Bubble rapt on the road
Daniel Champagne could become the toast of the Coast, writes
HILE Daniel Champagne hasn’t lived anywhere since he left high school, he certainly doesn’t feel homeless.
The 22-year-old, who touts himself as a one-man-band with one instrument, says he’s been touring for long enough to have ‘‘a little family’’ in each city.
‘‘Since I left school I have been playing gigs five nights a week,’’ he says. ‘‘My home is the road.’’
Having toured Canada four times, Champagne – a singersongwriter and extraordinary guitarist – says that on the first round of shows, he didn’t know anyone.
‘‘I would get up on stage and ask the crowd if anyone had a place for me to stay,’’ he says.
‘‘People are usually really excited. But I have to be up for a big party every night. I’ve met so many interesting people from doing that and I have friends from all over the world’’
Champagne first picked up a guitar when he was four.
‘‘I played classical guitar from seven to 14, and I felt the possibilities of the instrument had been explored,’’ he says.
‘‘The acoustic steel string guitar has only been around for 100 years, and I felt there was a lot less of that which had been explored. So I switched, and worked out what sounds I could get out of it.’’
Unable to personally describe his style of performance, Champagne’s live show is a concoction of two-hand tapping, body percussion and fiery runs in a assortment of different turnings, coupled with skilful finger picking and improvisation.
Having released one album – Pint of Mystery – and three EPS, Champagne says he has clocked up more than a thousand live shows. However he is yet to master is the art of bringing the magic of a live performance into the studio
‘‘It’s been my biggest headache,’’ he says. ‘‘I want to work out how to get a similar energy and effect from playing live to the studio. I’ve played a thousand shows since I started, but have probably spent 30 days in the studio. So I am definitely more comfortable performing than recording.’’
Champagne plans to release a second album next year.
‘‘I write most of my songs on planes and trains, about people I meet and places I travel to, ’’ he says.
Set to play every day of the Blues on Broadbeach festival, including the opening concert tonight, Champagne says he’s looking forward to catching up with some friends who are also on the bill.
‘‘I am hopefully going to jam out a Dire Straights song (tonight) with Wiley Reed Big Band,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s always fun to play with other people.’’
Daniel Champagne plays Blues on Broadbeach from tonight until Sunday and The Sound Lounge on June 1.
Blues on Broadbeach program, Page 8
Daniel Champagne plays Blues on Broadbeach.