Not too many summers go by in Australia these days without a tour by Canadian singer-songwriter-keyboardian Ann Vriend.
2014 continues that rich tradition.
Ann has already started this year’s tour on the Gold Coast and she’s heading south to Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales before winding things up in Brisbane later this month.
In between dips in the pool on a Saturday afternoon (and no doubt a stack of photos on social media back home to envious and shivering Albertans), Ann talked to Bill Quinn about this year’s Australian tour.
Bill Quinn: Ann, from memory this is your ninth tour of Australia. Does it get easier, or harder or different?
Ann Vriend: I definitely think it’s getting easier. I have more and more people coming on board to help me out, and the fan base is slowly growing. And also different because I’m getting more and more used to being here!
Every tour I have different shows and different itineraries, so it doesn’t get boring.
Ann Vriend (Canada) is a very regular and very welcome visitor to Australia and this week she’s touched down in Sydney to kick off a month of shows that will take her south to Tasmania and north to Queensland — with appropriate stops along the way.
Ann’s first shows are in Sydney at The Basement where she’s received some great support from David Hand and Newport Consulting; the tour opener was fairly bursting with staff thereof.
In between set-list writing, sound-checking and dress-up* for the show, Ann took some time out to talk with me about weather, Aus-stray-lee-an pronunciation, more weather and suburb names. And music.
* When Ann came back in for the show, I dead-set wondered who was this elegant woman who looked like she was off to the races. And why was she waving at me from across the room?
I’m blaming it on jet lag.
*** Audio file will be removed at end February 2020 ***
Bill Quinn: When we have people who tour here from overseas, we have some who come here once and then we never see them again. And then we have others who tour here and they keep coming back, and back, and back again.
As a pundit and a punter, I’m totally OK with that. I’m sitting here with one who keeps doing that, and we’re very happy for that: Ann Vriend from Canada, hello and welcome?
Ann Vriend: Helloooo, and thanks for having me.
BQ: So, this would be something like trip number six, or something like that?
AV: No, it’s… well, I have to do math… but it would be eight, because my first was 2005 and I’ve come every year.
BQ: Every single year?
AV: Yeah. In your summer – that’s not by accident!
BQ: I tend to talk about weather, but what have you left behind you in Edmonton?
AV: Just before I left, we got about a foot of snow in one night. By the time it’s March, I’m a little bit over snow. So, if you go to my Facebook page, you can see the ‘before I left’ snow pictures, and the ‘after I left’ view of Sydney Harbour with palm trees.
BQ: So for the next few weeks, there’s going to be lots of pictures you’re sending back home in strapless numbers…
AV: Oh, I already posted a picture at the beach, like “Ha ha! I might not be rich, but there’s some perks to my job!”