Music Spin Doctor and the latest album releases
In what was a spectacularly busy week for interviews, one of the highlights was spending time with drummer Mick Fleetwood, a man whose contribution to Fleetwood Mac has been constant since the band’s bluesy beginnings in London in the 1960s. Backstage at Sydney’s Allphones Arena the dapper 68-year-old had quite a lavish pad for a dressing room, complete with his own nifty-looking electronic drum kit set up in the corner. As someone with an interest in such things I was kind of hoping he would get around to playing it, which he didn’t, but he did reveal his favourite drumming moment in a career spanning 60 years. Perhaps unsurprisingly for Mac tragics, it’s Tusk, the 3.29-minute percussive title track of the band’s 1979 album, the follow-up to the monster Rumours. “The whole mythological approach to that song was a lot of fun,” he says. “Part of that was my lunacy with the marching band.” Fleetwood came up with the idea of hiring the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band to parade around Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for the video clip for the song and to appear on the record, which was also recorded live in the stadium. “We had so much creativity working with them,” he says. “It happened in my mind in a very lunatic way. It was out-of-your-mind stuff and I can take quite a lot of the responsibility for that part of it. I really enjoyed it.” The more than chatty sticksman also reveals that he hopes to bring his blues band back to Australia at some point next year and to possibly enlist the services of an old mate, a certain J. Barnes. “It would be fun. He’s a great rock ‘n’ roll singer and in truth a great blues singer. He’s really adept at it.” As we went to press Barnesy wasn’t aware of this development, but hopefully he soon will be.
SD caught up also with Mr City and Colour, Dallas Green, here on a flying visit to promote his new album, If I Should Go Before You, and to announce an Australian tour in addition to City and Colour’s appearance at Bluesfest over Easter. The Canadian singer looked particularly pleased during a quiet beer at a Surry Hills hostelry when news filtered in that his country had a new prime minister, 43-year-old Justin Trudeau. “In Canada we definitely need a change and Trudeau is hopefully the face of some change.”
More than ever, this year the Independent Music Awards, which took place on Thursday in Melbourne, were a pointer to the ARIA awards that take place in Sydney on November 26, with many indie artists in contention for trophies at both events. If the indies are any indication of what will happen on the big night in Sydney, Courtney Barnett must be particularly encouraged by the results on Thursday night. The Melbourne-based singer took out the big ones, including artist of the year, best album for Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit and best single or EP for Depreston. Well done to her.
Happy birthday to former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, who is 79 today, and to former Silverchair drummer Ben Gillies, who turns 36. American pop singer Katy Perry is 31 tomorrow.
City and Colour, Dallas Green