"Songs of Love and War" tour with Emma Dean
Posted by Francesca de Valence on Monday, June 23, 2014
It was a result of many lonely solo tours and the dreaded thought of going on the road, solo, again, that "Songs of Love and War" was borne. After a few crazy brain storming sessions, fights with airlines over excess baggage, rehearsals, haggling with car rental companies, stealing milk crates from random service stations, and begging friends and family to accommodate us (definitely not in that order!), Emma and I embarked on our debut duo tour together. First stop - Sydney!
We opened our show at the quaint "Newsagency" in Marrickville. Whilst we thought the rainy night would hinder the crowds, we were assured of a great night when we heard they were lining up down the street before doors opened. The very sweet, Rosie Catalano, was our special guest.
Later that night, were treated to a kick-ass after party by our 'Hostess with the Most-est', Amanda. Ok, so it turned out to be more a bed-party... (mind out of the gutter, please)
...with BYO Kimono. Very Rock Star!!
I should probably explain a little about "Song of Love and War". Emma and I are both independent artists, and we thought a loose theme would help bring out songs together for a show. So by the second show - a house concert in Noosa, Qld - we were a little more inspired and, well, in character.
We brought out our best love and war songs on this tour and played on each other's tunes. Between us we sang and played "Nigella" the sexy red-head (keyboard), "Elliott" the naive, confused violin, drums, castanets, shaker, melodica, vibraslap, lollipop drum, ha ha, ok I'm just listing instruments for the hell of it now...
So the tour continues on the road from Brisbane to Armidale and in between to a bunch of house concerts, a festival performance, winery concerts and live music venues. As is to be expected in Australia, the scenery was spectacular.
This is one of my favourite shots of the tour - Warren (winemaker) and Ralphy (winemaker's dog) - at Pyramids Road Wines in the Granite Belt region, before our sold out evening show on Easter Sunday. It was the calm before the storm.
If you missed the show at Pyramids Road Wines, you can watch us perform my song, "Desire", here.
We stopped in at Easterfest to play a late-night show, but due to having played another house concert earlier that evening in a neighbouring town, Emma and I were feeling a little light on the energy. As we walked past a closing-up-for-the-night sideshow alley, we convinced two very burly gentlemen to let us ride their ride, gratis. We did offer them front row seats to our concert in return. Anyway, much convincing wasn't needed and so here is Em and I before our crazy-spinning, almost-vomit-inducing ride...
The effect wasn't quite what we expected. I'm pretty sure we were more hyped BEFORE the ride.
Ouch... maybe there's a trend happening here. Rides, bed-parties - are we just a bunch of grannies?
We were treated to some beautiful meals on our trip, and we were housed in many homes away from home. Our hosts in Armidale, Sam and Jeanette, cooked up an Indian feast for us, and Sam did a splendid job of being our manager for the night at the Armidale Club. Click on the pink-coloured links to read a frank and giggle-worthy pre-show interview, and a glowing post-show review of 'Songs of Love and War' in Armidale, as told by local journo Alana Young in the Nucleus.
The House Concert idea is fast becoming a popular one. We had our dearest fans put on house concerts in their backyard - or even the nearest theatre. For us, it was such a perfect way to play our intimate songs and tell our personal stories... and to meet new people.
My personal favourite house concert, was hosted by the lovely Katie Swan and her 50 or so Musical Theatre student friends from the University of Ballarat, Victoria. Not only were they the perfect attentive, listening crowd, they also put on their own show, staging never before performed original Musical Theatre tunes fit for Off-Broadway. There is some serious talent coming out of those students - wow!
After shows a few shows in Victoria, we wrapped up "Songs of Love and War 2014" with a secret Mother's Day House Concert in our hometown, Brisbane. It wasn't advertised and thus only available to our supporters on our mailing list. If you want to be kept in the loop of special opportunities like this, join my mailing list here.
Needless to say there were many shenanigans on the tour, which was totally balanced out with all the hard work that we put in to make the tour such a success. We couldn't have done it without all the beautiful support from our dear family, friends and supporters, special guests, hosts, photographers and venues.
Finally, I have never had so much fun playing music and I can only blame the ridiculously talented and gem of a lady, Emma Dean for that. I think Emma's song "Circus" and her lyrical genius-ness fittingly sums up "Songs of Love and War". Here is a video of our performance at the Ballarat House Concert of Emma's gorgeous song as the soundtrack to us packing up the last of the gear and putting away our suitcases until the next tour.
Thank you Emma. Thank you everyone. Til next year. Songs of Love 2015. Oh yeah, baby!