I can’t sing away the bush’s blues

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - JACK MORPHET FOR TICK­ETS GO TO TICK­ET­MAS­TER. COM. AU. TO DO­NATE GO TO HAYMATE. ORG. AU.

FROM Ta­ree to Tam­worth, pop star Guy Se­bas­tian has seen the im­pact of the drought etched into the faces of strug­gling farm­ers and their fam­i­lies at his con­certs.

The orig­i­nal Aus­tralian Idol had to dial up the show­man­ship to en­er­gise muted crowds on his Then And Now re­gional tour in June and July af­ter re­al­is­ing just how des­per­ate their plight had be­come.

“In droughtaf­fected towns, I could see the crowd was try­ing to have a great time but they just couldn’t break the shack­les,” Se­bas­tian said. “My band and I gave ev­ery­thing we could on stage but there was still such heav­i­ness on the faces of the au­di­ence.”

The worst drought in liv­ing mem­ory is tipped to worsen with an El Nino weather sys­tem loom­ing large on the hori­zon, likely bring­ing fewer clouds, hot­ter day­time tem­per­a­tures and lower-than-av­er­age rain­fall un­til early sum­mer.

Se­bas­tian was so dis­tressed by the sit­u­a­tion he had planned to or­gan­ise a fundrais­ing con­cert of his own, un­til he was tapped by John Farn­ham’s man­ager Glenn Wheat­ley to per­form in Tam­worth at this month’s Hay Mate: Buy A Bale — A Con­cert For The Farm­ers. Se­bas­tian will per­form along­side his “hero” Farn­ham at the Oc­to­ber 27 con­cert, which will also fea­ture Daryl Braith­waite, The Veron­i­cas, and Jon Stevens and An­drew Far­riss from INXS. Ev­ery dol­lar raised will go to farm­ing char­ity Ru­ral Aid to spend on drought re­lief, which will in­clude the pro­ceeds of a Qan­tas char­ity char­ter from Syd­ney to the coun­try mu­sic cap­i­tal.

Se­bas­tian said his own prob­lems paled into in­signif­i­cance com­pared with watch­ing live­stock die and look­ing to the sky, pray­ing for rain.

Guy Se­bas­tian will play at the Hay Mate re­lief con­cert in Tam­worth. Pic­ture: Sam Rut­tyn

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