Lucie Thorne is doing one of the things she does best — touring around Australia, making her way into major centres, but also visiting a few places off the beaten track.
After two successful runs in Australia in recent times with Pieta Brown, showcasing the ‘Love Over Gold‘ album, Lucie is back on the road solo, albeit with long time collaborator percussionist Hamish Stuart, and teaming up for a double bill in Bacchus Marsh with Liz Stringer.
I should stop mentioning that the locations for doing these interviews are a little weird.
I can’t remember the last time I did a straight face-to-face interview in a studio. For this brief chat, I was in the salubrious surrounds of a Brisbane City Youth Hostels Association dormitory room, finishing the interview just a moment before house-keeping arrived with the bins, hose, and industrial leaf blower. Lucie, meanwhile, was in South Australia relaxing on a friend’s property complete with 3D cattle.
If you’re reading this on the day of publication (Tuesday 3 June 2014) you can tune in and hear Lucie live on air on ABC 774 Melbourne with Lindy Burns from around about 9pm AEST. You can listen online.
*** Audio file will be deleted at the end of February 2020 ***
Bill Quinn: This is one of those great moments in convergent technologies in the digital age. I’m normally from Sydney, currently in Brisbane. Lucie Thorne is currently from the Bega Valley but currently in South Australia. We’re all dispersed and probably you are too where you’re [reading] as well, but that’s just a long-winded and wanky way of saying, “Hello, Lucie Thorne!”
Lucie Thorne: Hello, Bill Quinn!
BQ: Lucie, you’re down in South Australia, you’re on tour.
LT: Yeah, I’m actually at a friend’s cattle farm in Finniss [South Australia], which is great, I’ve got a few days off here. So I’m down here hanging out with the cows and the horses and the chickens and the friendly humans.
It’s pretty good!
BQ: Before we get onto the music, tell me a bit about that because I’ve been doing some stuff which is a bit like being billeted on a tour. When you get a couple of days off, do you find that you don’t really know yourself? That you’ve got all this oodles of time?
LT: Well, I’ve spent more time on the road than not over the past few years, so it’s kind of a normal way to arrange my life to go from show to show, but usually with at least a few days off at regular intervals. And hanging with lots of my favourite people around the country and around the world.
Then I’ll go home to go on holiday! That’s how I look at it. So it’s a pretty sweet arrangement. I’m not complaining at all.
BQ: When you’re touring, do you get a chance to really take in the places that you visit? Or is it a case of just catch up with friends and recharge?
LT: Yeah, it depends. I mean, I do love to explore and have many adventures. In terms of it being a sustainable thing, being on the road so much, having homes away from home is key.
Having friendly kitchens that you can cook in. Touring is quite a hyper-social existence in lots of ways but being able to create that downtime in a home-like environment wherever you happen to be – that kind of recharging thing is pretty crucial because you can get a bit tuckered out having that much fun in a row.
And it depends. Sometimes if the schedule’s busy you don’t to explore. Touring musicians often aren’t very good tourists because you are going from gig to gig. But it depends; sometimes there’s a bit more time between shows which allows for that.
BQ: The last time I think we spoke was probably when you were touring with Pieta Brown, not on the ‘Love Over Gold’ tour but the one before then, which is a fair time now, so what has been happening for Lucie?
LT: I’ve been having a great time, and it really kind of varies each time. That tour when Pieta came out with her tour was back in 2012, and we’d just started a little side project together too at that point. So we’d started writing some songs together, although at that stage we really didn’t really know what shape that would take.
So since then, at the start of last year I went over to Ireland which is where Pieta lives. We did some recording and then that turned into a whole album, and we turned into a band called ‘Love Over Gold’. That album came out towards the end of last year  and we launched it over in the States and did a bunch of shows over there first.
Pieta’s been out here twice for ‘Love Over Gold’ shows in November, and then in March this year doing some festivals. That’s been a really great side project. A little bit of a surprise side project; I’d don’t think any of us knew where that was going to take us, but we’ve had a lot of fun doing that. That’s sort of on the back-burner again now. Obviously there are some major logistical issues, half of who live in the mid-west of America and half lives down here.
Now I’ve been doing a lot of work with my dear Hamish Stuart, drummer extraordinaire – the legend. Hamey and I have been all over the joint so far this year; we’ve done stuff in Tassie and Western Australia and New South Wales and Vic and now here in South Australia.
So, I’m as busy as ever really, doing lots of regional, national touring over the next couple of months, and then we’re in the middle of how Hamish and I are going to make this next Lucie Thorne record. We’re in the really nice, stretchy stage. There’s lots of new songs and a lot of them could go in a variety of directions. We’re having a really playful time, in pre-production-land, just following a few new phonic directions and following the music.
BQ: So people who come along to the gigs, they’re going to be getting Lucie Thorne’s greatest hits but also a fairly good preview of what’s coming up?
LT: Yeah, man! That’s it. New songs and the greatest hits from the back catalogue.
Some of them are definitely keepers and there’s a whole batch that I keep trying out on whoever happens to be listening.
BQ: Good stuff. Lucie, we’ll look forward to catching you – I keep not staying in one place for too long so hopefully catch you up along the way.
You enjoy your cattle and your country and we’ll see you on down the road. Thanks, Lucie.
LT: See you down the road. Good on you, Bill.
*** Audio file will be deleted at the end of February 2020 ***
Details of Lucie Thorne’s upcoming gigs:
Wednesday 4 June 2014 – Melbourne Folk Club (Bella Union at Trades Hall), Vic
Saturday 14 June 2014 – Baby Black Cafe, Bacchus Marsh, Vic
Wednesday 18 June 2014 – Smiths Alternative Bookshop, ACT
Thursday 19 June 2014 – The Grand Junction Hotel, Maitland, NSW
Friday 20 June 2014 – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW*
Saturday 21 June 2014 – St Martin’s Hall, Mullumbimby, NSW
Thursday 26 June 2014 – house concert, Blue Mountains, NSW*
Friday 27 June 2014 – house concert, Kangaroo Valley, NSW*
Sunday 29 June 2014 – Mudbrick Pavillion, Mallacoota, Vic
* See Lucie’s gig listing for booking details.
It’s an oldie but an absolute fave: