TUNES OF HEALING
Saskwatch are taking a walk on the emotional side with their latest album Nose Dive, which they’ll present on the Gold Coast this weekend
When Saskwatch first lugged their brass and keys down to Flinders St station on a Friday afternoon, they were just Victorian College of the Arts students hoping to catch the ears of passers-by and make some beer money busking covers.
Five years on and they’ve flourished in the heart of Melbourne’s soul revival, commanding the dark, divey depths of Cherry Bar, hijacking the Edinburgh Festival and flooding vibes into people’s flailing limbs at Glastonbury.
Those feel-good vibes have powered the Melbourne funk/soul outfit through countless festivals and supports for the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, but experience and heartbreak have tempered their second album to create a ride with a lot more highs and lows.
It was trumpeter-songwriter Liam McGorry’s breakup last year with his girlfriend around the time Nose Dive was written that has fed into gorgeous laments such as tracks You Left Me To Die and Call Your Name.
“Music’s a great healer,” says McGorry, son of acclaimed psychiatrist Professor Patrick McGorry.
Recorded with Lachlan “Magoo” Goold at his Applewood Lane Studios in rural Queensland, Nose Dive feels more like an album and “less a bunch of songs”, says McGorry.
“I think the first album’s a bit light. I love it but I think it’s great this album’s got a bit more shade, a bit more definition.”
The logistics of doing anything with a nine-piece band are a challenge – touring for years has meant eschewing privacy with everyone crammed into two or three hotel/motel rooms, and songwriting can “get very busy”.
“I think there are a few different situations. People come to the fore. It’s great to have many people for that sort of reason, there’s always someone with a different idea, someone to make the peace,” he says.
“Generally I bring in a song and the rest of the band mull on it, make their own analysis and add things, take things away, workshop it for a bit and road-test it at the live show.”
Fresh from playing the Byron Bay Bluesfest, the ninepiece soulsters will stage their first Gold Coast gig at Bond University on Sunday.
The free Live at Bond concert will be the grand finale of Bond’s 25th anniversary festivities, wrapping up a weeklong program of events. Saskwatch play Live at Bond, ADCO Amphitheatre, Sunday.
Nine-piece Melbourne outfit Saskwatch have garnered acclaim for their soulful work and this weekend will spread their vibes at Bond University.