Music Spin Doctor and the latest album reviews
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