2017...the year that was...and yes I have Sinatra's ''It Was a Very Good Year'' going through my head. Actually, it had its ups and downs but I'll focus only on the ultra good, in no particular chronology.
My musical year started with a performance with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra as my backing band at The Tivoli. in Brisbane. We played my most recent album “Lost Cities” in its entirety, as well as a selection of material I did for the “Last Cab to Darwin” soundtrack, plus earlier solo and Laughing Clowns tunes. “Ghost Gum” and “Collapse Board” were real high points for me.
Richard Davis conducted and made the transition from the garage to the concert hall for me not only possible but an enjoyable experience. Robert Davidson did the orchestral arrangements and brought the songs to life in a context I'd often dreamed about doing but hadn't actually heard.
Richard Wenn put the whole thing together. It would not have happened without him. His enthusiasm for bypassing the “greatest hits” approach and general tenacity made it work. Thank you, Richard.
We did the show again in Cairns a little while later, this time with a slightly trimmed-back orchestra (even flat-stacking them, there are only so many orchestral musicians that fit into the back of my ute.)
This was also great and quite different due to the smaller orchestra. The whole thing has been a great learning curve for me. Thanks, one and all.
The next thing I went on to do was what was announced as my last ‘’Solo and By Request'' tour, this time taking in all those out of the way and rural places I don't get to that often. The idea for these shows started in 2013.
Bob Dylan once said: “I should have never been successful: I was a fluke” In other words: Music that I write and perform, historically speaking, has never had mass appeal, he explained.
I have to agree with that; art that is intelligent, at times challenging and thoughtful does not generally have mass appeal (with a few exceptions.) KISS, One Direction and The Eagles have all sold mega tonnes of albums. delivered in massive crates (along with packs of Cornflakes) to mega stores, and still play sold-out arenas. Meanwhile, artists like Ed Kuepper are down the road performing in small clubs, releasing music on their own labels and playing in intimate settings to refined music geeks and fans who like to think about their music.
It was tiny clubs where you could go to see Coltrane, Mingus or, on another level, Dave Van Ronk. It is perfect that we can see Ed in these venues.
The Camelot Lounge is quite a special place. It is a decent live venue in Sydney. So much care and thought has placed into this venue, which also includes the downstairs Django Bar.
It’s like a well-manicured museum - right down to the camel obsession and the food announcements that mimic RSL clubland bingo calls.
“No 67 your pizza ready and that rhymes with heaven” is quaint, and annoying at the same time: that said the booze is a good price. Places like this are truly a godsend.
The Exploding Universe of Ed Kuepper+ DC CrossBlue Mountains Theatre, Springwood, NSWSaturday, 2 September 2023 Photos: Vic Zubakin / Look Sharp Photography
Ed Kuepper is a deep thinker.I imagine he puts a lot of time into considering his next detour, which is usually unpredictable and highly creative.
Ed annually tours with a re-invention of something from his past. Tonight, he’ll show off this year’s model - and add another chapter to his almost five-decade-long career.
The post lockdown tours of 2021- 22 with The Dirty Three’s Jim White were notable for re-invention. Those shows were dark and adventurous, exploring some obscure tracks and well as better-known Laughing Clowns material. The performances were all about atmosphere, and full of light and shade.
Prior to that, we had The Aints! tours, with Ed re-staking his claim to his roots in proto-punk, while giving a nod to Crazy Horse.
Ed Kuepper. Photo by Richard Sharman of Blackshadow Photography.
Posted October 29, 2008: If the thought of re-convening the classic mid-'70s Saints line-up presents more problems than formulating a lasting Middle Eastern peace plan, the organisers of the All Tomorrow's Parties festival series must be among international diplomacy's canniest operators.
The improbable becomes reality in January 2009 when ATP establishes an Australian beachhead, with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds curating and the Saints a feature act.
Yes, you read right. The Saints. Not any old Saints or even The Aints. The Kuepper-Bailey Saints, fercrissake, will be part of a varied and eclectic line-up over three locations and four days.
The forever prolific Ed Kuepper is celebrating 45 years as a recording artist with three retrospective releases spanning a large chunk of his post-Saints musical output.
“Ed Kuepper - Singles ’86 ‘ ’96” will compile every solo A side from that period on vinyl and CDs, the latter format featuring a bonus disc of B sides and obscurities. Surprisingly, it’s Kuepper’s first collection of 45s and CD singles.
“Golden Days // When Giants Walked the Earth” will be a vinyl collection of Kuepper’s immediate post-Saints band, Laughing Clowns, who pushed the boundaries not just of conventional music but of the post-punk world. The classic “Eternally Yours” is included, as are the equally worthy “Everything That Flies”, “Holy Joe” and more.
“The Aints! Live at The Bowlo” will be a vinyl version of the 2018 show by Kuepper’s Saints-inspired The Aints!only previously available in digital format.
Saints co-founder and leader of the Laughing Clowns and The Aints!, Ed Kuepper, is teaming with Jim White, the brilliant drummer of renowned instrumentalists Dirty Three and revered '80s-90s post-punks Venom P Stinger, for an Australian tour in May, June and July.
The pair will reprise classics from Kuepper's stellar 45-year career in a multi-state tour that includes a stop-off at the Sydney Opera House.
The shows will coincide with a trio of retrospective releasesfrom Kuepper covering his solo years, Laughing Clowns and The Aints! All titles will be released in limited amounts, on coloured vinyl, and with select CD issues also.
Ed Kuepper and Jim WhiteMAY25 - Castlemaine, Bridge Hotel26 - Melbourne Rising, Comedy Theatre28 - Meeniyan Town Hall29 - Macedon HotelJUNE4 - Cairns, Tanks Arts Centre5 - Sunshine Coast, Imperial Hotel6 - Gold Coast, Miami Marketta10 - Newcastle, Lizottes11 - Wyong The Arthouse12 - Blue Mountains Theatre13 - Sydney Opera Houuse Studio (matinee and evening shows)6 - Eltham Hotel (SOLD OUT)17 - Brisbane, Triffid24 - Canberra, The Street27 - Adelaide, The GovJULY3 - Fremantle Social ClubAll shows on-sale now via edkuepper.com
Saints and Laughing Clowns elder statesman Ed Kuepper is backing an extensive re-issue campaign of his solo back catalogue with a series of Australian shows under the moniker, “The Exploding World of Ed Kuepper".
Kuepper will be joined by the all;-star band of Mark Dawson on drums, ex-Sunnyboys bassist Peter Oxley, pianist Alister Spence and brass maestro Eamon Dilworth for a run through seven states and territories.
The Exploding Universe will tackle the best of “Electrical Storm” and “Honey Steel’s Gold”, the iconic Kuepper solo records being re-issued in re-mastered form in all formats right now by Remote Control label. All shows are fully seated and on sale now.
Richard Sharman photo.
The label "Elder Statesman" doesn’t do Ed Kuepper justice. His career started in 1973 and spans the Saints, Laughing Clowns, The Aints! and scores of bands bearing his own name. His solo work explores a wide range of musical styles, including punk (whatever that is), folk, rock, blues, and jazz.
His landmark solo records, "Electrical Storm” (notably his first) and "Honey Steel's Gold" (his break-out effort) were recently re-mastered and re-issued. Sounds like a good excuse for an Australian tour, not to mention an interview at the hands of Robert Brokenmouth. Here’s how it played out.