Cover story: Birds of Tokyo to the ARIAS and be­yond ............

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAYCONTENTS - – SUZANNE SIMONOT

THE most played artists on Aus­tralian ra­dio this year, Birds of Tokyo, re­turn to the Coolan­gatta Ho­tel next month for a one-off sideshow as part of their na­tional tour open­ing for UK stars Muse.

The band added the De­cem­ber 11 Cooly show – the night af­ter their Bris­bane show with Muse – to blow out the cob­webs and get back to ba­sics.

‘‘Those gigs are the most fun I think – sim­ple, en­er­getic and ex­cit­ing,’’ bass player Ian Ber­ney says.

‘‘Those are the kind of gigs I live for. The big sta­dium ones are good but the smaller gigs can be a lot more ex­cit­ing. You can see the whites of peo­ple’s eyes and they can see yours.’’

Ber­ney says fans at the Cooly show can look for­ward to a full-length, great­est-hits flavoured set loaded with gems.

‘‘(Lat­est al­bum) March Fires was made for a big­ger room – it wasn’t made for punk rock rooms for 150 sweaty pun­ters. It was made for depth and width,’’ he says.

‘‘We’re go­ing to brush up on our back cat­a­logue for the Cooly show. Peo­ple at the Cooly will get to see songs we won’t be able to play with Muse.’’

Com­prised of two Ians, two Adams and a Glenn – Ber­ney and vo­cal­ist Ian Kenny, Adam Spark on gui­tar and Adam We­ston on drums and Saranga­pany on keys – Birds of Tokyo’s epic shows have made them fes­ti­val favourites.

Their cover of Talk­ing to a Stranger for new trib­ute al­bum Cru­cible: The Songs of Hunters & Col­lec­tors lead to a gig with Hunters in front of more than 100,000 pun­ters at the MCG as part of this year’s AFL Grand Fi­nal en­ter­tain­ment pro­gram.

How­ever, Ber­ney says the band en­joyed strip­ping ev­ery­thing back to re­turn to ‘‘square one’’ for a show at The Mint, in Los An­ge­les, in July.

‘‘There was 40 or 50 peo­ple. There were a hand­ful of Aussies down there – the ex­pats came and helped us out,’’ he says. Birds of Tokyo plan to re­turn to the US in Fe­bru­ary. ‘‘We’re wait­ing to see if we can con­nect with some ra­dio­play in Amer­ica across the coun­try. If that hap­pens, we’ll start do­ing more and more over there,’’ Ber­ney says.

‘‘We’re ex­cited to see how Lanterns goes with Amer­i­can ra­dio. It’s go­ing to be ser­viced to ra­dio there in Jan­uary. If it goes well, maybe we’ll get on some TV pro­grams and start talk­ing about the band in that coun­try then a tour would not be in­ap­pro­pri­ate.’’

In the mean­time, there are speeches to pre­pare and suits to press ahead of the ARIA awards on De­cem­ber 1. Birds of Tokyo are nom­i­nated for six ARIAs – for Al­bum of the Year, Best Group and Best Rock Al­bum and in pub­licly voted cat­e­gories for Best Aus­tralian Live Act, Song of the Year and Best Video for Lanterns, di­rected by Josh Logue. That’s po­ten­tially a tro­phy and a speech each, right? ‘‘I sup­pose so – and one for the man­ager,’’ Ber­ney says, laugh­ing. ‘‘I’ll be there. I’ve picked out a suit. We’re un­der in­struc­tion, yeah (to dress up). You don’t want to rock up there in jeans and a T-shirt. That would look a bit lazy. It’s an op­por­tu­nity for ev­ery­one to show a lit­tle bit of suit and tie for the cam­eras and pho­tos and girl­friends. Ev­ery­one wants to glam up.’’

The nom­i­na­tions fol­low the stellar suc­cess of March Fires, which de­buted at No. 1 on the Aus­tralian charts and spawned hits in­clud­ing This Fire and Lanterns. Birds will also per­form at the awards cer­e­mony. ‘‘Some of the pro­duc­tion ideas are go­ing to sur­prise peo­ple,’’ Ber­ney says of their slot.

Birds of Tokyo play the ARIA Awards in Syd­ney on De­cem­ber 1. Muse and Birds of Tokyo play the Bris­bane En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre on De­cem­ber 10. Birds of Tokyo and Guinea Fowl play the Coolan­gatta Ho­tel on De­cem­ber 11

Birds of Tokyo

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