Fanny Lumsden Brings The Country Halls Tour To Brisbane
Taylor Furby | On 03, Nov 2017
We spoke to Fanny Lumsden about her tour in regional Australia ahead of her show at Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall.
Fanny Lumsden is a country singer hailing from Tallimba in New South Wales. She’s won a number of awards including the coveted 2017 Golden Guitar Award. On top of this, her latest album Real Class Act debuted at number one on the ARIA country charts. She’s currently on her Country Halls tour which raises money for halls in regional towns around Australia. This money helps restore halls for the community. We spoke Fanny about her tour and how latest album.
The Creative Issue: You’re from a small town in New South Wales, how do you think being from a small town has influenced your music?
Fanny Lumsden: It gave me a different perspective. I have a real perspective of what small town life is like rather than the romantic one. The reality of living in relatively isolated or regional parts of Australia. The community is a really strong part of that. I grew up in this really fantastic community where everybody helped each other out. I think that has had a strong influence.
TCI: Your debut album Small Town Big Shot did really well in the country charts, were you hoping for Real Class Act to do the same?
FL: It’s not why I wrote the songs but it’s very exciting to know that it translates to the people and that they are resonating with the music and the story. It means that people are excited to hear stories and are a part of the journey and share that with you. So in that sense, yes.
TCI: What do you think are the main differences in making the two albums?
FL: With the first one I wrote the songs over a long time because it was my first record. The songs stretched out over a few years and had different influences. I’d done a few EPs but It was really my first album so the whole process was new to me in terms of doing a full record. So the second time around, I was much clearer in what I wanted and how to explore that and have the language to talk that through with my band and producer. And I wrote the songs over a couple of years while we were on the road so it felt like it had more focus, I suppose. I learnt a lot in those last few years. I feel like I have a little more experience maybe.
TCI: Did you write these songs overtime or did you sit down for say two weeks to write them?
FL: Last few years. I’m not really a project based writer. I don’t co-write really, doesn’t mean I won’t but I haven’t. We live in a little caravan so we were just on the road. We’ve done 103,000 kilometres over the last year and a half so I wrote most of them as we were doing that. I wrote a lot of songs and had to sift through and choose which ones I wanted to use.
TCI: Do you have any favourite songs from the new record?
FL: They’re all favourites, like children. I go through phases. ‘Real Men Don’t Cry’ is a special one just because of its content and mostly because of its message. But then there’s ones that we love playing live like I love playing ‘Pretty Little Fools’ live and I love playing ‘Peppercorn Tree’ live. There’s one that I wrote for my sister called ‘Perfect Mess’. I wrote that for her wedding day, I had both my siblings playing on that but they’re all pretty special in their different ways.
TCI: You’ve done a few shows since the release, how has the album been received?
FL: Fantastic. It’s been amazing. I’ve actually been so stoked on how it’s been going. People are enjoying it and coming to the shows. I think most of the Country Hall shows we’ve done have been sold out which is awesome. People are coming up and telling us their favourite songs and it’s my favourite thing when they’re sharing their stories with you based on your songs.
TCI: How did you prepare for these shows?
FL: This tour is a tour we’ve been running for six years. It’s called the Country Halls tour and I started it back in 2012 to raise money and went out and played little halls. It’s really progressed every year until the point now where we had over 40 halls apply for it all over Australia. There’s quite a lot of work that goes into the actual shows because we go into a hall, which is a shell of a hall, and the hall committee and local communities work with us completely. They do amazing jobs and put on barbeques and all different stuff but then we make a bit set and have to plan all of that. With all the new songs, we had to build a new set and set list. It’s fun and I love the process of it and we all haul around to the different halls. We’ve got a couple of caravans and everyone stays at the hall in the van so it’s a bit of a circus really.
TCI: So that means that you play to new towns all the time?
FL: Yeah, they’re all new ones. We don’t really play to the same place twice over the last six years. We’ve only done that maybe once or twice. The whole part of it is to take it to a new hall every time so when people are applying we really encourage new halls.
TCI: A lot of Australian acts tend to skip regional towns when they’re touring, being from a regional town yourself, do people get excited when musicians play in their town?
FL: Yeah absolutely. I know first-hand how much it costs alone and how much effort you need to put in to get to live music. You may have to travel like seven to ten hours to the city or have to fly. Which costs you thousands of dollars in the end because you have to pay for accommodation and travel then go to the gig. It’s a really really big effort. So to actually go to their hometown so they can just pop in after work is amazing. We are really seeing their appreciation. I know I would have absolutely loved it as a kid, it would have blown my mind if I’d seen a band in my town hall. So if I can do that for at least one kid per show then we’re winning.
TCI: What are your plans after the tour is finished?
FL: We’ll probably just keep touring next year and get the music out there to as many places as we can.
What: Fanny Lumsden’s Country Halls Tour
Where: Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, 15 Caxton Street, Brisbane City QLD 4000
When: Thursday, November 30th 2017 @ 7pm
How Much: $23.50
Website: link to website