As an avid gig goer (example: eight in the past two weeks) I’ve had my fair share of amazing, and not so amazing gigs. In saying that, there’s some gig concepts that stand out, one of them has returned for its second year; The United Tour. Which I blogged about and also reviewed last year.
To bring you up to date, The United Tour brings together a selection of Australia’s best emerging musicians for an innovative nationwide tour. This year will see four musicians on stage, sometimes performing their own songs, sometimes others and sometimes with additional instrumentation. The focus isn’t on one particular musician but instead all four as they share their stories and music, united together on stage.
And now, I introduce to you the United four; Chris Pickering (QLD), Cookie Baker (SA), Matt Gresham (WA), and Nicole Brophy (NSW). When I first saw the press release, it was Chris Pickering‘s name that stood out for me, as he’s been on my must see live list for quite some time. A listen to Broken Wing or Ruby Ruby (both personal favourites) from his album Excuses Excuses will make you understand why he’s showcased at both South by Southwest (2008) and Musexpo. (2009) His captivating and refreshing songs mix a range of styles, a little bit country with a hint of pop. I eagerly await the release of his third album Fictions.
I’m a bit ashamed to say I haven’t seen Matt Gresham live yet, despite being originally from Perth. That doesn’t mean to say I haven’t heard of him, it’s a bit hard not too in Perth. With a constant string of gigs, a review or two in the local street press and a poster spotted somewhere, his acoustic/roots music has definitely begun to make a name for himself.
Next I introduce you to South Australia’s Cookie Baker, an unknown name to me at first. Having shared the stage with Augie March, Little Birdy and Ben Lee to name a few, it’s Baker’s melodies and songwriting that grab your attention, apparent on first listen I’ll Be Fine from her debut album Gala Day. In addition, it seems Baker has more to bring to the tour, as a quick read of past press releases highlight her live performances; an intimate folk/cabaret show.
Last but not least, Nicole Brophy. Her previous band, Dirty Lucy released a debut album and mini album, and toured relentlessly before the band went on hiatus in 2007. Later on Nicole joined Kate Miller-Heidke’s touring band, which saw her play an array of festivals and theatres here and overseas. As with any committed musician it seems she’s continued with music, now solo – powerful vocals with a country/rock mix. Her new EP will be available on the United Tour.
The United Tour hits WA this week, all dates below. I for one will be attending again this year, as should you. For ticket details click here.
Thursday May 6 | The Den, Inglewood (WA)
Friday May 7 | The Swan Lounge, Nth Fremantle (WA)
Saturday May 8 | Indy Bar, Scarborough (WA)
Thursday May 13 | Gold Coast Arts Centre, Gold Coast (QLD)
Friday May 14 | Red Room, Brisbane (QLD) *FREE SHOW*
Friday May 14 | The Hive, Brisbane (QLD) *ALL AGES*
Saturday May 15 | Body Arts Festival (Dick Caplick Park), Eumundi (QLD) *FREE SHOW*
Saturday May 15 | Bon Amici, Toowoomba (QLD)
Sunday May 16 | Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay (NSW)
Thursday May 20 | Lizottes, Newcastle (NSW)
Friday May 21 | Clarendon Guest House, Blue Mountains (NSW)
Saturday May 22 | Heritage Hotel, Wollongong (NSW)
Sunday May 23 | Brass Monkey, Cronulla (NSW)
Tuesday May 25 | Raval, Sydney (NSW)
Wednesday May 26 | Raval, Sydney (NSW)
Friday May 28 | The Palais, Hepburn Springs (VIC)
Saturday May 29 | Western Port Hotel, San Remo (VIC)
Sunday May 30 | Barwon Club, Barwon Heads (VIC)
Tuesday June 1 | Toff in Town, Melbourne (VIC)
Thursday June 3 | Grace Emily, Adelaide (SA)