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