Gesticulations, fronted by Graham Ashton of The Shambolics and Way Cool Jnr., is seemingly in the midst of a purple patch of productivity. They have just released Threadbare, which is their second long-play album of the year, following from Sense of Purgency which dropped in April.
Ashton has collaborated again with multi-instrumentalist and producer Benny D Williams. There are some inspired collaborations on this album. Tim Steward from Screamfeeder and Sabrina Lawrie lend a hand. Others that came to the party were Matt Armstrong (Heavy Wax), Dave Thomson (Fat), Sam Depasquale (Spillage), Zac Fahey (Colourfide) and Brad Inglis (The Shambolics),
This is a beautifully varied album. As with Sense of Purgency, I sense a tipping of the hat to the great Lou Reed. There are also some fun variations in style, the black humour in the lyrics and country feels in “Dead Soon” can’t help but raise a smile.
Graham has kindly put together his thoughts about each of the tracks on the album. So do press <Play>, crank it up and enjoy the splendour of Threadbare
“Where Did You Go?”
Written with my old band The Shambolics and inspired by the loss of a great mate. Brad and Sam from The Shambolics played their parts in the studio and everyone that visited sang on the gang vocal at the end. Benny D Williams‘ guitar part really speaks to the longing described in the lyrics.
I wrote this with Dave Thomson (FAT/GOD OWN BULLET) and when I sent the lyrics he texted me checking in if i was OK which was very kind. I responded with “all good mate it’s just a country song”. Inspired by early BEASTS OF BOURBON. We asked SABRINA LAWRIE to duet when she was in the studio for another song and she nailed it and then some.
“Those Share Houses”
My friend Louise did a social media post listing all of the houses frequented by the Brisbane punk rock community in the 80’s and I thought this must be a song. BENNY D WILLIAMS played every instrument and sang the back up vocals. We tried to channel 80’s Australian bands like CELIBATE RIFLES and WEDDINGS, PARTIES ANYTHING.
“Henry & Grace”
This is one of my first attempts to write observationally rather than continually sharing my feelings. BENNY D WILLIAMS played some beautiful guitar and we like to think it tells an important story.
TIM STEWARD (SCREAMFEEDER/WE ALL WANT TO) said some nice things about the first album so I cheekily asked if he wanted to co-write a song for this one and he said yes. I sent him the lyrics and just prior to the recording session he sent a demo that we fell in love with. I was concerned I could only fuck it up but Tim and Benny gave me the confidence to record my vocal which was a real thrill. To record with one of my songwriting heroes was certainly one of my favourite experiences.
This was recorded in the first album session with Gold Coast luminary Zac Fahey (COLOURFIDE). Zac played guitar and drums and sang the mad harmony in the chorus. I was trying to give my best IGGY POP impression in the verses and MARK E SMITH (THE FALL) in the choruses. Definitely the most rockin tune on the album.
Inspired by 1950’s beat poets with a lyrical nod to a lost weekend in Sydney. SABRINA LAWRIE brought the bass groove and BENNY D WILLIAMS played drums. We invited Matt Armstrong (HEAVY WAX) to the last session to add the trumpet which he nailed. We hope to take the listener to a jazz club in the West Village in the 50’s.
“15th Avenue Shake Up”
This one has close ties to a couple of songs from the first album “Sense Of Purgency”. BENNY D WILLIAMS plays all of the instruments and sings the harmony while I wax lyrical about lost love and displacement.
This is another song that was written with THE SHAMBOLICS that will actually be released on our final EP later in the year. This version is very different and synth heavy with BENNY D WILLIAMS playing all of the instruments again. The lyrics are a fun word play with some help from the rhyming dictionary.
“Pushing Back The Bad Thoughts”
SABRINA LAWRIE also said some nice things about the first album and I immediately sent her this lyric to see if she wanted to co-write. She delivered the full arrangement which blew our minds and provided Benny with a good mixing challenge that he absolutely nailed. Lyrically it’s a bit of an antithesis to the modern world of spending so much time gazing at our navels.
Threadbare by Gesticulations is out now on all major streaming services.
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