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Sun 17 Nov 2013, 8:00pm

Where: The Small Ballroom, 139 Maitland Road Newcastle, Newcastle CBD, Hunter Region

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $20.95
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: emmaEVENTFINDER

Artist Voice and Kingdom Sounds Present: Whitley

Recording this album was nothing short of a monumental effort. Please note that the tone of the following is written with a smile and not a care in the world.

After quite a few mojitos on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico's Caribbean coast, in a mode of excitement I decided I would phone the label to tell them I was going to write a new album. The conversation was slurred and shady; the background music was distorted and loud, in the way Mexican PA’s are only capable of; and the mood, euphoric. In the morning, I wasn't sure if the phone call had really taken place and decided to get on with the business of continuing my adventure to Havana.

An email I received in Baracoa confirmed that the conversation had indeed taken place. After traveling through Cuba and Panama, I got the message that a meeting in London would occur to plan the third Whitley album. Little did I know that few of the plans would survive to manifest and chaos would force itself into every facet of my life before it let me up for air. It was a strange situation that left me assessing songs recorded on my phone, rediscovering my love of the song form and attempting to avoid recording studios at all costs.

I lived in a share warehouse in London Fields at the time, where I was going to record the ideas that I had sketched out through Latin America. Recording in the warehouse would have been an ideal situation if I had wanted to make an album infused with the sounds of five female Australian accents, or the Overland train running right next to the block of land we shared. So, it was time to come up with a more feasible plan to record the new album.

Down the road towards Shoreditch, there was a small room being rented out in what was to be an art gallery and music studio complex. After assessing the owner, I decided to rent the space and started to build in the soundproofing with my friend, Ian. Unfortunately, the art gallery downstairs was granted a permit to develop into
some sort of shady club. I enjoyed shady clubs more than my bed at that stage of my life, but it wasn’t exactly favourable to record acoustic instruments, on sensitive microphones, in the belly of the beast. Another plan was required.

Fortunately, Ian knew of an engineer moving out of a basement studio complex near Edgware Road towards the inner city. My friends from Baltimore lived in the building. The four of them were in a band called The Dandies and they all shared the two available bedrooms in their strange dwelling. It had no windows, an abundance of Pizza Hut boxes and a strange tiled floor. Chuffed with my excellent fortune of getting a studio near such great guys, I moved in the next day.

The tube wasn't running that weekend at Edgware Road. I knew this not because of a failed attempt at using one of the finest networks of public transport in the world whilst moving, but because the microphone stands in my studio began to shake uncontrollably and inexplicably, as if dancing to demonic underground music that I wasn’t aware of. A million things raced through my mind. An earthquake? Roadworks? I was stumped. It wasn't until further observation that the 'earthquakes' had almost precisely measured themselves at exact three-minute intervals.

I suspected that it was the tube, and after viewing a few maps, realised that the tube line ran only a few metres on the other side of my studio's wall, making recording acoustic instruments, vocals and anything other than low rumble impossible. I was a little shocked at my bad luck, but carried the studio out and into a van to come up with another plan.

Strangely, I had a friend in The Netherlands who mentioned that evening that two out of the three bedrooms in his 15th floor apartment were free. Jake is a fan of music and a former Whitley band member, so he was more than happy to graciously invite me into his home and allow me to start recording. Melbourne band Kins were staying there at the time, so I was happy to play music with them and possibly collaborate on the new album.

After Jake drove all the way from Groningen