New details: ‘Cities of Spinifex’, April 7


Hi team, so we can finally reveal a few more details about the upcoming album, ‘Cities of Spinifex’, and also “unveil” the new single, called ‘Trivia Night’. You can hear ‘Trivia Night’ plus pre-order the album here, with a plethora of details blah blah…

Details are below, written by our wonderful PR people, hence the “third person” tone… Their words not mine!



Today, one of Australia’s most enigmatic musical raconteurs, Adam Gibson, continues the next chapter in his storied career with the release of his latest single ‘Trivia Night,’ as well as announcing the release date for Cities Of Spinifex – his latest album with band The Ark-Ark Birds.

‘Trivia Night’ might be Gibson’s most personal song to date – an impressive accomplishment for a man whose heart-on-his-sleeve lyricism has become his widely recognised signature. The song is waltzing, folky ballad that details Gibson’s memories of some of his favourite times spent with longtime friend and confidante, the late and famed Australian columnist, Sam De Brito.

As its name suggests, the song shares glimpses of the time the two spent together competing in the great tradition of pub trivia, and the surprising memories you cherish after loss.

“It’s a song essentially about friendship and how it’s the small moments you remember when those friends are no longer around,” says Adam. “I wasn’t looking at a glib sentimentality, but more the sense that when someone dies, it’s those moments that take on great importance. It’s basically a celebration of those times and of things such as dumb trivia nights in wintertime when the world isn’t changed but which are just as important as if it was.”

It’s the second song to be released from the album, after the eight-minute opus ‘Belanglo, Byron and the Road Between’ was premiered by Rolling Stone late last year, and delved into Gibson’s chilling recollections of his life as a young crime beat reporter covering a story that would end up being linked to the horrific backpacker murders of the early ’90s.

Cities of Spinifex will officially be released independently on April 7, and follows on from the acclaimed 2015 album Australia Restless and Adam’s lauded records with former bands The Aerial Maps and Modern Giant.

The album is an aural feast – a panorama of songs and stories about landscape, travel and people, about spaces and places. Written during an intense period of personal change and flux for Adam and the band, Cities of Spinifex is a sprawling grab-bag of visions and sights, of memory and experience – of Australia and beyond.

“A lot of challenging things happened in the period immediately before we recorded this album and I wanted to capture that sense flux on the record,” says Adam. “We recorded it as quickly as possible to try to grab that sense of uncertainty and rawness.”

Featuring the likes of Simon Gibson, Tim Byron, Stewart Cahn, Simon Holmes, Jadey O’Regan, Shane Angus and Darren “Fudd” Ryan on board for the musical journey!

Long-noted for the forensic detail embedded in his songs, on Cites of Spinifex Gibson takes this even a step further, naming names and delving into personal history. He again Investigates various shades of the Australian experience, telling stories in a voice that is as distinct as it is universal. Loves, lives and loss …the cities and towns and spinifex grass and the black miles of bitumen road linking them all.


Cities Of Spinifex track-listing:

1. Trivia Night
2. Roadkill and Roadhouses
3. Indian-Pacific
4. The Torn Apart Town
5. Western Circus Waltz
6. Beautiful Era
7. Dead Europe (Need to Go Home)
8. Hey Southerly Buster!
9. The Yagan Monster
10. Belanglo, Byron and the Road Between

When Peter Garrett ‘signed’ my book

As a young lad growing up in Bondi in the late ’70s / early ’80s I was massively influenced by Midnight Oil. At some point in early high school my best mate Fordy had given me a double-sided cassette with Head Injuries on one side and Place Without a Postcard on the other. And as I sat there on those coastal nights, wondering about the big wide world outside, I listened obsessively to those albums and I felt my mind … changing. I felt my whole view of Australia … changing. I felt myself … changing.


Having grown up in a family where my dad was a big band leader, I was well-versed in music, but here was a band actually talking about THINGS I KNEW. They were talking about the great mythical “long coast road” of my surfing dreams, they were talking about Lismore in the night, they were talking about frangipani and ocean-sky-blue and “the promise of a swell or a girl”. This was a real revelation to me; it fired my adolescent imagination so much and inspired me to begin my own writing. The Oils gave me the key to suddenly realising I didn’t need to be American or English to be valid – it was possible to be Australian and write/talk about Australian things and give them due credit.

So thus I began writing my own words and ideas and lyrics, at some point getting involved with bands and playing salty beer-baked venues around the place. That evolved and developed and concurrently with the band stuff I began to turn my attention towards that most uncool of artforms – poetry. I ended up initially publishing two poetry books and then began looking at a third, around the early 2000s. As I unashamedly admit that my writing began in a large part due to Midnight Oil, I thought it would be a great idea to see if I could get Peter Garrett to write a “cover line” on the book – like give me a quote that would go on the front.

Having connections deep in the Labor Party, with PG by now being the Federal Member of Kingsford-Smith, I was able to pull a few strings and get the manuscript of the poetry book to him. Then I got word that he enjoyed it and would like to meet me! Oh god. Are you kidding me?!?!? I couldn’t believe it, but soon found myself trekking out to Maroubra Junction one steamy afternoon … going to MEET PETER BLOODY GARRETT! My 13-year-old self would have died at the very thought.

And so I went up to his (pretty crappy) office, knocked on the frost-glass door, and then walked in as his secretary beckoned. She asked me to take a seat in the waiting room while “Peter” just finished a phone call. I think I was actually shaking. As I sat there, I could hear a voice coming through the thin wooden walls. It was the man himself, talking on the phone. I was so bloody nervous, mainly because here was a true hero of mine and I feared I would speak absolute gibberish in front of him.

Then, before I could really think too much more, I heard a shuffling of feet in the next room and the door swung open. That massive frame with the massively familiar head filled the doorway and he enthusiastically called, “Come on in Adam!” and he swung out his hand to shake mine

Oh shit, he knows my name and wants to shake my hand!

So I walked in and just felt like a bloody goose, so nervous and my mind a blank. His first words as we sat down were, “So tell me about the book.” And I am sure what followed was about 20 minutes of absolute blabber … I just rambled on and on and on … and all the while, Garrett sat leaning back with his hand held under his chin, those intense blue eyes just bloody well piercing right through me and those deep lines in his cheeks looking like the terrifying depths of Hades; he fixed me with an unmoving stare that seriously was the most intimidating thing I have ever seen. I was a mess, I was a gibbering fool, I was a metal wreck for cats to sleep in…

He was completely still, he did not move a single muscle as I just hung myself out to dry with what I was sure was nonsensical banter… But then, when I suddenly gained the insight to shut the fk up, he remained completely still, seemed to look even deeper through me … and then leapt forward to say “I LOVE THE BOOK! REALLY GREAT STUFF! LOVED EVERY WORD! Etc etc etc”

Oh my god. Seriously. He told me he loved the poems and really enjoyed reading the manuscript. He was more than happy to flick me a cover quote, of course, he said, and then we went on to talk for about an hour about writing about Australian subject matter, about how important such stuff was, which led to him mentioning when he was “in the band” it’s something they always tried to do etc etc. Wow wow. WOW. He was completely friendly and totally encouraging. I took my leave with another hearty handshake and walked out of there floating on a cloud
A day later, his secretary emailed me the quote that went on to grace the cover of the book – “Adam writes from the heart, from the street – ripper real words that are well worth checking out.”

I’ll take that, no worries!