Don’t miss the Fijian Blues and Reggae man launching his new single FADING on March 4 at THE FACTORY Marrickville
Fiona Bevan is an English singer/songwriter who is currently on tour with Busby
Marou around Australia. She is already established as a songwriter, she co-wrote Little Things
with Ed Sheeran, a 2012 No.1 single for One Direction plus has a song
on the 5 Seconds Of Summer album. While in Australia she has been writing with many local artists including Don Walker (Cold Chisel).
Fiona’s debut album
‘Talk To Strangers’
was released earlier this year, two singles
‘Rebel Without a Cause’ and ‘Pirates & Diamonds’, the later stunning video now getting some play. Click here to view.
We decided to rush release ‘They Sang Silent Night’ after hearing this beautiful and relevant song. Simply put, it tells us of the Christmas ceasefire in World War 1 and how a little boy just wants his father back, how we all need to be with family instead of fighting wars.
Fiona is nearly at the end of her first Australian tour and we’ll be seeing her back soon with a new album, including many songs she wrote here.
Listen and/or download ‘They Sang Silent Night’
Contact: PR Marshall Cullen firstname.lastname@example.org
Anything else Graeme Regan email@example.com
Tel: 02 92838250
I usually spend hours just noodling around on the guitar and eventually come up with a chord progression or sound that I like. From that, a melody develops and the lyrics flow from that.
I am continually inspired by three more old school acts that are still around: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Underground Lovers and The Church. All three bands continue to produce innovative and exciting music. Another major inspiration is The Vines: Craig’s songwriting is incredible and they are so exciting live. There are a number of younger local acts that have impressed me too: Papa vs Pretty stand out (although unfortunately they disbanded earlier this year) and The Trouble With Templeton. Internationally, current bands that inspire me include The National and Johnny Marr.
The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Church, The Undergound Lovers, The Smiths, Joy Division, The National, Simple Minds, Died Pretty, The Go-Betweens, The Triffids, Pulp.
Favourite Book: Kafka on the Shore (Haruki Murakami)
Favourite Place: Either New York or Tokyo
Favourite pets: Cats
Heres a recent QnA Chat from the UK Songstress currently touring Australia opening for Busby Marou…Tour dates on previous posts
What inspired you to become a singer/writer/ and who are your early influences.?
I was always surrounded with books as a kid. Some of my ancestors were famous writers, like Robert Louis Stevenson who wrote Treasure Island and Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, and I always loved reading. I started writing poetry when I was about nine years old, and wrote my first song when I was fourteen. I started getting really interested in rock and pop as a teenager and was brought up on classical, jazz and Cole Porter, so I’ve always listened to a lot of different genres of music. When I was fifteen, I got into a band with some friends, taught myself bass and ended up writing, playing and singing with that band, gigging all over our local area and learning everything the long and hard way! I never went to music college but you learn a lot by immersing yourself in it, and surrounding yourself by crazy and amazing people and art.
Tell us a little about how you write, how do the songs come? What gets you going creatively?
I get inspired by strange and beautiful films, and all forms of art where someone is trying to do something truthful or new. There’s nothing stranger than real life, and all my songs are based on true stories, either from my life, people I know, or the world around us. I called my album ‘Talk To Strangers’ as I love chatting to people – they always end up telling you some fascinating story or secret. I always think I need lots of time and peace and quiet to write a song, but then sometimes a song comes along when you’re dancing in a club, waiting jetlagged in an airport or walking through a wood without a pen and paper – you can’t control when and where the song monster will strike! Ideally I sit at a piano or with a guitar, grab a pen and a dictophone, switch off my phone, and start improvising and allowing ideas to come.
Your bio mentions an interesting story tell us what went on there and more?
Ed Sheeran and I wrote a ballad called ‘Little Things’, full of true little details about people we know and love. It ended up being a number one for boy band One Direction, which was an unexpected and exciting turn of events! It was lovely working with Ed as he’s such a sweet person and a good mate – I’ve known him for a few years from the London gigging scene. It was amazing as it meant I could give up my job, become a full time songwriter, and go into the studio with brilliant producer Shawn Lee to make my album ‘Talk To Strangers’. It just shows how you never know what will happen next!
I used to work with Adam Ant for a while – he was an incredible mentor, and a very inspiring artist to be around. I learnt a lot from him, and he liked the way I played guitar, which rocked my world.
What is the first record you bought and why?
The first album I bought was “1977” by Ash – a pretty, messy, fuzzy, Britpop record full of teenage yearning! The first single I bought was soft, sweet harmony driven R&B by boy band Damage. The first albums that hit me hard though were ‘The Bends’ and ‘Ok Computer’ by Radiohead – I was so inspired by their inventive, unpredictable, genre-defying music.
What current aussie acts inspire you? Ditto for international acts?
I totally love Busby Marou who I’m supporting at the moment – my friend Ryan Keen introduced me to their beautiful bluesy country tinged folk music. It’s so exciting to be on the road with them over the next few weeks
5 Seconds Of Summer – these guys are brilliant! I wrote ‘Voodoo Doll’ with them and they’re very talented, funny and lovely guys – we had a lot of fun, and it’s exciting seeing them take over the world at the moment!
Matt Corby – He was under a lot of pressure to do something really pop, and he turned around and made the music he really wanted to make – subtle, beautiful, soulful and folky.
And I think Sia is amazing – she’s living the dream, doing lots of interesting collaborations and features and still getting the chance to make the music she wants to make.
Plus I always loved Silverchair and Nick Cave! It’s really exciting being in Australia – I love the music scene here…
Some amazing international artists I’ve been listening to lately:
I’ve been listening a lot to Anoushka Shankar as we did a show together at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London – she’s an incredible musician, very understated and beautiful. I also love her sister Norah Jones’ work, especially the latest album. I find Joanna Newsom really fresh and unpredictable, and I’ve also been listening to a lot of Adrian Younge, and Shawn Lee who produced my album.
Tell us a little about your music and what a crowd can expect at a live show – ?
I play fiery-sweet soulful, folky pop – ‘pop in disguise’. I sing and play guitar and ukelele at gigs – it’s acoustic music, but I love dropping in a heavy bluesy riff from time to time, like on my single ‘Rebel Without A Cause’. I’ll be playing that and other tracks from my album ‘Talk To Strangers’.
Favourite artists of all time?
Joni Mitchell, Billie Holiday, John Martyn, Nick Drake, Jimi Hendrix.
Fave film? Fave Book? Fave place? Fave animal or pet?. And story if there is one
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is one of my all-time favourite books – I borrowed the idea to write my song ‘Exorcist’, about jealousy, love, obsession, and leaving the past behind.
I think Spinal Tap might be one of my favourite films – it’s just so silly and funny, and rings very true for anyone who’s ever been in a band. I also love strange and arty films, anything from Almodovar to Miranda July, Hitchcock to Wes Anderson. I get very inspired by films – my single ‘Rebel Without A Cause’ is all about teenage frustration and boredom and I just thought the James Dean title was perfect, so I stole it.
At home I’ve got a gorgeous big fat ginger cat called Louis – so I’m a bit biased but I think he’s my favourite animal. Whenever I’m working he comes and sits right on the keys of my laptop, or comes and sits next to me while I’m playing guitar and singing. He’s like a little dog and will always come to say hello to whoever’s writing in my studio with me, or when my band comes over to practise he goes to sleep inside the double bass case. He partly inspired my song ‘Slo Mo Tiger Glo’, about waking up covered in tiger stripes.
One of my favourite places is my Granny’s house in the countryside in England – she has lots of old books and paintings and a beautiful garden. At Christmas the British side of my family all get together there, with up to thirty people squeezed in for lunch. I love sitting with her, drinking tea and hearing all the latest gossip, or waking up there and hearing the most incredible bird song dawn chorus.
Fave food or drink and is there a story associated with that….?
Most of my songwriting and recording sessions are powered by strong black coffee! I think that’s why my music tends not to sit still, and usually has a strong groove.
You are backstage with Joanna Newsom, what do you say?
I’d love to go on tour with Joanna Newsom! I’d see if we could write a strange beautiful duet together… Also I’d ask if i could have a go on her harp! She probably wouldn’t let me.
Where do you see music heading?
I love the cross pollination across musical genres at the moment – fans can feel this too – I think people listen to loads of different types of music nowadays and are more open and less tribal. Everything has been shuffled and things are getting mixed up in an exciting way. It’s definitely the age of digital music, but I’m interested to see how this can be mixed up with analogue and organic sounds as I think people will never tire of expressive, human sounds. I think the future always contains a nod to the past.
What are your future plans for 2014
I’m touring all over Australia with Busby Marou until the end of November and then I’m back in the UK to write and record more tracks over Christmas time. Next year I’m planning more touring and festivals, and I definitely want to release some new material of my own, as well as keep writing for other bands and artists. Hopefully I’ll come back to Australia too – watch this space!
MASTER MIX: RED HOT + ARTHUR RUSSELL
Avant-garde cellist/composer Arthur Russell has had more attention since dying prematurely in 1992 than he ever enjoyed alive whilst while flitting between off-kilter disco eruptions and bucolic drone music. Continuing to impress new listeners are the New Yorker’s beautifully understated melodies, gently restless spirit and wicked humour. Only Russell would name songs You Have Did the Right Thing When You Put That Skylight In, and Is It All Over My Face? The latter is slinkily covered on this 26-song homage by British producer Blood Orange, who downplays the original’s sexual innuendo by merging it with the forlorn horns of Tower of Meaning. The fusion creates a fresh hybrid of Russell’s clubbing and classical sides in a classy slice of modern disco. Equally impressive and sympathetic to source material are Devendra Banhart and Sufjan Stevens who resurrect Russell’s woozy vocal style and sense of wonder. Similarly good: Hot Chip’s unstably groovy rethink and Robyn who turns in a celebratory romp the Tom Tom Club would be proud of. – Paris Pompor
I was introduced to Arthur Russell’s music by the marvelous Paul Heck – of Red Hot and East Village Radio fame. I would sleep in his spare room when in New York and we would talk music. One day, back home in Melbourne Australia, Paul wrote to me outlining Red Hot’s intention to put together a compilation of recordings by artists, celebrating the music of Arthur Russell. Of course I jumped at the opportunity.
The Vegetable plot grew from a small seed planted in the imagination of singer-songwriter and musical comedian Luke Escombe back in 2007, when he noticed how much some of his shaggy-haired musician friends resembled members of the Muppets. For years, nothing broke through the soil, until one morning, as he watched his 11-month old son contemplate a piece of broccoli, he idly picked up his guitar and strummed away in delight as the lyrics and melodies of dozens of songs began to tumble out like peas from a shell.
Now that seed has grown into the freshest, juiciest, rootsiest new band in town: The Vegetable Plot!
Leading the bunch are the deep-voiced Aspara Gus (Escombe) and his four delectable singing sensations: Sue Kini (Hannah Crofts), Colly Flower (Georgia Mooney), Ru Barb (Katie Wighton) and Rockit Lettuce (Elana Stone)– better known to older Sydney audiences as the songbirds of alt-country sensation “All our Exes live in Texas”.
Bringing the groove and crunch are the rhythm section of bassist Rutabaga (Noel Mason), guitarist Purple Haze (Aaron Flower) and drummer Mr Beet (Jamie Cameron), who together go by the name of “The Root Vegetables”.
Adding the top notes of melody, colour and flavour are keyboardist Tom Ato (Michael McGlynn), horn maestro Blowbergine (Ross Harrington) and earthshaking dancer Tina Turnip (Pip Ryan). Together, they combine to create an irresistibly fun and delicious musical stew.
So come and meet some new friends, be inspired, be uplifted, put your root down, veg out and get ready to toss your salad in the air like you just don’t care as the Vegetable Plot make their first public outing at the 2014 Sydney Fringe this September.
20th and 21st Sept at the 2014 Sydney Fringe
@ The Annex, 5 Eliza St, Newtown, 2pm
Book Tickets Here: www.thevegetableplot.com.au
lnitially it’s the glorious halo of snow white curls that attracts you to
Fiona Bevan’s debut album; don’t let anybody tell you cover aft isn’t
important. As the beam traces the disc (doesn’t have the same ring
to it as needle on vinyl!), it’s the extraordinary voice that commands
attention, an instrument of sweet beauty lying somewhere between Kate Bush and quirky American folk singer Anais Mitchell. Finally, it is the sheer infectiousness of this literate and, at times, complex music that sinks its claws into you.
Having written a global Number One for boy band One Direction, Bevan clearly has an ear for a hook, but don’t let her clientele cloud your vision, for this is popular music with intelligence.
The 12 songs were all penned by Bevan and lyrically draw heavily upon her literature background, with numerous film and literary references. Album opener ‘Rebel Without A Cause’ metaphorically references James Dean in a commentary about the London riots, whilst’Exorcist’ is inspired by Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’. Despite the uplifting elegance of its melody,’Us And The Darkness’
is cloaked in the heartbreak of a shattered romance, and ‘Dial D For Denial’ is simply pop artistry.
TalkTo Strangers was recorded direct on analogue equipment, with Bevan playing everything from ukulele, piano, guital harp, violin, double bass and accordion, truly a one-woman show. The crowning glory is album closer’Last Days Of Decadence’, a lone piano reflecting the emotional ebbs and flows of her exhortations on the financial crisis. Four years in the making, TalkTo Strangers is pop imbued with folk sensibilities, as idiosyncratic as it is enchanting, and Fiona Bevan as startling a talent as any to emerge in recent years.
FRI 17 OCT Beach Break Bar, Agnes Waters QLD
SAT 18 OCT Solbar, Maroochydore QLD
SUN 19 OCT Bribie Island Hotel, Bribie Island QLD
WED 22 OCT Charity Event, Toowoomba QLD
FRI 24 OCT Kidgeeridge Music Festival, Conjola NSW
WED 29 OCT Brisbane University B105 Radio Show
THU 30 OCT Byron Theatre, Byron Bay NSW
FRI 31 OCT Armidale Club, Armidale NSW
SAT 01 NOV Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour NSW
SUN 02 NOV The Fig, Port Macquarie NSW
THU 06 NOV Lizottes, Kincumber NSW
FRI 07 NOV Lizottes, Newcastle NSW
FRI 14 NOV SSA Club, Albury NSW
SAT 25 – Unbridled Festival Canberra ACT
THU 20 NOV The Bridge, Castlemaine VIC
FRI 21 NOV Caravan Club, Oakleigh VIC
SAT 22 NOV The Loft, Warrnambool VIC
SUN 23 NOV Beavs Bar, Geelong VIC
THU 27 NOV Mojos, Fremantle WA
FRI 28 NOV Prince of Wales, Bunbury WA
New York Band Release In Australia This Friday September 12
We have the album at Media Now – Please contact for hard copy CD and links. Checkout the video on the right >>>
An audacious debut album packed with the type of songs that make you want to sing along, make you want to dance, and make you feel uncomfortable all at the same time, True Loves won the band a well deserved round of huzzahs from all of the key tastemakers and helped expand the band’s audience both in the US and abroad. In 2012, Hooray for Earth made their maiden voyage to the UK and saw their single “No Love” reach the Alist on BBC Radio 1.
With Chris Coady (Grizzly Bear, Beach House, Future Islands) in thecoproducer’s seat, the sessions for Racy took place at Dreamland in Kingston, NY and at DNA Downtown in NYC over the rst few months of 2013. Crafting a more uid listening experience with Racy also meant a more active role in the studio for Heroux’s longtime bandmates bassist Chris Principe, drummer Joe Ciampini, and keyboardist/vocalist Jessica Zambri. “I’m still writing, arranging and doing the preliminary recording”, Heroux says. “But then it’s all funneled out through our scrappy rock band.” Racy is very much a rock album. Featuring nine nely etched songs rendered to life by Coady’s crystalline production, Racy represents a bold and beautiful step into the light for Hooray for Earth
“Grinding, distorted guitars, beaming synth lines, a mechanistic
rhythm section, theatrical vocals, all polished to a retrofuturist
80s sheen by producer Chris Coady” - Pitchfork
“The title track to album number two is earnest rather than
irtatious, placing the band somewhere between Diiv’s
washed-out stoner rock and the chipper power pop of the
recently returned Weezer.”- NME
THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC MUSEUM PROJECT
In July 2017 Australian rock’n’roll will be 60 years old. It was born when Johnny O’Keefe released The Wild One on 5th July 1958. AMMP is pushing for a national music museum by 2018 with exclusive stories, rare film clips, unseen photographs and a petition.
There have been many calls for an “Australian music Hall of Fame”
(Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum) or a “contemporary music centre incorporating a
Hall of Fame “(Music Victoria CEO Patrick Donovan). AMMP has been set up to help restart the discussion. It even offers music fans the chance to create a digital plaque like this one for Skyhooks’ Shirley Strachan.
AMMP is the work of former music editor, journalist and author Jessica Adams, who started the campaign for a Melbourne lane way honouring Chrissy Amphlett after she interviewed her for Time Out Melbourne at the request of her friend, editor and author Jenny Valentish.
AMMP is supported by Charley Drayton (Cold Chisel, Divinyls), Rick Grossman (Hoodoo Gurus, Divinyls), Reg Mombassa (Dog Trumpet, Mental As Anything), Midnight Oil, Patricia Amphlett (Little Pattie, also Chrissy’s cousin) and Amphlett’s agent and friend Fran Moore.
THE STORY BEHIND CHRISSY AMPHLETT’S NEW MELBOURNE LANE
-Unseen photographs of the search for a Melbourne lane for Chrissy Amphlett.
THE CHRISSY AMPHLETT WING AT AMMP – VISIT THE ONLINE EXHIBITION
-Rare images of Chrissy’s famous fluorescent mic stand and
her Divinyls wardrobe case.
THE LATEST ON ROWLAND S.HOWARD’S LANES
-New interviews with campaigners and photographs of
Rowland S. Howard’s Victorian lanes.
THE MUSTER – A NEW VIRTUAL GALLERY OF AUSTRALIAN
-From Francis Leach’s Ratcat pass to exclusive shots of Paul McCartney’s
For more info and the latest news see www.ammp.tv