Tyrone and Lesley are about to return to live performance after a break. We have two quite different shows coming up.
SPRUKE is Brisbane’s Ukulele Festival. We’re stoked to be part of it. Lots of ukuleles and beautiful Brisbane spring weather. Ukulele festivals are always relaxed and fun and there’s a mix between punters, participants and performers that many other festivals tout but never achieve. This will be where we test out some new songs.
Tyrone and Lesley are playing in the opening night concert, the Spruke Showcase (Oct 2) with Aldrine Guerrero and Aaron Nakamura. The guys are founders of Ukulele Underground, a site whose popularity means it’s not underground at all anymore. I love discovering how each ukulele master has their own brand of tenderness, determination and relaxed virtuosity that’s their very own: a particular way of making it seem easy.
They’re master teachers and players and we’re looking forward to sharing the stage with them, alongside Benhur (yes that is his real name) and the NUMB BUMS who will surely put in a spanking performance. Tickets here.
The other gig we’re doing is very different, a double bill with The Pockets at Brisbane City Hall. (Sept 29 12 midday) These ‘Clem Jones City Hall Concerts’ are free public gigs that have been run at Brisbane’s City Hall for 75 years. It’s a magnificent looking place, built in the 1920’s with a huge lunchtime crowd.
Most things in Brisbane are named after Clem Jones.
The lunchtime concerts have an established crowd, and while it’s not a good idea to generalise about audiences, especially very large ones, we might avoid doing the newer, or weirder stuff we like to play. We’ve been encouraged to play ‘something we all know’ so for T & L there’ll be a few surprises amongst our own tunes, which is something very different for us. We don’t usually play covers, and perhaps Rapper’s Delight mightn’t be the ticket for this concert. What will we do?
In putting together these setlists we’ll be balancing all sorts of things. Duration. Flow. Patter. The ‘play something we all know’ factor. We know there are particular songs we’ve composed that always go over well, but we don’t always want to play them. The fact that we’ll want to play new songs we’re working on and we’re excited about. Each venue will be different in size and acoustic properties. City Hall, being a gigantic round room, might not be the best place to play uptempo, percussive numbers, but a spacious ballad will sit well – however, your whole set can’t be made up of them.
Most importantly each gig will have a different crowd with different expectations, and we’re no good without the audience.