Braith­waite back for more

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MUSIC - CAMERON ADAMS

WHEN Daryl Braith­waite was told Daft Punk had sam­pled one of his songs he was con­fused. “I thought they were a metal band,” Braith­waite said sheep­ishly. “Sorry ... I wasn’t fa­mil­iar with them at all.”

While Daft Punk de­lib­er­ately shied away from their trade­mark sam­ples on new al­bum Ran­dom Ac­cess Mem­o­ries they broke their rule for one song.

It was We Ride Tonight by The Sherbs; the lat­ter day in­car­na­tion of Braith­waite’s band Sher­bet, sam­pled on Daft Punk’s epic Con­tact.

“Sher­bet’s publisher con­tacted me say­ing they were in ne­go­ti­a­tions with Daft Punk,” Braith­waite re­called. “I was try­ing to re­mem­ber how We Ride Tonight [ went]. I didn’t think any more of it.” Sher­bet’s man­ager Roger Davies, who now man­ages Pink, got Braith­waite up to speed at one of their reg­u­lar catch- ups.

“Roger said, ‘ You know the Daft Punk al­bum is go­ing to be the big­gest record of the year?’ I had no idea.”

As news leaked, Braith­waite was in­ter­viewed by Triple J as he was camp­ing in New South Wales. It was ar­guably the fi rst time his hit The Horses has been heard on Triple J. “You get th­ese things that help you along the way, but they’re out of your con­trol,” Braith­waite says. “You re­alise how for­tu­nate you are. It’s been in­ter­est­ing watch­ing the Daft Punk thing un­fold.”

It’s gone full cir­cle, as Braith­waite’s band now play Con­tact as the mu­sic to in­tro­duce them to the stage.

“My son Os­car, who’s 27, said to me, ‘ Yep, Dad, you’re cool with my friends now be­cause of Daft Punk’,” Braith­waite says. “Ap­par­ently I’m on the cool side of mu­sic now.”

The good news con­tin­ues for Braith­waite. Two decades af­ter he left the com­pany, he has re- signed with ma­jor la­bel Sony. Braith­waite is as sur­prised as any­one. “I said to them, you know I’m 64? It’s in­ter­est­ing. It’s also ex­cit­ing hav­ing one more go.

“I should apol­o­gise to the young bands for get­ting another go I guess.”

His re­turn is chris­tened with an eight- track mini al­bum For­ever the Tourist.

Break­ing with tra­di­tion of “her­itage” acts still on ma­jor la­bels, they’re all orig­i­nal and con­tem­po­rary- sound­ing songs, most writ­ten with long- time mu­si­cal part­ner Oliver Jones.

“That makes it very sat­is­fy­ing,” Braith­waite says.

“They’re not cov­ers, they’re not songs I grew up with. That’s com­fort­ing in many ways. Maybe we’ll get some ra­dio play in Dubbo or Gee­long.”

One new song, Beau­ti­ful Feel­ing, sees Braith­waite elo­quently de­scribe his job of mak­ing peo­ple happy.

He’s painfully aware of how good he has it; still tour­ing heav­ily as a solo act and this year join­ing mates James Reyne, Ross Wil­son and Joe Camil­leri on the wildly suc­cess­ful Time of Our Lives tour.

“A friend of mine is a crim­i­nal lawyer, he’s been to a few of my gigs,” Braith­waite says.

“He said, ‘ You know what, sim­ply, I deal in mis­ery and you deal in hap­pi­ness’. I’ve been in to see him in court, it’s not pretty. To have done this for 42 years, it’s amaz­ing. A lot of my friends say I’m lucky, and I am, I’ve been blessed or touched with some­thing.”

Braith­waite is also ex­cited about adding new songs to his live set, al­beit with cau­tion.

“I still get flash­backs to the early Sher­bet days. We started do­ing a lot of cov­ers in ’ 71, then we started to write and put our own songs in the set.

“I still re­mem­ber end­ing a song and there was no ap­plause. It’s bru­tal. It’s psy­cho­log­i­cally dam­ag­ing when you fi nish a new song and there’s si­lence.

“But you have to go through that and keep at it. I still get that fear putting new songs in. Peo­ple want to hear The Horses, maybe Howzat or a few Sher­bet songs even though I only play one or two th­ese days. “They want to hear One Sum­mer or As the Days Go By. So I avoid in­tro­duc­ing a song as a new song.

‘And any­way, there’s al­ways this song called The Horses that, if all else fails, you just throw that in’

“It’s bet­ter to just slip into it, get in and out with­out say­ing any­thing. More of­ten than not peo­ple po­litely clap any­way. “But I am keen to see how the new songs go down. It’s great to have your spir­its raised again so late in life.

“And any­way, there’s al­ways this song called The Horses that, if all else fails, you just throw that in.”

FOR­EVER THE TOURIST ( Sony) is out now

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