DOU­BLE TROU­BLE

CLAS­SIC ROCK­ERS JAMES REYNE AND MARK SEY­MOUR PRE­PARE TO TURN UP THE VOL­UME

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - KATHY MCCABE

It seems cashed-up Baby Boomers still want to rock and their in­sa­tiable ap­petite for the mu­sic of their younger years is fu­elling a re­vival for many of the artists and bands they grew up with.

New records from se­nior mu­si­cians Eric Clap­ton and Bob Dy­lan are de­but­ing high on the ARIA charts, while iconic artists such as David Bowie and Prince con­tinue to sell strongly since their deaths.

Aus­tralian rock leg­ends James Reyne and Mark Sey­mour also still have a very loyal fan base and will team up this month for their ... And the Rest is His­tory tour.

High de­mand for tick­ets has al­ready forced the pair to add ex­tra shows in Mel­bourne, Bris­bane and Ade­laide.

The last time the pair hooked up for a joint tour, in 2007, they booked 15 gigs. De­mand ex­ploded and 18 months later they played the last of a stag­ger­ing 90 con­certs.

“The last time Mark and I went out, we were sell­ing our CDs at the gigs; we both had done the Lib­er­a­tion acoustic records and they sold enough that if they recorded those sales from the mer­chan­dise stand, we would have sat at num­ber one for two weeks,” Reyne says.

“We sold some­thing like 20,000 each, enough that Lib­er­a­tion wanted us both to do a se­cond in­stal­ment.

“Why can’t they align what we sell at gigs to a chart?

“If they did we would have been sit­ting in the top 10 for weeks and then all the gate­keep­ers in the me­dia and the in­dus­try would be say­ing: ‘Their records are go­ing through the roof! They’re back!’ That re­flects on gig at­ten­dance and ev­ery­thing.”

Sey­mour, who re­leased his May­day al­bum last year to strong re­views, says his and Reyne’s re­spec­tive au­di­ences were not just there to hear their old hits.

He says the fans were also in­trigued to hear how they had evolved as song­writ­ers.

“I don’t think you can over­look the im­por­tance of the fact that peo­ple come to see us with the ex­pec­ta­tion that we write songs and there is this on­go­ing story,” Sey­mour says.

“Even if they want to hear par­tic­u­lar songs, which is fine, there is an as­sump­tion they are al­ways go­ing to hear some­thing else and that gives you a bit of an edge when it comes to plan­ning a tour. That’s how I roll, I am still writ­ing songs.”

Sey­mour and Reyne are adamant that re­gional gigs are in­cluded on the itin­er­ary.

The bou­tique re­gional fes­ti­val Boomer and win­ery cir­cuit have also booked up dozens of older artists in re­cent years. Head to Blues­fest at Easter in By­ron Bay and you will see more prams, walk­ing sticks and camp chairs than young folk in al­tered states.

“I have a ro­man­tic idea of it, I re­ally love get­ting out into those re­gional places be­cause there’s so much to dis­cover in Aus­tralia, these amaz­ing com­mu­ni­ties in these iso­lated places that I am only get­ting to now and never got to in Hunters and Col­lec­tors. All these rooms that never had live mu­sic in them,” Sey­mour says.

Reyne says you have to have a gen­uine love of the show business game.

“When Mark and I do this, it’s a rock show, we’re not some moody petu­lant guy hid­ing be­hind his amp.

“What­ever the ticket price is, in ba­sic com­mer­cial terms, (the au­di­ence is) go­ing to walk away sat­is­fied and happy they have had a good night.” James Reyne and Mark Sey­mour, Twin Towns, Tweed Heads, to­mor­row night

For­mer Hunters & Col­lec­tors and Aus­tralian Crawl front­men Mark Sey­mour and James Reyne.

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