On his last visit to Australia Bill Callahan performed at a ski-resort atop a mountain in Victoria for All Tomorrows Parties. He also appeared in a tent in a park for Sydney Festival – both events now holding a special place in Australian festival folklore. This time however, Bill C. has swapped the great Australian outdoors for the great Australian indoors and will perform three exclusive east coast shows: Tuesday 26th May at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall and Thursday 28th and Friday 29th May for Vivid Live at the Sydney Opera House. And in another Australian exclusive, and unlike previous visits either as Bill Callahan or Smog (his previous moniker) Bill will be bringing his regular touring band with him.
Four dudes, one harmonica, two electric guitars, one glitter-painted bass, barely half a drum kit and six lights is all it took to conquer the behemoth of a room transforming it into a gig with the cosiness of a chamber music recital. Review – Royal Festival Hall, London 2014.
In the years between Australian visits Callahan has released two albums proper, including the acclaimed Dream River featuring the Australian alternative radio hits Javelin Unlanding and Small Plane. Elsewhere Dream River kicked goals too landing at no.44 on the UK mainstream charts and picking up a five star review and the album of the year gong by influential English mag Mojo.
***** Dream River may be Callahan’s most beguiling album yet – MOJO
**** An Artist at the peak of his songwriting powers / the finest English language songwriting of the last 20 years‘ – The Guardian
**** ‘Bill Callahan sings the truth. Bathe in his voice, sink in it’ – Sydney Morning Herald
Setting into a cleaner musical palette since his tape-recorded beginnings as Smog, Callahan’s cult-audience has slowly grown from barfly clubs to hushed theatre reverence giving his baritone subtle delivery, and lyrical thumps such as album opener The Sing a refined precision: The only words I’ve said today are “beer” and “thank you”. Beer. Thank you.
Whether deceptively open or characteristically cloaked, Callahan’s status as a classic outsider songwriter will be brought up close in this six years in-the-waiting return for Vivid Live and Hamer Hall.