SOME people can find the silver lining in the bleakest situations. Newcastle indie-folk musician Grace Turner is one of those people.
In 2015 Turner was reeling following the death of her mother and the breakdown of a long-term relationship. The existential problem that is the quarter-life crisis was also weighing upon her.
It had also been three years since the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music graduate had seriously dedicated herself to songwriting.
Rather than wallow in pain, Turner channelled her frustration into the beautiful alt-country ballad Angry, which was released two years later on Monday.
“It still affects me in the same way, but it’s definitely interesting because my life is very different from then,” Turner said. “It’s beautiful having those songs written because once you’ve written a song you can let go of it.
“It’s definitely a way of me understanding what I'm going through. I feel grateful having something to show for that hard time.”
Angry, which features Mat Taylor (drums/bass) and Jason Lowe (slide guitar), is the first single from Turner’s forthcoming self-titled EP, due for release in February.
It will be the Wangi Wangi product’s first EP since 2015’s Live At Turning Studios, which was produced by New York-based Novocastrian Jamieson Shaw.
However, Turner has made appearances on Paper Thin and Lachlan X. Morris’ records this year.
“I had the material for a long time,” she said. “It was just finding the right time and right people to work with.”
Grace Turner plays at the Hamilton Station Hotel on December 21.
MUSIC PRIZE NODS
NEWCASTLE artists Alex Knight and Ben Gumbleton have had their albums selected for the 45-strong Australian Music Prize long list.
Knight, who performs under the name Brightness, was recognised for his debut Teething. Gumbleton’s electro-indie duo Boo Seeka also found immediate success with their debut Never Too Soon.
The winner of the $30,000 prize will be announced in late January.
DON WALKS BACK
WE all know Cold Chisel love Newcastle. Outside of the legendary pub rock band’s triumphant Supercars show a fortnight ago, both Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss are gearing up for solo gigs in the coming months.
Chisel pianist and chief songwriter Don Walker has also announced he’s returning to Newcastle to perform at 48 Watt Street on April 6, which will pit him head-to-head with Barnes, who is playing at the Civic Theatre that night.
It will be Walker’s opening show of his Blacktop tour, to celebrate the March 23 release of his box set collection of his solo albums like We’re All Gunna Die, Cutting Back and Hully Gully.
Walker last performed in Newcastle outside of Cold Chisel when he played with Tex Perkins and Charlie Owen at the Cambridge Hotel in September.
FEEL THE THUNDA
ANOTHER act who boasts a love affair with Newcastle is hip-hop posse The Thundamentals.
Already this year Tuka, Jeswon and DJ Morgs have performed at the Cambridge Hotel and This That Festival to support their latest album Everyone We Know and another show is on the horizon.
On April 13 The Thundas will return to the Cambridge to celebrate 10 years since the release of their self-titled debut album. The 24-date The Decade Of The Thundakat tour will be supported by B Wise.
MAKING AN INDENT
UNDER-age music fans in Newcastle have taken a blow lately, following the forced closure of The Commons at Hamilton.
Some respite is coming with MusicNSW announcing on Thursday that Newcastle will be on the not-for-profit organisation’s Indent 2018 Tour.
Indie-soul rockers The Vanns and surf-punkers The Nah are the first two acts announced for the March 23 all-age show. Indent involves much more than purely listening to music.
It’s an all-encompassing introduction to the music industry, featuring workshops on promotion and marketing, setting up equipment, sound checks, ticketing and venue liaison.
More bands and the Newcastle venue hosting Indent will be announced shortly.
IT’S been more than a decade since a Kiwi rock band has enjoyed any real break-out success in Australia. The last was perhaps Shihad.
Melbourne-based Wellington punk-rockers Bakers Eddy are the latest band attempting to build a career across the ditch. So much so they employed Shihad drummer Tom Larkin to produce their forthcoming EP.
The first singles Jack Shit For You and If You See Kay have already dropped. Bakers Eddy will perform at the Hamilton Station Hotel on December 15.