Adam Gibson is a Sydney writer, performer, lyricist, musician, journalist and artist whose work covers music, songs, spoken word storytelling, installation art, performance works, sculpting, video work, painting and photography… It is fundamentally “Australian landscape-based”, being influenced by the land and travel and the sense of being “in” and/or part of different environments, and the stories of the people who inhabit such land, with Australian stories and language and vernacular turn of phrase being very important.
He performs regularly with his band The Aerial Maps, after several years playing with The Ark-Ark Birds, that band having released their second album, ‘Cities of Spinifex’ in 2017. This followed on from the 2015 album ‘Australia Restless’ and two albums with The Aerial Maps, plus earlier releases with Modern Giant.
A new Aerial Maps album will be released in late 2019 or early 2020, while a compilation of Adam’s work will be released hopefully in late 2019 also, due to be released by Coolin’ By Sounds records. Very exciting.
Adam has performed and/or exhibited in many venues, galleries and spaces around Australia, China and Finland and was twice an artist in residence at the Arteles Creative Center in Finland. His first novel manuscript was shortlisted for the Australian-Vogel Award, he has published three books of poetry, and the Aerial Maps’ first album won the 2010 Overland Poetry Festival Best Spoken Word Release, 2005-2010. He likes raging and long walks on moonlit beaches. And surfing. Blah blah blah. Etc.
Today is gonna be the day that we reveal some great news. I don’t believe that anybody feels the way I do about this now (other than my fellow Aerial Maps) … You see, if I could talk (to you in person) I’d tell you how great this news is and that’s cos I know a place that we can go, that’s safe and warm and whilst I’m a big fan of the Great Indoors, on December 7th this year, that place is actually *outdoors* at the Berry Showgrounds … where the Aerial Maps are once again stoked to have been asked to play Australia’s best music festival, Fairgrounds.
The cryptic allusions above of course (rather clumsily) point to the fact that Liam Gallagher and the Lemonheads are but two of the many great acts also on the bill. We don’t know Liam personally (yet) but there are many cross-reference connections in the Maps to the Lemonheads, and what with the Sticker Club (Nic Dalton, Alison Galloway et al) also on the bill, the backstage fun could reach “peak Fairgrounds”. We may even let Liam and co. in on the fun. Kasey Chambers and the folks from Dope Lemon may even join us. Who knows?!? Who could forget last year’s memorable hangs with Billy Bragg and The Breeders?
Anyway. Hope to see some of you there. It’s the best day of the year, I promise, so try to get there when myself, Alannah Russack, Simon Gibson, Peter V Fenton Mark Hyland and (possibly) Safari Lee open proceedings as the Aerial Maps. It’s billed as “Adam Gibson & The Aerial Maps” but of course it’s a collective affair and I can’t do a thing without those guys, if you know what I mean.
Good things are ahead, time is unfolding in ways we didn’t foresee, but onward we go. Come along with us.
Adam recorded a cool interview with Melbourne poet, writer, raconteur, Sean M Whelan for his podcast, ‘More Than a Whelan’… Have a listen.
We have started recording what will hopefully be a new Aerial Maps album. No further details are available as yet (!) but it’s so far sounding really good.
It’s fun and funny. Been recording at Damien Gerard Studio once more, the place where we recorded all the previous Aerial Maps and Ark-Ark Birds stuff.
More details soon.
A new year begins. This one with a statement of intent. The Aerial Maps, going out to the world. New songs, new record. A vision of Australia, the landscape that exists within and without. The world in the grain of sand on your ankle after a beach swim. The world in a desert plain, onward towards red dust and further to blue sea. Australia written in our heart, a Great Dividing Range within our personal hinterlands, a fine-grain, deep-hued sense of something greater. Something bigger and more important. Love and other scandals, love and other pairs of leather sandals. Love and the intimate connection of a face within a season and within a certain light, the certain angle of sun that carves everything in a certain way, that brings forth the well-spring of possibilities. A Great Artesian Basin of spirit, a water diviner walking over dry land with an implement that can detect the cool, fresh water moving as a metaphor for meaning beneath rocks and hard hard dry dry crusted land. The river beds have been dry for many years but are ready, always ready, to fill to the brim when given the chance. An example of love, the hinterland in which our dreams reside. I feel it, I believe it. I feel the area being mapped, I feel the sense of new beginnings and wider possibilities, contained within word and song, within chords and choruses. It’s brewing. There’s no time to waste and not time to wait. A statement of intent. The Aerial Maps, I can feel it.
In 1986 (yes, that long ago), my brother Simon and I read a review of an emerging singer’s new record, describing him as “the acoustic Clash”. Whether a pertinent epithet or not, being Clash devotees, we raced out to buy the record that day. That record was Billy Bragg’s ‘Talking With the Taxman About Poetry”, and Billy instantly became a full-scale favourite. We subsequently devoured his every album and tour, learning every word of every song and being completely devoted fans. His overt political leanings in turn inspired similar leanings in us; decidedly left-wing but also, most importantly, helping me develop my own “socialism of the heart”, a motto I live by to this day. Also importantly, what I loved about Billy was that he sung in his own broad East London accent, about things he saw in his own world. Basically, for three decades, Billy has been an absolute hero of mine and has inspired me to write and perform in my own manner, in a way that has felt right for me, speaking in my own accent too and not being ashamed of that. So, yes, three decades ago, Billy changed my life – and now, 32 years later, wow, guess what? I’m very excited to say that myself and the Aerial Maps are going join Billy on the bill of this year’s Fairgrounds Festival. Stunned and stoked. A dream come true in the very purest sense. I’ve never met the great man, but intend to have a beer with him at some stage during the festival – I will try to form coherent sentences. Oh and the Breeders are on too. And Courtney Barnett. As my dad would’ve said, “Christ almighty!” The way life works hey??? Buy tix here: https://bit.ly/2nxwDYe
“The Aerial Maps are surely headed for that esteemed space occupied by Australia’s finest – those whose music IS Australia.”
– Drum Media, Sydney
“The Aerial Maps are poised to become one of the most valuable bands in the country.”
– Inpress, Melbourne
“There is no other Aussie act quite like The Aerial Maps.”
– Jeff Jenkins, MAG
After a hiatus of six or so years, The Aerial Maps are making a return to the live arena, bringing our blend of story and song to life once more. After a fair bit of tumult and lots of changes for the Maps, the epic Brisbane band Halfway has invited us to support them on their album launch tour, and Adam Gibson has decided that it is indeed time to reignite things … to once again take audiences on long lyrical journeys across the land, through small forgotten towns, past desert landscapes, empty beaches and into the great distance of Australia and beyond.
With 2018 marking the 10th anniversary of the release of our debut album, ‘In the Blinding Sunlight’, and following the loss of our much-loved comrade Simon Holmes last year, Adam felt the time was right to now re-spark the Maps after two albums with offshoot band, The Ark-Ark Birds. In essence, we wish to offer a new view, a different take, a path to something truly unique, live onstage, beginning with two shows with Halfway in August and September, in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
First gig, the Triffid in Brisbane on August 11. (With Halfway and Leichhardt)
Second gig, the Sly Fox in Sydney on August 17. (With Halfway and Hoolahan).
Third gig is a “solo” affair, featuring Adam Gibson, Alannah Russack and Peter Fenton at the fantastic Merri Creek Tavern, in Melbourne.
Forth gig, the Spotted Mallard in Brisbane on September 15. (With Halfway, Cold Irons Bound, Harley Young).
Full dates are here:
Saturday, August 11
The Triffid, Brisbane
Halfway with special guests The Aerial Maps, plus Leichhardt
Friday, August 17
The Sly Fox, Sydney
Halfway, with special guests The Aerial Maps, plus Hoolahan
Friday, September 14
The Merri Creek Tavern, Melbourne
Adam Gibson – (The Aerial Maps, solo)
Alannah Russack (Hummingbirds, solo)
Peter Fenton (Crow, solo)
Saturday, September 15
The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne
Halfway, with special guests The Aerial Maps, plus Cold Irons Bound, Harley Young