Mu­sic Spin Doc­tor and the latest al­bum re­views

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Contents - Iain Shed­den spin­doc@theaus­tralian.com.au

Eleven years ago, west Aus­tralian trou­ba­dour John But­ler set up the The Seed Fund, a body that of­fers sup­port to up-and-com­ing mu­si­cians and artists through var­i­ous pro­grams, work­shops and grants. To help raise funds for the pro­ject, The Seed Fund is stag­ing its first con­cert, at Mel­bourne’s Athenaeum Theatre, on Oc­to­ber 12. On the bill for this ex­trav­a­ganza are a host of Agrade per­form­ers in­clud­ing Missy Higgins, Paul Kelly, San Cisco, Emma Louise and the man him­self, John But­ler. “What started as a crazy idea to give money away to emerg­ing Aus­tralian artists has lit­er­ally turned into a self-seed­ing move­ment,” But­ler says, “and this gig in so many ways is the epit­ome of what The Seed is all about: the Aus­tralian mu­sic in­dus­try sup­port­ing the fu­ture movers and shakers of Aus­tralian mu­sic cul­ture.” To co­in­cide with this event The Seed Fund is also run­ning a Poz­i­ble crowd-fund­ing cam­paign, which opens on Mon­day. There is a wide va­ri­ety of in­cen­tives for do­nat­ing to the cam­paign, in­clud­ing per­for­mances from the likes of Skip­ping Girl Vine­gar, Harry James An­gus of the Cat Em­pire, Mar­lon Wil­liams, Ruby Boots and But­ler’s part­ner Danielle Caru­ana (Mama Kin). You can find out more about all of the above at www.the­seed­fund.org.

While on the sub­ject of Harry James An­gus, he has been a busy boy of late and it’s not go­ing to get any eas­ier over the next few months. Next month, An­gus and his Cat Em­pire col­leagues head off to Europe for a tour that takes in Paris, Barcelona, Am­s­ter­dam and Lis­bon — af­ter a quick stop-off in South Africa to per­form at fes­ti­vals in Johannesburg and Cape Town. On his re­turn to Aus­tralia, An­gus takes on the role of pa­tron of the Mul­lum Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, which takes place in Mul­lumbimby in north­ern NSW from Novem­ber 19 to 22. This is the Mel­bourne muso’s sec­ond year in the role at one of the coun­try’s new­est bou­tique fes­ti­vals. “The town is as much the per­former as any artist in the pro­gram,” says An­gus. “Peo­ple know when to lis­ten and when to dance.” You can find out more about that one at mul­lum­mu­sicfes­ti­val.com.au.

SD had a chat ear­lier in the week to Mick Huck­nall, out in Aus­tralia to pro­mote Sim­ply Red’s re­turn to these shores for a na­tional tour next Fe­bru­ary. The 55-year-old Man­cu­nian was in fine form, happy to talk about his past life as a sex ad­dict and bon vi­vant, as well as his new fam­ily man per­sona. He also had some lovely words to say about his fa­ther, who died six years ago and to whom he pays trib­ute on the song Dad on Sim­ply Red’s new al­bum, Big Love. Huck­nall was raised by his fa­ther af­ter his mother left home when he was three years old. “He was an ex­cep­tional per­son. He worked a full-time job six days a week and did all the work at home and brought up a kid on his own,” the singer says. “He did a good job. I wanted to pay trib­ute to him for all those years of de­vo­tion.” Huck­nall also says he doesn’t con­sider the new al­bum, Sim­ply Red’s 11th, as a big draw­card for the band’s live shows. “It’s kind of an aside,” he says. “Bands get to a cer­tain point where you don’t have to make another record. What do you want to go see the Stones for? You want to go see the Stones be­ing the Stones. If some­one is com­ing to see me they are prob­a­bly a bit am­biva­lent about new ma­te­rial.” Let’s see how much of Big Love makes it in Fe­bru­ary.

John But­ler set up The Seed Fund

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