Spin Doctor and the latest album releases
Another busy time at SDHQ this week in which the interview chair was rarely vacant. Tim Rogers, who for the umpteenth time set off with his You Am I colleagues around Australia this week, was typically eloquent and erudite when he offered a guided tour around the recording of the band’s new album, Porridge and Hot Sauce, one that marks the Aussie outfit’s 25th anniversary. The singer has been busy outside of the You Am I camp of late, setting off on his own for a short tour of Europe, where the venues have been somewhat smaller than for YAI gigs here but no less welcoming of his solo talents. Rogers, currently enjoying a starring role in the latest David Jones ad, likes to take off to Germany, Italy and Britain every few years to entertain the locals with selections from his solo catalogue. “Little towns,” he explains. Little towns where, in Italy and Germany especially, the only downside is having to come up with a way of communicating other than using the native tongue. “In cafes and little bars you can’t rely on your own language to get you out of a tough spot,” Rogers goes on. “You have to try and reach some kind of mutual understanding. Some artists will just barrel on in their own tongue. I saw Patti Smith in Paris while I was there and she can do it because she’s Patti Smith. For someone like myself you have to find some way of communicating.” Rogers didn’t explain exactly what that common denominator was in the more remote parts of Italy and Germany, but one must assume that he drank heartily from it.
Also dropping in this week was Jed Kurzel, one half of Sydney rock ‘n’ roll duo the Mess Hall, but these days recognised more as a film composer. Kurzel has been very busy in the film department, with a handful of movie scores under his belt, including Snowtown, directed by his brother Justin, and most recently Slow West, referred to in thespian circles as the Scottish western (not really). Kurzel is up for a Screen Music award for that one on November 12, but he’s so busy on another film that he won’t be able to attend the ceremony. He’s too busy also to make another Mess Hall album with his drummer colleague Cec Condon, at least for a while, but he’s not ruling it out. “We still get together and play the odd show,” he says. “We always talk about recording. I’d love to do a soundtrack as a two-piece. I do get moments where I would just like to get in a room with him and turn everything up loud.”
Finalists were announced this week for the 2015 APRA Professional Development Awards. Every two years the Australasian Performing Right Association, which looks after the royalties and rights of local composers and songwriters, gives a leg-up to developing tunesmiths in the form of grants that can be used in a variety of ways, such as recording, tour costs or developing a profile overseas. This year 32 writers across a number of genres have made the final list, with winners to be announced on November 24. In the popular contemporary category, Holy Holy’s Tim Carroll and Oscar Dawson, singer-songwriter Jack Carty and hip-hop artist L-Fresh the Lion have made the cut, while in country music Adam Eckersley, Chelsea Basham and Jared Porter are among the contenders. Eight winners will receive a cash award of $15,000 to help further their career.
Tim Rogers, left, with You Am I bandmates