Eskimo Joe

Publication: The Western Weekender

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Eskimo Joe frontman Kav goes solo on acoustic tour

The members of the popular Aussie band currently have a lot of individual projects to focus on, so lead singer Kav Temperley is taking the opportunity to revive the hits of their second album ‘A Song is a City’.


When you hear an Eskimo Joe track come on the radio it’s most likely going to be from the band’s 2006 album ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’.


But while that seems to be the release that gets the most airplay for the Fremantle based trio it’s their second studio album ‘A Song is a City’ – which celebrates it’s 10th anniversary this year – that lead singer Kav Temperley believes holds the most sentimentality for the band’s fans.


“People have lots of very personal experiences with that record. When I’m talking to people everyone’s always like ‘aww A Song is a City was my album’,” Temperley said.


With this in mind the singer/songwriter is heading out on a three month solo acoustic tour across Australia to play tracks from the band’s 2004 album including ‘From The Sea’, ‘Older Than You’ and ‘Smoke’. But audiences will get more than just your usual gig experience.


“When I worked out it was 10 freaking years since the album came out I just thought it was a good opportunity to go out and just play the songs and tell a lot of the stories as well,” Temperley said.


“Some of those stories were really hard to tell back in the day, because it involved people and people we’d done business with and so on, so it was kind of inappropriate but now it’s like, it’s been a few years and no one really cares any more.”


While Temperley embarks on his solo tour, band mates Stu MacLeod and Joel Quartermain are having a few months off and are taking on their own projects.

For MacLeod that means building recording studios while Quartermain’s current focus is recording young musicians in the band’s studio in Fremantle.


“Everyone’s kind of got their fingers in a few different pies. I’m still doing exactly the same thing as I was doing before,” Temperley said laughing.


Not that he’s complaining. The self confessed ‘tragic’ when it comes to live music sees this tour as the perfect project to take on solo.


“As far as telling stories and doing that kind of thing, if it’s just one person with an acoustic guitar just singing it lends itself to that a lot more,” he said.


“You know you can sit down, and part of the performance can be the stories as much as they can be about the songs,” Temperley said.


As well as offering a night of music and storytelling, audiences will also receive an acoustic EP recorded by Temperley, covering all the songs that inspired him during the making of ‘A Song is a City’, including Bill Withers’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ which Temperley saw on ‘Rage’ late one night.


“Just hearing him play and sing it, I was like ‘sh**, that’s freaking amazing!’ And so I woke up the next day and I was walking into Fremantle to do my lyric writing and stuff and I just started to think about my own story and came back and just did my kind of version of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ which ended up becoming the title track to the album ‘A Song Is A City’.’’


Looking back on that experience over a decade ago, Temperley has fond memories of the Perth music scene before the talent hidden on the west coast made its mark across the country.


“What I remember is just a lot of joy because we had this fantastic jam room just out of Fremantle and it was a real open door policy for any of our friends bands or even people we didn’t know to come in and demo and jam on songs together,” he explained.


“And so you had bands like Little Birdy, End of Fashion, Sleepy Jackson doing their first demos and everyone was in there working on them together.


“We’d go down to this place called the Newport Hotel in Freemantle and we’d have $2 beers and then come back and drunkenly jam on people’s ideas for songs and these are songs that end up becoming really kind of classic standards in their

bands,” Temperley said.

“It was a classic moment in time of innocence and skill coming together in a bit of a perfect storm.


“You look at bands like Karnivool and the John Butler Trio who were all kind of around at that time as well and they’re just really hard working bands.


“They don’t stop, they are just amazing live and I think that’s a really kind of special thing to Perth because it is so isolated.”


Kav Temperley will be performing at the Collector Hotel in Parramatta on Saturday, July 26 at 7pm and the Clarendon Hotel in Katoomba on Sunday, July 27 at 7.30pm. Tickets are $25-$29. For more information visit www.kavtemperley.

Article published in the Friday, July 4 2014 edition of The Western Weekender