buried country: live in Concert
In 2016, Buried Country: Live in Concert became the fourth dimension of the Buried Country phenomenon after the book, film and CD, a touring stageshow version of the story starring a rotating cast of Buried Country’s featured artists performing a selection of its greatest hits. It made its world premiere at the Playhouse in Newcastle in August 2016, and subsequently hit the road, playing two nights at the Melbourne Festival a couple of months later in October and thence on into 2017 and '018… for all the more on-going info, check the standalone BC site, buriedcountry.com.au.
The show was really the brainchild of Melbourne music maven Mary Mihelakos. Off the back of the new edition of the book and CD in 2015, Mary got me down to Melbourne to present a screening of the film as part of the Leaps & Bounds festival she runs, and it was late at the end of a long night in a small bar when she said to me, Have you ever thought of putting Buried Country on stage? To which I said, Well yeah, over the years it's occasionally crossed my mind – and then been promptly banished as something that just seemed all too big and daunting to contemplate. But I suppose it was the particular zeal with which Mary approached me that prompted me to think, maybe this is the opportunity the needs to be seized. And so I said to Mary, basically, Alright then, if you're game, so am I, let's do it...
And so a monster was born, and we commenced to rounding up a team to make it possible.
There are a number of key people it’s my enormous pleasure to thank for the making real of the merely possible. Firstly, the true stars of the show, fronting house-band the Backtrackers:here
Thanks to the Backtrackers themselves, led by MD Brendan Gallagher, plus Jason Walker, Jim Elliott, Buddy Knox and Teangi Knox. For a bit more on these guys, go here
And thanks, of course, to Mary Mihelakos, and also to Michael Lynch, who’s joined the endeavor as co-producer. And not forgetting Jon Langford either, for the typically brilliant poster artwork portrait of Billy Bargo; and a few other behind-the-scenes operatives too.
The show has simply organically evolved, I can't put it any other way than to use that over-used cliche. Initial rehearsals and an invite-only little showcase performance at Enrec Studios in Tamworth during the festival there in January 2016 just seemed to go so well, so smoothly - sounded so good so quickly (see a bit more here) - that we’ve progressed from that point with a huge amount of confidence. We always expected the show would evolve, and expect that over time and locations it will almost certainly vary, but for the moment, it’s largely the Tamworth line-up and set-list that’s pushing towards Newcastle to do more rehearsals and the premiere performance. To see a bit more go to a Rhythms item here