Mat and Girls to part ways

The Beau­ti­ful Girls prom­ise fans a happy farewell, writes Ross Pur­die

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

HERE will be no time for tears as The Beau­ti­ful Girls work their way around the coun­try on their farewell tour af­ter 10 years to­gether.

The Aus­tralian all-male folk trio, who played Splen­dour in the Grass last week­end, prom­ise a cel­e­bra­tory swan­song be­fore their ami­ca­ble part­ing of ways to fo­cus on new mu­sic projects.

The fi­nal shows will be split in two – the first set acous­tic and the sec­ond plugged in – packed with hits in­clud­ing Periscopes, Black Bird and I Thought About You.

‘‘You hear of all these bands who don’t like play­ing their most pop­u­lar songs but the big tunes have never fallen out of our set,’’ singer and song­writer Mat McHugh says.

‘‘My favourite mo­ments are when I get to hear ev­ery­one sing along and par­tic­i­pate, so I’ll al­ways love to play those songs.’’

McHugh says the time is right to re­tire The Beau­ti­ful Girls, so that he can start a new chap­ter as a solo song­writer.

He says he will continue to play fan favourites at shows but wants rid of the ‘‘el­e­ment of make be­lieve’’ be­hind The Beau­ti­ful Girls.

‘‘It’s cool and part of show­biz but I’ve evolved to a stage of life where I want to be as hon­est and trans­par­ent as I can,’’ he says.

‘‘It suits me bet­ter to re­lease mu­sic un­der the per­son who cre­ated it and age grace­fully rather than hang­ing on to any ves­tige of pop star­dom.’’

McHugh has been buoyed by the suc­cess of his solo al­bum, Love Come Save Me, which was re­leased for free ear­lier this year.

As an in­de­pen­dent artist he wres­tled with the idea of giv­ing mu­sic away but the ex­per­i­ment has paid off with al­most 50,000 down­loads to date.

The keen surfer be­lieves the link be­tween money and art is a mu­sic in­dus­try con­struct that skews pub­lic per­cep­tion of what makes a great song.

‘‘There are some songs that I’d pay thou­sands to hear over and over and there are oth­ers where the artist should be pay­ing me to sit through,’’ he says.

The Beau­ti­ful Girls were an ever re­volv­ing col­lec­tive, with McHugh the only per­ma­nent mem­ber.

He plans to continue per­form­ing with his old band mates and is proud of the legacy that the group leaves be­hind.

‘‘I just hope we are re­mem­bered for rep­re­sent­ing our cul­ture,’’ he says.

‘‘I grew up on the beach and so did all my friends so we’ve never tried to pre­tend we were from New York or Lon­don.’’

Once The Beau­ti­ful Girls are put to bed, McHugh will tour his Love Come Save Me al­bum be­fore start­ing on a new record. He will go ‘‘where the mu­sic takes him’’, yet pressed on a po­ten­tial Beau­ti­ful Girls re­union, can’t com­pletely rule any­thing out.

‘‘Ab­so­lutes are dan­ger­ous and if you think you’re ab­so­lute on any­thing in life you’ll prob­a­bly end up look­ing like a fool,’’ he says.

‘‘I could make an­other Beau­ti­ful Girls al­bum in six months or never again but at the mo­ment I can’t fore­see it.’’

The Beau­ti­ful Girls play The Tivoli, in Bris­bane, on Au­gust 11, the Great North­ern Ho­tel, in By­ron Bay, on Septem­ber 27 and Septem­ber 29 and the Coolan­gatta Ho­tel on Septem­ber 28.

The Beau­ti­ful Girls singer and song­writer Mat McHugh.

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