BIG NEWS: ‘Australia Restless’, the debut album by Adam Gibson and the Ark-Ark Birds, will be “released” officially on Friday, May 8. Oh yeah! Details of how/where to buy it will be on here shortly.
The “Australia Restless” Tour
Adam Gibson and The Ark-Ark Birds
“Adam Gibson’s work reminds me of the best films by David Caesar
(Mullet, Prime Mover); vernacular widescreen Australia with no gloss,
a sense of melancholy, a road well-travelled.”
– Chris Johnston, The Age
Having forged a unique path with his spoken/sung tales of Australian life and landscape over two acclaimed albums with The Aerial Maps (plus earlier outfit Modern Giant), Adam Gibson and his new band The Ark-Ark Birds are pleased to announce an Australian tour to herald the release of new album ‘Australia Restless’.
The first leg of the tour will hit Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, with Adam and the Ark-Ark Birds diving into the widescreen panorama of songs on “Australia Restless” plus some Aerial Maps and Modern Giant favourites. These are stories about of loves, lives and houses lost … of coastal nights and desert days, obscure towns linked by empty roads and the static of AM radio crackling through damaged car speakers.
The new album sees Adam chasing a true sense of Australia, trying to get under the country’s skin and tell a version of its story. “There’s a restlessness in the heart of many Australians; a need to move, to shift, to see different scenes, new horizons, better places,” says Adam. “Lured by the road or simply influenced by the great weight of our land, we strike out for sunlit fields, small town pubs, empty beaches, the black miles of bitumen. It’s an urge to feel the land, to know it. It’s a psychological yearning: I call it ‘Australia Restless’ … and I have it bad.”
Through his life and travels, Adam – who’s father Bob incidentally was the musical arranger of the iconic ‘Happy Little Vegemites’ tune – has sought to articulate this sense of Australia. In research for the writing of the Aerial Maps’ second album, Adam drove solo coast-to-coast across Australia and the earlier manuscript for his first novel was shortlisted for the Australian Vogel Award.
“Australia Restless” was co-written with his brother Simon Gibson and produced by former Hummingbirds main man Simon Holmes. With a full band featuring some of Sydney’s finest musos, Adam and The Ark-Ark Birds will launch the album in Brisbane at the Junk Bar on May 9, in Melbourne at the Yarra Hotel on May 16 and in Sydney at the Vanguard on May 17.
The Australia Restless Tour
The Junk Bar – Saturday, May 9 (supports TBA)
Yarra Hotel – Saturday, May 16 (Supported by the Danny Walsh Banned)
The Vanguard – Sunday, May 17 (supported by Mick Thomas)
Critical acclaim for Adam and/or The Aerial Maps
“Adam Gibson writes from the heart, from the street, about the place that moves him most. Ripper real words that are well worth checking out.”
– Peter Garrett
“[The Sunset Park] is so finely drawn that is like a screenplay for your mind …
an Australian classic. You must hear it.”
– Noel Mengel, Courier-Mail, Brisbane
“The Aerial Maps are surely headed for that esteemed space occupied by Australia’s finest – those whose music is Australia.”
–Justin Grey, Drum Media, Sydney
For media and other enquiries:
Graham Ashton @ Footstomp Music firstname.lastname@example.org
Still ironing out a few details, but my new album is still expected out soon. In the next coupla months. Stay tuned.
Tracks include ‘Australia Restless’, ‘Long Time Dead’, ‘Ode to a Cup of Tea’ and ‘The Years When Nobody Cared What You Did’ (the latter of which relates to the photo below – the years of Valiant car trips up the coast and a sense of Australian freedom which now seems curtailed).
’30 Days of Summer’
#1, Saigon Teapot
In Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) recently we found ourselves walking the hot streets in need of some refreshment. And so it was that we wended our way to a small roadside cafe that my brother Simon was familiar with in District 1, up near the Notre Dame church.
Serving up a no-nonsense menu of tear-your-head-off coffee (hot or on ice) and simple pots of tea, it was a cafe the likes of which is found all across Vietnam. A family operation with no-frills attached whatsoever. Tiny plastic stools on which to sit, the footpath beside the road being the dining area and service done with a swift, no-nonsense awareness that you just want a drink and not to find out how the barista’s latest film script is coming along.
On this particular day, I opted not to partake of a Vietnamese coffee (aka “an anxiety attack in a glass”) and just had a soft drink. However, the owner, a comely woman of about 60 who wore the fetching pyjama-like matching pant and top attire so beloved of women of her age throughout Vietnam, was insistant that I have a hot drink of some description. Thus I was served a small pot of steaming jasmine tea (in the 30 degree heat).
In the end, the tea went down a treat, but it was the teapot in which it was served that most caught my attention. A battered little silver/aluminium thing, god knows how long it had been knocking about at that cafe. Carrying the signs of age that no intentionally “distressed” item could, I imagined all the hands of all the people who had used it over the years. It could well have been there for 10, 20, god knows, 30 years. Who knows? It could have been there when Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese forces in ’75, the tanks busting through the gates of the Palace, as Neil Davis filmed inside. Who knew?
I didn’t. But what I did know was that, importantly, that teapot had a bloody great “pour”, ie. with the tilt of the pot, the contents felt perfectly balanced and out flowed a perfectly weighted stream of liquid. A physicist trying to invent a calculation for such a thing had nothing on the unknown maker of this little baby.
So, yes, I was very taken with it, and wondered aloud to Simon if I could buy it off the woman. Simon said she probably would sell it and I was more than prepared to pay a few thousand dong for it; it was a beauty. Anyway, I drunk my tea and briefly went to check out the next door clothes store.
Whilst inside, however, I saw Simon call the woman over. He held the teapot in his hand and appeared to be asking her in Vietnamese if she would sell it. The woman looked completely perplexed and it wasn’t because of any lack of proficiency in Simon’s Vietnamese… I later learnt that she couldn’t understand why the hell anyone would want a crappy old teapot that had been used in a roadside cafe for years and years. Such a concept was a mystery to her.
But anyway, a short while later I came back out to my plastic stool, whereupon I was presented with the object of my desire … the teapot. The woman had rinsed it, put it in a plastic bag, and was now handing it over to me. I tried to give her some money, but Simon said she wouldn’t hear of it. “You can have it for free,” she apparently said, or words to that effect.
So there we have it. I got my battered, scuffed and beaten up teapot (with the perfect pour). I brought it back to Bondi and, after a decent rinse, have been enjoying some pretty damn succulent cups of tea from it. And, thus, here it is…