Over the last two Sundays, a songwriter night has been running at Giant Dwarf Theatre in Sydney under the helm of Georgia Mooney of All Our Exes Live in Texas. With two more shows left to go, we caught up with Georgia to learn more about the show, find out how it’s gone so far and what we can expect from the two remaining shows.
Firstly, tell me a little bit about how this night came about.
I’ve been lucky enough to do lots of touring around the country over the last few years and the more I do, the more I feel such love for our aussie music community. It’s a pretty special and supportive bunch! The thing is, you run into bands and songwriters at airports all the time, or hang out backstage at festivals but you never really get to play together. We all understand this language called music (..ish) so it seems a waste not to make the most of that. I thought it would be particularly special to bring people together who never otherwise get to share the stage on account of being from quite diverse musical backgrounds and see what wonderful things come from those combinations!
So everyone is on stage at the same time? Tell me a little bit about how each night operates from a performance point of view?
Yep, everyone is on stage at the same time. The songwriters all sit in a semi-circle, like an in-the-round session except we have a house band behind us, backing us all up! One by one we take turns to play our songs and we attempt to join in with each other. The idea is that each week we’re a new “Supergroup” with a new sound so everyone can add their own musical flavour to the songs. It makes the performances very special and one-off. Between songs we do lot of chatting about songwriting and our experiences in music and we always close the show with an all-in cover that everyone knows and loves. It’s very relaxed, fun and intimate, like a little look behind the scenes.
Has the way the night run changed at all between the first two events? Can you envisage the event evolving at all over the next couple of weeks?
I’m learning how differently people approach music. Some people feel comfortable getting up and playing along to a song they’ve never heard before but some people like to have a little plan in their heads. Some people like to give some directions, some people like to be very free about it. The first time we all play together is the soundcheck so it’s very fresh and that’s my favourite thing. It means you’re really buzzing when the audience comes in a couple of hours later. It’s also quite fascinating to see inside all the songs, as we obviously have to understand the chords, structures and melody quite quickly. It’s wonderful to see how each artist writes and think “oh I would never have thought of that”.
So to answer your question, it’s very different each week! No two shows are the same which makes hosting (and listening) a real treat. I really have to think on my feet which definitely keeps it challenging! I think it will keep evolving all the time and I love trying to think of new and interesting ways to run things and keep it unexpected. For example, this coming Sunday we’re going to ask some of the audience to come on the stage! It looks like it will be a project that is ongoing and travels to different cities and festivals which is very exciting! I’d love people to feel like they can have a different experience at every show.
What have been stand out moments of the events so far?
There have been many and as I mentioned, each show has had such a different energy. I loved the moment when we were all singing along to Fanny’s song on show one. Stu, Fanny and Grace are all such thoughtful songwriters and that show felt like we were in a living room. The second show with Tim Rogers, Ben Salter and Urthboy was completely different but bloody great too. We did lots of talking, heard many hilarious stories and rocked out! It was also fascinating to see what happens when you put hip-hop music in that setting. I love the idea of trying to really mix up the genres that are on stage. It was pretty fun to all close the show with ‘Waterloo Sunset’ by The Kinks and have Urthboy freestyle on it.
Wanna see what’ll happen at the next Supergroup? You’ve got two more chances to enjoy the event at Giant Dwarf. Head to https://giantdwarf.com.au/events/supergroup/ for more details. And here are the remaining lineups:
APRIL 14th: Dan Kelly, Brian Campeau, & Alyx Dennison
APRIL 21st: Paul McDermott & Gatesy (Tripod), Liv Hally (Oh Pep!), & Seja