, Bangalow, NSW
Friday 4th October – The Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD

The Paper Kites
Friday 27th September – The Waratah Hotel, Hobart, TAS
Saturday 28th September – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC

The Stillsons
Friday 27th September – The Sound Lounge, Currumbin, QLD
Saturday 28th September – The Royal Mail, Goodna, QLD
Saturday 28th September – The Joynt, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 29th September – The Powerhouse, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 3rd October – The Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Friday 4th October – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW

The Woohoo Revue
Friday 27th September – Nexus Arts Centre, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 28th September – The Loft, Warrnambool, VIC

Xavier Rudd, Donavon Frankenreiter and Nahko and Medicine for the People
Saturday 28th September – Oceans Winery, Margaret River, WA
Sunday 29th September – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA
Thursday 3rd October – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 4th October – Big Top, Sydney, NSW

Friday Folk Flashback

“Sister” – Mumford and Sons

We were sad to hear the (not at all unexpected) news this week that Mumford and Sons would be taking a hiatus. So we thought we’d celebrate the band with one of our favourite non-album tracks, “Sister”.

Whitley Announces Roadside Tour

Whitley Tour
Image Courtesy of Whitley

This October Whitley is once again packing his bags and hitting the road for a massive 23 date tour. Kicking off in Tasmania the tour will see Whitley take in dates right around the country including a stopover at the A Day On The Green events with Bernard Fanning, The Cruel Sea, Sarah Blasko and Bob Evans.

Supporting Whitley on the tour will be Seagull. The full list of dates are below:

Friday 11th October – Hotel New York, Launceston, TAS
Saturday 12th October – The Republic Bar, Hobart, TAS
Thursday 17th October – Caravan, Oakleigh, VIC
Friday 18th October – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 19th October – Barwon Club, Geelong, VIC
Thursday 24th October – Karova Lounge, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 25th October – Bendigo Bank Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
Saturday 26th October – A Day On The Green, Mudgee, NSW
Sunday 27th October – Ed Castle, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 2nd November – A Day On The Greeen, Hunter Valley, NSW
Sunday 3rd November – A Day On The Green, Mount Cotton, QLD
Saturday 9th November – A Day On The Green, Yarra Valley, VIC
Wednesday 13th November – Transit, Canberra ACT
Thursday 14th November – Captains, Batemans Bay, NSW
Friday 15th November – Yours and Owls, Wollongong, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Goodgod, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 17th November – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 28th November – Alhambra, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 29th November – Woombye Pub, Sunshine Coast, QLD
Saturday 30th November – Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 7th December – Amplifier, Perth, WA
Sunday 8th December – Mojo, Fremantle, WA
Friday 13th December – Railway Club, Darwin, NT

Review: Splendour In The Grass, A Folkie’s Perspective

Splendour in the Grass
All Images Courtesy of Splendour in the Grass

As a veteran of dozens, if not hundreds of music festivals it probably comes as somewhat of a surprise that I’ve never been to Splendour in the Grass prior to 2013. With some of the world’s best indie-folk acts gracing the Splendour stage over the last few years it’s definitely been on my wish list for a while and given this year featured the likes of Mumford and Sons, Of Monsters and Men, Laura Marling and more I couldn’t really find a reasons not to go.

Flying into the north coast on Friday night I manged to completely avoid all of the bus and queue issues that had plagued the festival on the first full day (and have been amply documented by the media elswhere). I managed to walk straight in, fix myself up with some food and my first of many mid-strength beers and walk over to the Supertop to catch some music. Arriving late did however have its pitfalls in that I missed sets from Daughter, Boy & Bear and Matt Corby.

Mumford and Sons

The band I had most come to see, in their only Australian show this time around, was of course Mumford and Sons and I was not disappointed. The Supertop was filled to overflowing and I found the best view was actually outside of the tent, ankle-deep in sticky mud and doing my best to dance without moving my feet. The folk-infused four-piece were in fine form and complimented throughout the set by a cast of horn and string players, backing vocalists and some amazing lighting. The massive crowd sang along to “Little Lion Man”, “I Will Wait” and “Roll Away Your Stone” as expected and Mumford and Sons genuinely appeared to be having a ball.

Saturday was packed with folk and singer-songwriter inspired music and I was spoilt for choice as I ran between the GW McLennan stage and the Supertop. I made sure I got to the festival nice and early – there was no way I was missing anything this time.

Art of Sleeping kicked off the day with a half hour set at the GW McLennan stage. These guys have a big sound that’s perfect for a festival (although their 12:30 time-slot probably didn’t do them any favours) and I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see them popping up on more and more lineups. With a sound in the Boy & Bear flavour of indie – albeit with a lot less folk and west coast influence – I really enjoyed the set, with “Empty Hands” the obvious highlight.

The crowd that Vance Joy drew was impressive although I couldn’t help but feel they were all just there to see “Riptide” and nothing else. No one around me seemed that engaged with Joy until he brought out the ukelele and then there was almost an audible sigh when he launched into “Snaggletooth” instead of “Riptide”. Which is a shame as the set was really good and Vance Joy is a clear talent. I’ll definitely be seeking him out live again.

Irish band Villagers have been popping up on folk blogs for a while now but I’ve never really paid them much attention. Their sound is laced with acoustic instruments but I’d struggle to call them “folk” even with Timber and Steel’s broad definition of the genre. That said their set was amazing and definitely a highlight of the festival for me. “Nothing Arrived” was the standout track (probably because I know it from the radio).

One of the biggest “hype” names on the Splendour line up was 19 year old singer-songwriter Jake Bugg so there was no way I was going to miss his set at The Supertop stage. A lot of people have been asking me since whether I think he lives up to the hype and to be honest I’m not sure. His music was good – a lot of alt-country and Americana influences and plenty of decent songwriting – but I’m just not sure that it’s any better than music that’s been produced by thousands of other similar artists. Good on him for breaking through, amassing a decent following and signing to Mercury so early on in his career – I’m just keen to see if he does something extraordinary.

Whitley’s return to the music scene, which was first revealed via his inclusion on the Splendour lineup, had also been hyped by the media (including us). To be honest I was a little surprised that Whitley had drawn a relatively small crowd at Splendour (maybe a symptom of going up against Chet Faker in the program?) but those that were there were treated to some fine music. Camped out behind his organ and with a full band in tow Whitley pulled generously from his new album Even The Stars Are A Mess as well as peppering a few tracks from his back catalogue for good measure.

After endulging in some 90s nostalgia with a cracking set from Something For Kate (they played “Captain (Million Miles An Hour)”!) and enjoying some indie goodness from Cold War Kids it was back to the GW McLennan stage for the gorgeous Sarah Blasko. Blasko is one of the classiest artists in the country and her set was just stunning, despite a few technical difficulties at the very beginning of the show. The lighting for Blasko’s set was pretty astounding and the crowd really got into the songs, singing and clapping along at every opportunity – lots of fun.

Polyphonic Spree

I have to admit that I’ve never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show and my only point of reference point is dancing to “The Time Warp” in dodgy retro night clubs. So the prospect of The Polyphonic Spree peforming the musical from start to finish probably didn’t excite me as much as it did a lot of the crowd – but when they started I was hooked, shouting “Dammit Janet” and pelvic thrusting with the best of them. I’m really chuffed that The Polyphonic Spree decided to end their set with a bunch of their original numbers including “Hold Me Now” and “Two Thousand Places” – this was just icing on an already rich musical cake.

For his new album, Departures, Bernard Fanning has re-embraced his rock roots and all but shaken off the folkiness of his debut Tea and Sympathy. So going into his Splendour set to round out Saturday night I was intrigued to see whether we’d see both sides of the Australian icon. And while the majority of his show centred around Departures I was chuffed when a couple of Tea and Sympathy tracks cropped up. “Thrill is Gone” was a definite highlight and had the crowd (or maybe just me) singing in full voice – beautiful.

As the sun came up on Sunday I was sad I had to miss the last day of Splendour in the Grass due to an early flight and work the next day. Laura Marling, Of Monsters and Men and Gurrumul would have been on must-see-folk list for the day but sadly I’d have to catch them elsewhere.

Overall my impression of Splendour in the Grass was positive. A lot of the issues that plagued the festival on the first day – the bus and queue debacle and the cancellation of Frank Ocean – didn’t affect me much due to the type of festival I chose to have (getting there late on Friday, focusing on folk acts). The mud was unavoidable with all the recent rain but definitely impacted on my festival experience – it’s hard to dance it out to Mumford and Sons or run between venues when you’re ankle deep in sticky black mud. I’m also not sure about the “exclusive bar” setup where different tickets allowing you to get into different venues – it seemed to create a class system and definitely contributed to the amount of booze being smuggled into the event (only the exclusive bars sold full strength drinks).

Overall I have to commend the organisers – the lineup was pretty spot on allowing this fokie to revel in my favourite genre all festival long, the venue itself was laid out in a way that prevented any sound bleed or insane bottlenecks and the issues at the beginning of the event were dealt with quickly and decisively. While I’m still partial to smaller, folkier festivals as a giant rock festival goes Splendour in the Grass was pretty amazing.

Will I go next year? Well I guess that all depends on how many folk-type artists they have on the bill. And whether I can get my gumboots clean in time…

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 26th July


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

Ashleigh Mannix released her brand new video “Devil In My Hometown”. Details here

Timber and Steel will be presenting the August tour for Sydney alt-country four-piece The Mountains. Details here

– Sydney trio Little May have released their brand new single and video “Boardwalks”. Details here

Whitley has revealed his new single “TV” ahead of his appearance at Splendour tomorrow. Details here

Timber and Steel favourite Jack Carty has released his new video “What Does Your Heart Say” as well as announcing a massive national tour. Details here

– Central Coast singer-songwriter Mark Moldre is heading south in September for a tour in the ACT and VIC and has released a new video. Details here

Frank Turner released the video to his track “Losing Days”. Details here

– Brisbane singer-songwriter Hannah Karydas released her new video “Heavy”. Details here

Timber and Steel had the exclusive first listen to the brand new Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers single “Sea Elephant School”. Details here

Les Thomas is one of the busiest men in folk music – he writes the awesome Unpaved blog, does a lot of work with for refugees through These Machines Cut Razorwire and is a singer-songwriter as well. We have his new video “Song for Selva”. Details here

Gregory Alan Isakov has released the video for his brand new video “Living Proof”. Details here


“We love getting guests up with us, it’s a big part of the jambands/bluegrass scene to us. Surrounded by so many talented pickers you can expect plenty of special guests on stage alongside us” – Julian Abrahams from Mustered Courage chats to Gareth Hugh Evans about JamGrass Sydney. Interview here

“Speaking from my own experience, [Bluegrass] is music that can easily be participated in. Brother Jimmy played me some bluegrass once, I went out and bought a guitar and a Carter Family record within a day” – James Morrison from The Morrisons chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I think the reason that there are things called “folk songs” and “country songs” is mainly for marketing reasons. If I had my way I wouldn’t be pigeon holed at all”John Williamson chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“I think at its core people are really attracted to the spirit of this music. It’s not pretentious, it’s energetic and uplifting, it’s a connection to the past, and it is focused on community and shared experience. People are always looking for more authentic experiences and they don’t have to look too hard to find it in this kind of music” – Jimmy Daley of The Steamgrass Boys chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We’re hoping to get some dancing going too – we really go nuts when there’s dancing” – J. B. Latime from The Rusty Spring Syncopators chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

“We just released a single and we’re finishing off the rest of the album, so hopefully we’ll tour to promote that. In the meantime, more beer more whiskey more songs” – Jason Mannell from The Green Mohair Suits chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

By Your Side
By Your SideAlison Avron

Edward Sharpe
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic ZerosEdward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Timber and Steel Presents

Fanny Lumsden
Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers w/The British Blues, The Burley Griffin
Wednesday 31st July – Folk Club at The Soda Factory, Sydney, NSW

Sam Buckingham
Sam Buckingham w/Whitaker, Tom Kline
Sunday 28th July – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Gigs Next Week

Bears With Guns
Saturday 27th July – Ex Servicemans, Grafton, NSW
Sunday 28th July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Thursday 1st August – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Fraser A Gorman w/ Forever Son
Wednesday 31st July – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Grizzly Jim Lawrie
Friday 26th July – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 28th July – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT

Isaac Graham
Friday 26th July – The Bunker, Coogee, NSW
Saturday 27th July – The Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 1st August – Crowbar, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 2nd August – The Purple Carrot, Bellingen, NSW

Lachlan Bryan
Wednesday 31st July – The Retreat, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 2nd August – Zeally & Cliff, Torquoy, VIC

Laura Marling
Friday 26th July – St Joseph’s Church, Perth WA
Tuesday 30th July – St Michael’s Church, Melbourne VIC
Wednesday 31st July – St Michael’s Church, Melbourne VIC

Of Monsters and Men
Monday 29th July – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 30th July – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday 31st July – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 2nd August – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Paul Kelly
Friday 26th July – Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton, QLD
Saturday 27th July – Moncieff Ent. Centre, Bundaberg, QLD
Sunday 28th July – Brolga Theatre, Maryborough, QLD
Tuesday 30th July – Arts Theatre, Gold Coast, QLD
Wednesday 31st Juluy – Community Centre, Lake Kawana, QLD
Thursday 1st August – QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Sam Brittain
Friday 26th July – The Wheatsheaf, Adealaide, SA

Sam Buckingham
Sunday 28th July – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 1st August – The Front, Canberra, ACT

Sarah Blasko
Saturday 27th July – Splendour In The Grass, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 28th July – The Jetty Memorial Theatre, Coffs Harbour, NSW
Tuesday 30th July – Eastbank Centre, Shepparton, VIC
Wednesday 31st July – The Capital, Bendigo, VIC
Thursday 1st August – Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts, Ballarat, VIC
Friday 2nd August – Lighthouse Theatre, Warnambool, VIC

Splendour in the Grass
Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July – North Byron Parklands, Byron Bay, NSW

The Tiger & Me
Friday 26th July – Blue Beat, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 27th July – City Digger’s Club, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 28th July – Beyond Q, Canberra, ACT

The Timbers
Friday 2nd August – The Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA

The Woohoo Revue
Friday 26th July – The Hot Club, Blackheath, NSW
Saturday 27th July – Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
Thursday 1st August – White Eagle Polish Club, Turner, ACT
Friday 2nd August – White Eagle Polish Club, Turner, ACT

Thelma Plum
Friday 26th July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 28th July – The Aviary Rooftop Sessions, Perth, WA

Twang: A Night of American Bluegrass
Tuesday 30th July – The Festival Lounge, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Pirate’s Gospel” – Alela Diane

Thought you might want some pirate music to get your Friday night started.

Listen to The New Whitley Single “TV”

Image Courtesy of Whitley

With the highly anticipated new album Even The Stars Are A Mess well and truly out, a national tour done and dusted and an appearance at Splendour this weekend it would seem that Whitley has definitely returned. But just in case you haven’t jumped on board of the Whitley train yet we recommend you check out his new single “TV” – take a listen below:

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 12th July


This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– The Gulgong Folk Festival has had the majority of its funding pulled for this year’s event so is appealing to folk fans via a crowd funding campaign. Details here

– Tonight marks the second of three Peace in the Pacific shows Fred Smith is putting on in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Details here

– Also tonight is the July edition of MoFo in Sydney featuring Little Bighorn and Mimi Gilbert. Details here

– We announced that Timber and Steel will be presenting the upcoming Sea Elephant School single launch tour from Fanny Lumsden & The Thrillseekers. Details here

Mumford and Sons revealed the new video to their track “Babel” ahead of their Splendour in the Grass show this month. Details here

Gosti also released her new video “Boy” which she’s officially launching in Melbourne next month. Details here

– Sydney alt-country quartet The Mountains gave us the exclusive first listen to their brand new track “Sun”. Details here

Ashleigh Mannix has revealed details of her new EP From The Mountains plus tour dates through August and September. Details here

Matt Corby revealed the track “Evangelist” from his Resolution EP which is released today. Details here

– Melbourne alt-country super-group Immigrant Union released their new single “Alison”. Details here

– Melbourne twin-brother duo The Pierce Brothers released their brand new video “Blind Boys Run”. Details here

– Sydney monthly alt-country night Country Roads has announced its July lineup including The Green Mohair Suits, Luke Escombe and the Corporation and The British Blues. Details here

Aoife O’Donovan has finally released the official video for her single “Red & White & Blue & Gold”. Details here

– English folk singer Lucy Ward released her new video “Icarus”. Details here


“It was going to be Lawrence Greenwood for quite a while really until the eleventh hour. It was just like “ahh f**k, it just sounds like a Whitely album. I wouldn’t want to put it out as anything else”.” – Lawrence Greenwood from Whitley chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here

Releases This Week

Lone SurvivorCastlecomer

Dan Parsons
Dan ParsonsDan Parsons

Emily Barker
Deep RiverEmily Barker & The Red Clay Halo
Official Store

Gregory Alan Isakov
The WeathermanGregory Alan Isakov

Matt Corby
ResolutionMatt Corby

Timber and Steel Presents

Buffalo Tales
Buffalo Tales
Friday 12th July – Mudgee Brewing Company, Mudgee, NSW
Sunday 14th July – Lizottes, Kincumber, NSW
Friday 19th July – The Elsternwick Hotel, Elwood, VIC

Official Site

Traveller and Fortune
Traveller & Fortune with Oliver’s Army, Colourwheel
Sunday 14th July – The Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets on the Door

Gigs Next Week

Country Roads feat. The Green Mohair Suits, Luke Escombe and the Corporation, The British Blues
Thursday 18th July – The Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

Folk Club feat. Little Bighorn, All Our Exes Live In Texas, Rainee Lyleson
Wednesday 17th July – The Soda Factory, Sydney, NSW

Fraser A Gorman w/ Mike Skinner (Mallee Songs)
Wenesday 17th July – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Fred Smith
Friday 12th July – Cat & Fiddle, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 13th July – The Playhouse, Canberra, ACT

Isaac Graham
Friday 19th July – Yours And Owls, Wollongong, NSW

MoFo feat. Little Bighorn, Mimi Gilbert
Friday 12h July – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Sam Brittain
Sunday 14th July – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA

Sweet Jean
Friday 12th July – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Saturday 13th July – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday, 18th July – The Newsagency, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th July – Singing Gallery, McLaren, SA

The Jed Rowe Band
Friday 12th July – The Gollan Hotel, Lismore, NSW
Sunday 14th July – The Channon Markets, The Channon, NSW

Thelma Plum
Saturday 13th July – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Friday 12th July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 13th July – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 18th July – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th July – The Hi Fi, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“The Chemical Worker’s Song” – Great Big Sea

The struggle-of-the-worker genre of folk song is no where near as prevalent as it once was in our world of OH&S, high paid mining gigs and award wages. But there’s some great tracks out their still being recorded by contemporary artists like this version of “The Chemical Worker’s Song” by Ron Angel (also known at “Process Man”) performed here by Canadian folk-rockers Great Big Sea

Interview: Whitley, Even The Stars Are A Mess

Image Courtesy of Whitley

There’s been a lot of buzz around the return of Lawrence Greenwood, AKA Whitley, to the Australian music scene recently and rightly so – his new album Even The Stars Are A Mess is something pretty special and he’s about to head out on a tour which will culminate in an appearance at Splendour in the Grass. Recently we sat down with Greenwood to chat about returning to the Whitley moniker after a leave of absence, the chaos of recording the new album and what’s on the horizon for the singer-songwriter.

Gareth Hugh Evans: I guess the big question is why return to Whitley after your leave of absence? What’s brought you back?

Lawrence Greenwood: I think there were two reasons. Probably the least important of the two is I have quite a few followers and listeners in America who would not have necessarily known there was a new Whitley album out because there’s no publicity over there, there’s no label over there, so they’d have to search for it. If they were searching for a Whitley song I’d love for them to be able to hear the new stuff. So that was kind of tactical in a way and just because I would like those people to see where the music has gone, in what direction. The other reason is probably the main reason is that it really sounded like a Whitley album to me.

GHE: Was there ever a point where you felt the Whitley project wasn’t suitable for this new music or was it always going to be Whitley?

LG: It was going to be Lawrence Greenwood for quite a while really until the eleventh hour. It was just like “ahh f**k, it just sounds like a Whitely album. I wouldn’t want to put it out as anything else”. I feel like if I put it out under Lawrence Greenwood I’d feel like maybe I hadn’t gone far enough in a new direction. I think when I do go in a new direction I will stop the Whitley moniker one day. But I think right now it’s kind of necessary to do it like this and it feels really good – as an artist that’s kind of all you can go on is your gut because art’s kind of irrational anyway, you can do whatever the f**k you want.

GHE: It feels like the reaction from the media and blogs on your return has been really positive. Have you been feeding off that at all.

LG: I’m glad to hear it’s positive but I try not to read these because I think no matter what on the internet you’re going to get a lot of negativity surrounding it even if it’s a positive article. Like you’ll scroll down and there’s a really cutting comment from some person who doesn’t really have any investment in your happiness as a person so they can be ruthless. I respect that it’s there, it’s fine, I love the internet’s freedom – but I don’t want to read shit that people have written about me when they’re bored and mean.

GHE: That’s probably a very healthy attitude to have.

LG: Like I think Carl Sagan is a total hero and legend. I remember watching a youtube video of Carl Sagan saying one of the most poignant passages from Pale Blue Dot and there’s just this dude at the bottom of it going “this f**king weed smoking hippy can’t read”. And I was like “that’s it, I’m done with this shit”.

GHE: I’m not sure the internet lends itself to constructive feedback. People can try and pull you down just because they can.

LG: Definitely. And my friends are not arse-kissers – they try and give me shit at every opportunity and take me down. So I’m not going too grandiose with my delusions. I don’t need to look for my feedback anywhere other than my friends who have really great taste in art. They’re not going to brutalise me too badly but they’re going to tell me if what I’m doing is shit.

GHE: The new album is Even The Stars Are A Mess. You wrote a lot of this overseas right?

LG: Yeah, it was written mostly on a phone – just leaving voice memos to myself – and just relentlessly doing these little melodic things. Then I bought an organ to play some Philip Glass, I was learning some Philip Glass pieces, and I wanted a Farfisa which is what Philip Glass used to play. But it was just really expensive and I didn’t really like the sound of them that much so I bought this other cheap, shitty organ and that’s the organ you hear all over the album. And when I say it’s kind of cheap and shitty it’s still a 1960s transistor organ with 24 valves in it. It’s impossible to maintain and a total pain in the arse but I have it with me – it’s like my rock.

GHE: You wanted to record the album in London – you went as far as building a studio?

LG: I built one and then that ended up being near a nightclub. It was a new nightclub that opened downstairs which was impossible because they had a license that went all weekend. And then the next one was in Edgware Road and the tube line ran on the other side of where I set up all my gear. I could see my microphone moving a little bit, kind of shaking. So I turned on all the mics and there was just this low rumble from the tube station. I didn’t want to be around that kind of imperfection.

GHE: And then what? You thought about recording in Latin America instead?

LG: I did. I went over there with all my gear and set up there. But I got really sick; it was just a combination of things at the same time – I lost a lot of weight, was very unwell and had to go back to London to recover – it worked out with our plane tickets that it wasn’t very expensive to just move it and go back. It wasn’t a matter of perseverance either – I was there for three months trying to do it.

GHE: And then final piece of the recording saga is you ended up in Italy?

LG: At the time I was living in The Netherlands with my friend Jake and he has a really swanky apartment, but it didn’t work recording there. One of the guys who is a label head at Dew Process has a really lovely converted church in the middle of a forest in Italy and it sounded kind of nice. I thought it would be pushing my luck asking if I could go and record there. But I asked him anyway and he was generous enough to let us go down there and use his place. It was gorgeous – I’m going back there for the next Tuscan summer.

GHE: Has all this jet setting informed the album or your sound at all?

LG: No. No not at all. I think I’m so internet based in what I read and things like that that culturally it’s a bit ambiguous. I don’t feel like there’s any latin music sounds in there or even any European writers that would have been influential without me discovering them in Melbourne. I think the chaos of it all led me to want to look inwards a little bit.

GHE: Even The Stars Are A Mess came out on Friday – are you nervous about its release at all?

LG: The only thing that makes me nervous is I hope people understand it. As a piece of work I feel really confident that I did the right thing, that I’m connected to it personally and that it makes sense to me personally. My only hope, and it really is secondary, is that people can get some enjoyment out of what’s there.

GHE: And you’re going on tour with Esther Holt, doing a handful of dates around Splendour in the Grass. Is there a plan to tour more widely in Australia or is the plan to head back overseas?

LG: In September and October I’m going to get in my ’91 Corolla and drive around the country.

GHE: Do the whole troubadour musician thing.

LG: I think it’ll be great. I’m really looking forward to it.

GHE: Well thank you so much for chatting to me Lawrence – I hope everything goes well with the new album and the tour. It’s great to have you back.

LG: Thanks very much – it’s great to be back.

Even The Stars Are A Mess is out now. The full list of upcoming Whitley dates are below:

Friday 12th July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 13th July – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 18th July – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th July – The Hi Fi, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 26th – Sunday 28th July – Splendour In The Grass, Byron Bay, NSW

New Esther Holt Video “Rock Me Through The Night”

Esther Holt
Image Courtesy of Esther Holt

If you listened to “My Heart Is Not A Machine”, the comeback single of celebrated singer-songwriter Whitley, a couple of weeks ago you may have been asking yourself who was providing the backing vocals. Well the answer is Melbourne’s Esther Holt.

As well as backing Whitley on his track (and appearing in the support slot for his upcoming tour) Esther Holt is also in the process of releasing her own music, in particular her debut EP Countless Verse. The second single from the EP, “Rock Me Through The Night”, has just been released and has a nice old-timey video to go along with it – check it out below:

The full list of Holt’s Whitley support dates are below:

Saturday 13th July – Jive Bar, Adelaide, SA
Thursday 18th July – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Friday 19th July – The Hi Fi, Melbourne, VIC

Whitley Announces Final Tour

Image Courtesy of Whitley

Live favourite and former Rolling Stone Magazine breakout artist Lawrence Greenwood has decided to abandon his Whitley moniker and move to Europe to pursue new musical endeavors. But before he does Whitley will be hitting the road for one final tour taking in much of the country.

“There’s only so many times you can play around the same venues and expect to be stimulated and inspired,” Whitley told The shows will feature two distinct halves – the first half with Whitley doing the solo thing and the second half featuring a full band. Melbourne band Seagull will be supporting.

Tour dates are below:

Thursday 5th August – Amplifier Bar, Perth
Friday 6th August – Manhattans, Victoria Park
Saturday 7th August – Fowlers, Adelaide
Sunday 8th August – Republic Bar, Hobart
Tuesday 10th August – The Zoo, Brisbane
Wednesday 11th August – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Thursday 12th August – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Friday 13th August – Hi Fi Bar, Melbourne
Saturday 14th August – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Sunday 15th August – Ruby’s Lounge, Belgrave
Tuesday 17th August – Brass Monkey, Cronulla
Wednesday 18th August – The Maram, Canberra
Thursday 19th August – Lizotte’s, Kincumber
Friday 20th August – Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba
Saturday 21st August – Sussex Inlet Tavern

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