Recently returned from a whirlwind year of international touring, Bush Gothic re-imagine trad Australian folk music, until the unfashionable is transformed into rebellious beauty. Defiantly modern, achingly old, this most daring of Australian bush bands from Melbourne, perform songs of criminal women and desperate men from an era of transportation, adventure and gold.
The history of Australia is littered with murder, sadistic commanders, cross-dressing gold diggers, gay bushrangers, riches, poverty, bizarre rituals and terrible gallows humour. Australian history – boring? Not at all. Bush Gothic refuses to accept that our traditional songs are bland and our history all about sheep. History records what happened, songs record how people felt about it.
The Guardian described fiddle-singer and band leader Jenny M. Thomas as an ‘Edgy rising folk star’ and together with double bassist Dan Witton and drummer Chris Lewis are now touring the country to celebrate the release of their third album Beyond The Pale.
The twelve track album opens with the tale of Jim Jones – a convict who dreamt of escape, revenge and joining the bushrangers to wreak havoc on the Bristish government who had incarcerated him. Lawson & Banjo make an appearance as does poet, Judith Wright. Jenny M. Thomas has risen to a challenge to re-arrange the Slim Dusty classic, Pub With No Beer – featuring a drum heavy arrangement and The Lonely String Quartet (Zoe Black, Jason Bunn, Sarah Curro and Luke Severn).
Since the release of their previous album: The Natural Selection Australian Songbook (5 Stars – BBC Music Magazine) Bush Gothic have been invited to perform at The Unthank’s Home Gathering Festival (UK), toured pubs of Ireland, churches of England, played Mona Foma twice plus headlined at festivals in New Zealand and India. Audiences have tuned into the band’s post-modern folk songs as they have squeezed themselves into radio studios across the globe.
Beyond The Pale will be launched at St. Johns Anglican Church, Fremantle on Thursday 25 April 2019. Bush Gothic then perform on selected dates across Australia throughout April and May. For more information, performance dates and locations, visit: www.bushgothic.com for details.
Image: Dan Witton, Jenny M. Thomas and Chris Lewis are Bush Gothic – photo by Michelle Jarni