April 29, 2013
A little break.
Wow. My head is spinning. Or was that the wine?… That was a MASSIVE weekend, even by normal touring standards. Five gigs; Sydney, Wollongong, Hunter Valley x 2 and Apollo Bay Festival. The Daisies, the Dyso and me. I worked out we drove 850km and flew 1890km, one of the flights leaving at 6am. Brutal. But we just got home and it feels great to have made it to all of the gigs and to have made it home in one piece. And now, a bit of time off! May is looking pretty much all clear; no airports for a few weeks (thank the lordy). I’m going to make a lot of soup, go to as many Hawks games as possible, cuddle with the cats and start to get through some of the meat in our freezer that I recently won in an RSL raffle at the Caravan Club (it really has been my year for meat raffles…). Slow cooked casseroles, me thinks. I might even try and tackle our lawn (that’s a loose term; ‘lawn’ wouldn’t spring to mind if you saw our backyard at the moment) and plant some vegies that like growing in the cold. It’s been pretty much a complete year since I started touring “Warm In The Darkness” and have since done something like 4 laps of the country with various bands, including my own. I’m tired. But very satisfied. And in July Van Walker and I head off to Europe. I haven’t been back to Germany (where I lived for a few years when ‘ah were young’) for exactly 10 years so it’s time to go back and see my old mob there. I can’t WAIT!! Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Oh. Yeah.
On another note, it’s been a huge week in music and one of incredible loss. Chrissie Amphlett, George Jones, Bob Brozman. Some of the people that have shaped and defined music over the last 80 years. I am forever grateful to them for their contribution, inspiration and hard work. As a musician and a music fan; I’m lucky they existed and that their music will always carry on. Vale.
January 15, 2013
A new year dawneth.
Man, what just happened? Apparently it’s now 2013… That was an EXTREMELY festive festive season. And now I want to sleep for a thousand years. But things tick on. I spent a week on the road with my dear friend Jordie Lane in mid December in New South Wales and Queensland and then Van Walker and I spent a magical few days up in Maitland after playing in the New Year at the Grand Junction Hotel, pretty much the best pub/gig in the country. A long drive home and some intensely hot days later in Melbourne chilling out on the hammock my brother gave us for Christmas I headed out again with Mia Dyson. I’m back behind the keys, still a strange gig for me but so much fun and getting slightly more familiar every time. Mia’s such a supportive musician, so generous with her talent. It’s always a pleasure to play in the band. The Livingstone Daisies have received our first vinyl test pressing back and the real copies are being produced as we speak in readiness for our album launch at the Northcote Social Club on February 22nd AND I’m rehearsing for my performance of Crowded House’s “Woodface” at Pure Pop in Feb as well as the Daisies performance of Teenage Fanclub’s “Bandwagonesque” not long after my show in Feb.
So I’m knackered and yet constantly energised by the music I’m playing and the musicians I’m playing with. I get to mix it up a lot. It helps me to move forward as a musician and that’s all I’m striving for, I think. Just to get better and to learn.
And every now and then, to lie on the hammock.
November 14, 2012
About to head off to Ararat and South Australia
I’ve managed to build a little vegie garden in the two days I’ve been home this week. I love it so much; watching the little tackers grow into mature plants and produce fresh, good food. I’m hoping they survive the first part of their life in the new bed. The sun’s got some bite at the moment in the mornings…
The NSW leg of the Sea of Lights Tour finished up at the Grand Junction Hotel in Maitland on Sunday and we helped to welcome home Ben and Melissa and their son Darcy, the beloved publicans who have recently returned from a six month adventure on the road. It was a great afternoon, a very festive one, and a lovely way to wind up a weekend in Jackaranda country.
This weekend we head off to Ararat, Adelaide and Tanunda in the Barossa Valley. It’s the first (and only) big driving leg we’re doing on this tour. It’s unusual to have driven so little but welcomed by seasoned long haul tourers. I think we’re all enjoying the short stints. And it kind of makes you look forward to the only big drives. Plenty of time in the van to stare out the window and watch the world go by. And now with the internet and smart phones you don’t even have to miss out on what’s going on on Facebook! Peeerrrrfect.
November 06, 2012
Sea of Lights Tour rolls on and new shows announced supporting Jordie Lane
The Sea of Lights Tour continues. We’re off to Sydney, Newcastle and Maitland this weekend. It’s been such an absolute joy playing and singing with these musicians. It’s so worth getting to a show if you still have the chance; it’s a special thing and I’m very proud to be a part of it.
After we dock at the end of this tour I’ll be going on the road with my old mate Jordie Lane. We haven’t seen each other for a while after many early collaborations and performances together so I’m looking forward to settling down to some Jameson’s and having a good yarn. And, of course, playing some shows together again. Jordie’s celebrating his latest single release, “Fool For Love” and I’ll be opening the gigs solo; a good opportunity to road test some new material. I’m sure there’ll be some songs played together as well…
October 25, 2012
Clarendon Guest House show CANCELLED
I’m writing this from sunny Fremantle. The second weekend of the Sea of Lights Tour is about to kick off with a house concert in Harvey and we can’t wait to get back into it. Darwin and Humpty Doo were fantastic.
Unfortunately our show at the Clarendon Guest House on Friday the 9th of October has been cancelled but we’re looking forward to our other dates in NSW on that weekend.
All tour dates and details can be found on my gig page.
October 01, 2012
Next year, Lads. Next year.
Well, the Hawks lost. Let’s just get that out of the way. I was always worried about the Swans; they’re notoriously sneaky and can snatch victories when people least expect them to. It wasn’t our day. I went to the game and I’m told that being present at a losing grand final is an important character building experience. I’m not sure about that, but it was definitely amazing to be there even though the result wasn’t what I’d hoped for. Next year, lads. Next year.
It’s been a long winter, as I’ve mentioned before, and I’ve got some kind of flu thing that doesn’t want to go away. I’m fine for a week or so and then it returns, disguising itself as some other flu symptom. This particular one is a cough. A cough that keeps us up all night. Over it.
So I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself. However, I am aware of how lucky I am. And certain recent events have driven that home. I find myself very thankful for the people I love and the relatively easy existence I enjoy. And so, to push on; touring starts up again for me in a couple of weeks (the cats are getting extra cuddles) and I’m looking forward to playing Unpaved’s first birthday gig this Sunday at the Northcote Social Club before I take off with Suzannah and Chris around Australia. I’ve got a special ensemble together for this one and we’ll be playing a couple of new songs too. And Saint Jude and Sean McMahon’s Western Union are fantastic live bands. Their records are smashing too.
I hope everyone’s well and hugging the people they love at least once a day. It’s good all ‘round.
September 04, 2012
Spring. Finals. Tours.
May I start by expressing my joy that my beloved Hawks have won the 2012 minor premiership?… Obviously the stuff that really matters happens in September, but it’s glory worth basking in for at least the next few days. I’ll talk about it to anyone who’ll listen. This is fewer people than I’d hoped… But if a musician’s talking about their favourite footy team in the middle of a wood (on their own), do they not still make a noise? Interesting… I’m also ecstatic that I can dry washing outside on the line now that Spring has lobbed up. Ah, it’s the small things.
The Mia Dyson tour is about to officially start and after shaking out some nerves in Cairns I think we’re ready to hit the road. It’s such a buzz playing with this mob. Mia’s album is SO good. She’s really flying at the moment so I urge you to try and get to a show. You won’t be disappointed.
After the tour with Mia it’s back to Melbs for a couple of gigs and then on to the Sea of Lights tour with Suzannah Espie and Chris Altmann. Suzannah’s new one is a cracker and I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a sneaky listen to Altmann’s newest offering. Woah. Can’t wait to stand around a few mics with these guys and travel the country playing their songs. And some of mine too.
It’s been a tour-heavy year and I’m loving it. Particularly now that the weather has begun to turn and the blossoms are out I feel invigorated and ready to go out again. I love you, Melbourne. But your winters are cruel.
I hope to see you in your town soon.
August 17, 2012
Sea of Lights Tour later in the year.
I’ll be touring with my buddies Suzannah and Chris to celebrate the release of Suzannah’s new album “Sea of Lights” throughout October and November. And we’re so lucky to have Chris back from the Northern Americas for a few months. Can’t wait for his new album. We’ve missed him.
From the press release:
“Recorded over three 40 degree days in February 2011, Liz Stringer, Chris Altmann and a heavily pregnant Suzannah Espie sat around a couple of microphones in Jeff Lang’s shed and played and sang together. The result is Sea of Lights, Suzannah’s latest full length solo offering, a collection of haunting melodic tales adorned with lush harmonies and exquisitely delicate arrangements.
Now, after Chris has taken up residence in Canada and Suzannah and her daughter have navigated through the first year of her life, the three come together again on the Sea of Lights tour. Together, traveling Australia as one sparkling constellation, these three will recreate the beautiful intimacy of those studio recordings and play the songs of all three of these unique artists."
There’s something very lovely about playing music this way. Three of us sitting around a microphone. We’ll be joined by the mighty Grant Cummerford on bass for the tour. Ticketing details etc will be updated as they come to hand.
August 11, 2012
Union Hotel (Brunswick) gig (Sunday August 12th) at 5pm, not 4pm
I got the times wrong for this one, so it’s 5pm not 4.
August 09, 2012
About to tour with the Dyso.
Again I’m at my desk, about to go outside to walk to the post office but having to wait until the latest squall subsides. Ah Melbourne, you fooled us again. I thought Spring had sprung, but I was very, very wrong.
I’ve been practising piano every day for the last little while, getting ready to tour with my good friend and musical sister, Mia Dyson. I’m not really a keys player, per se, but it was the first instrument I learnt to play when I was a little one so it should be a lot of fun. The tour kicks off in Cairns in a couple of weeks – some respite from the cold and then continues through September. It’ll be good to be out on the road again, however much I’ve loved being at home for a while. By September it really will be Spring and the country will start buzzing again. And, most importantly, the footy finals are on, in which my beloved Hawks will hopefully take a starring role… And, luckily, I’ll be home on Grand Final weekend. Good time of the year.