Australian Tour June 2013
Australian shows have been announced for June and should be featuring special guest support slots by the great Louis Tillett in Melbourne and Sydney (and possibly Adelaide too).
||Memo Theatre, St. Kilda|
|June 22||Adelaide||The Wheatsheaf, Thebarton|
|June 23||Adelaide||The Wheatsheaf, Thebarton|
|June 27||Sydney||The Camelot Lounge, Marrickville|
Mick will be making a special appearance at the Spiegeltent series "The Story So Far" on April 8th.
European Tour May 2013
||ATP Alexandra Palace (Gainsbourg set)|
After a year of great variety* and since returning to Melbourne in late October after a successful tour of Europe, Mick is finally getting back to working on new material for his next album, and is preparing material with Sophia Brous for her debut album to be recorded early in 2013. Special appearances have been set up for Einstürzende Neubauten's February shows in Australia, and there is also a chance Mick may make guest appearances with the reformed Crime and the City Solution, as their and Neubauten's dates intertwine around the country. Additionally there are 3 shows set up for New Zealand in late March - Mick's first solo excursion across the Tasman. Mick will be joined on the Einstürzende Neubauten shows and in New Zealand by Rosie Westbrook on double bass and JP Shilo on guitar and violin.
2012 saw the release of Bambi Lee Savage's 'Darkness Overshadowed' produced by Mick and featuring Rosie Westbrook on double bass and James Cruickshank (The Cruel Sea) on guitars and keyboards. Recorded in late 2011 at Atlantis with David McCluney it is a collection of beautiful mood pieces with a bite to them and well worth checking out. Available through Amazon and iTunes.
Clare Bowditch also released her new album in September on which Mick played bass on most of the basic tracks with Clare on piano/guitar and Marty Brown (the producer) on drums in their Coburg studio in early 2012.
* Various other one-off activities during 2012 included -
Einstürzende Neubauten Support
|February 19th||Melbourne||Palace Theatre|
|February 22rd||Sydney||Enmore Theatre|
Possibly guesting with Crime & the City Solution
|February 18th||Melbourne||The Hi-Fi|
|February 21st||Sydney||The Hi-Fi|
|February 24th||Brisbane||The Hi-Fi|
New Zealand Tour
|March 21st||Wellington||Mighty Mighty Bar|
(Updated 30 September)
Having spent the better part of 2011 committed to PJ Harvey’s ‘Let England Shake’ concerts, Mick is looking forward to dedicating himself to playing more shows in support of his own 2011 album ‘Sketches from the Book of the Dead’. To this end he has already played a run of shows in Australia during March and booked a series of concerts in Europe for September/October. The current list of confirmed dates looks like this -
|13.||Oslo, Norway||Cafe Mono|
|16.||Oslo, Norway||Emmanuel Vigeland Mausoleum|
|18.||Götebog, Sweden||Stora Teatern|
|19.||Helsinki, Finland||Kuddes Linja|
|21.||Copenhagen, Denmark||Lille Vega|
|12.||Palermo, Italy||Zsa Zsa Mon Amour|
|22.||Zagreb, Croatia||NKC Park|
|23.||Belgrade, Serbia||KC Rex|
|27.||Milan, Italy||Dal Verme Teatro|
The Journey is Long - The Jeffery Lee Pierce Sessions Project
Mick played and produced two songs under his own name and another as a member of The Amber Lights for the recent JLP Sessions Project album. Released in April 2012, the album features tracks by other luminaries such as Mark Lanegan, Debbie Harry, Barry Adamson, Nick Cave, Lydia Lunch and Bertrand Cantat. Mick was accompanied on his tracks by the redoubtable JP Shilo.
Having spent the better part of 2011 committed to PJ Harvey’s ‘Let England Shake’ concerts, Mick is looking forward to dedicating himself to playing more shows in support of his own 2011 album ‘Sketches from the Book of the Dead’. To this end he has booked a series of dates in Australia for March, finally following up the launch shows he played in Melbourne and Sydney last May and the one-offs late in the year in Brisbane, Fremantle and at the Queenscliff Music Festival.
A run of shows is also envisaged for Europe in September/October where it is hoped to play concerts for the first time in Scandinavia, Portugal, France (ex-Paris) and Siciliy.
The Australian shows in March kick off with two nights at The Spiegeltent in Melbourne and culminate with a run of shows in NSW at a “Remote Spaces” performance somewhere near Narrandera.
Mick Harvey - Solo Shows
|March 14th||Kincumber (NSW)||Lizotte's|
|March 17th||Narrandera (NSW)||Remote Spaces|
Mick Harvey - Solo Shows
|December 6th||Fremantle||Fly By Night|
|January 21st||Hobart||MONA Festival Afterhours|
PJ Harvey Dates
|January 13th||Perth||Concert Hall|
|January 15th||Melbourne||Regent Theatre|
|January 16th||Melbourne||Regent Theatre|
|January 18th||Sydney||State Theatre|
|January 19th||Sydney||State Theatre|
|January 21st||Hobart||MONA Festival|
Mick will be performing in a number of Australian cities over the next few months - view the dates.
Available now from:
'Sketches From The Book Of The Dead' was released 2nd May 2011.
When you leave, when you're gone, you think about what it means. How it feels, how it is to lose what you want to keep close. When Mick Harvey left the Bad Seeds, he didn't think of Nick, and his band mates. He didn't think of the quarter-century he was putting behind him either. Instead, he thought about all those souls that had departed his world fully; of the lives that had ended; of the things that he really wanted to say – in his own way, in his own words, for the first time.
Sketches From The Book Of The Dead is Mick Harvey's first fully self-penned album; a first (and possibly last) step into his own deep, private world.
Harvey has always thought of himself primarily as a collaborator. Outside the Bad Seeds, and his own solo albums, which have predominantly contained interpretations of other people’s songs, he works on projects both low and high profile. On the one hand producing albums by new bands such as The Nearly Brothers, playing concerts and recording with Rowland S. Howard, his old comrade from The Birthday Party and on the other, writing film soundtracks or coming to Britain to record with PJ Harvey on her acclaimed new LP, ‘Let England Shake’.
In early 2007 Harvey had begun writing songs about some of the stories and memories he had of people close to him he had lost. It was just 3 or 4 songs but he knew there was the germ of an idea he cared about in there. Throughout 2009 yet more of Harvey’s old friends and comrades checked out prematurely, culminating with Rowland S. Howard’s demise at the end of the year, and Harvey found himself thinking even more about what it all meant and writing more songs for what was now a fully focused project. He thought about the relationships you still have with people after they are gone. How different experiences bring back different memories and emotions; how scraps of information and feelings are what you take with you, and live with.
In August 2010, after finishing work with Polly Harvey, he returned to Australia. With three empty months ahead of him, he knew it was time to complete the assignment, finish the songs he had started and seal his tributes properly.
The project wasn't about catharsis, he says. Nor was it influenced by the music he had just produced in England, although he saw the odd parallels between his work and Polly's, steeped as it was in ideas of identity and loss. Instead, it was an attempt to write about things that are often left unsaid, a personal endeavour to sketch the faint shapes of lost friends and family. To describe what’s left behind, not what has gone before. It wasn't a compulsion either; unlike other songwriters Harvey has known, he says he is not driven to quench the same demons that they are. But as he wrote, he remembered the great traditions of song stories – in folk music, in the blues, in the dark country of Johnny Cash – and knew that his songs had to carve their own forms. To set out not only the narrative but the experience beyond it, into an amorphous world of what remains after the story - that which lives on within us.
‘October Boy’ tells of a friend “born a little pointed...with a witty tongue”, who “wrenched and tortured” his guitar, and who asked Harvey to write a song for him. ‘The Ballad Of Jay Givens’ describes the chasm caused by missing information and lack of closure - “Jay Givens took a shotgun so his story can’t be told.”.
‘Frankie T and Frankie C’ talks of love turned to tragedy through misfortune and ‘That's All Paul’ of “a stupid, useless end” caused by “a moment's pointless game”; ‘Rhymeless’ sings the songs that parents never sang to their little ones, destined instead to be “ghosts at the end of their beds”.
The whole, however, is shot through with the recognition of our living presence. From the voices of those who are just still with us in ‘Famous Last Words’ through the haunting ‘How Would I Leave You?’ in which the protagonist ponders what will be left behind at his passing. Of not wanting to leave in any season but confidently leaving those behind with the summer's sunshine, the autumn's colours, and the springtime flowers for comfort. A song imbued with the sadness of the inevitable but sending out hope and a wish for the will to carry on.
And then we hear Harvey, alone at last in ‘Two Paintings’ as he visits a house from his past, his car loaded up with the possessions of the former inhabitants -
“There was nothing left to see there”, he sings, “That gave me any sense/Of what once was, so I took your things/Back to the present tense.”
A present tense we all occupy with the memories of those who have departed.
This is an album containing an extraordinary investigation into a rarely scrutinized area of the human condition. Harvey has excelled himself and made a truly unique work to go alongside so much of what he has already achieved in his 30 years of musical creativity.
Touring with PJ Harvey.
Solo - 2010 onwards
Writing for 3 (three) albums is underway and research being undertaken for a documentary proposal.
PJ Harvey Album - 2010
The new PJ Harvey album, co-produced by Mick, is awaiting release in the first half of 2011. Mick will be joining PJ on the tour dates to promote the album.
Releases - October 2009
'Pop Crimes', Rowland S. Howard's new album featuring Mick on drums is now available through Liberation Records in Australia. The Mick Harvey produced album by Mark Snarski's new band The Nearly Brothers is looking for a home and/or an outlet. The next Brian Hooper album, also produced by Mick, should be out soon.
Mick Leaves Bad Seeds - January 2009
The rumours that have been circulating are true, Mick has decided after 25 years to discontinue his involvement with Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. More information and comment will emerge soon.
Two Of Diamonds was released in 2007
Celebrated Australian musician Mick Harvey returns with his second enthralling 'solo' album, Two Of Diamonds.
Encouraged by the very positive critical acclaim and the audience reaction to the live shows for his 2005 LP One Man's Treasure, Harvey has created a further wonderful collection of classic songs. For the eagerly awaited Two Of Diamonds, the redoubtable Mick Harvey is this time accompanied by his solo band, featuring Rosie Westbrook (double bass) and fellow Bad Seeds' James Johnston (organ and guitar) and Thomas Wydler (drums). Guest musicians on two tracks also include Rob Ellis from P.J. Harvey's band (piano/drums), who has also toured with Mick, and Julitha Ryan (piano) from Melbourne instrumental band Silver Ray.
Two Of Diamonds, mostly recorded at Harvey's Grace Lane studio and Atlantis Studios, Melbourne, features an eclectic collection of songs which Harvey has chosen to interoperate in his own distinctive and emotive style. Some are original Harvey compositions (the dream-like 'Blue Arrows' and the graceful 'Little Star'), and, as with ‘One Man’s Treasure’ these are combined with more obscure classics, sometimes stemming from the pens of well known enigmatic songwriters. What once again unites this timeless material is Mick Harvey's deeply personal connection with every song included on Two Of Diamonds. The recorded interpretive work of Nina Simone and Johnny Cash, two of Mick Harvey's favourite artists, still inspire him to grasp the essence of his elected material and make it his own. "With the first album, I thought I'd see how comfortable it felt and if I liked what was going on," Harvey reflects. "I enjoyed it and the live shows have become really strong over time. I didn't want ‘One Man's Treasure’ to be a one off. I thought that if I did one record, I'd do a few. To make it something I was going to be doing for a while, for five years or so, to be something I'd follow through with and make substantial. The thing with any undertaking like this is that you grow into it. With the first album I was feeling my way somewhat and now I'm feeling more comfortable in this role. With the songs I'm just trying to find a point of view in there to convey ideas and feelings.... elemental stuff."
Some of these songs refer directly to Mick Harvey's past and the Australian musicians that have inspired him. "If I'm digging around, looking for material to use, that's very often where I'll find things that I'm interested in doing something with," states Harvey. "There is a lot of stuff there that is usable, because it is so unknown outside of Australia." 'Sad Dark Eyes' was originally recorded by the mid 1960's Australian group, The Loved Ones. The group were formed as an answer to the wave of 'British Invasion' bands of the period, proving that Australian bands could match either British or American groups for raw, emotional garage rock 'n' roll. 'Sad Dark Eyes' was also often covered live by Harvey and Nick Cave's incendiary blues punk band of the early 1980's, The Birthday Party.
The reflective song 'Photograph' is by Chris Bailey, of the seminal Brisbane punk band The Saints. It was featured on their 1984 LP, A Little Madness To Be Free. Harvey has often spoken of his abiding love of The Saints and how inspirational the Australian group were in late 1970's. Bailey, in turn, was a featured singer on the 2003 Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds single, 'Bring It On'. Harvey effortlessly captures the desperation and yearning at the core of Bailey's song, recorded at The Instrument, London in October 2006.
The compelling 'Everything Is Fixed' is from unreleased demo recordings by the late, great David McComb, formerly of the legendary 1980's Australian band The Triffids, recorded for his last solo LP. Harvey dramatically performs McComb's tale of a date with predestination in the jailhouse while sensitively backed every step of the way by Westbrook, Johnston and Rob Ellis on drums.
Another Australian musician Mick Harvey salutes is James Cruickshank of The Cruel Sea. Harvey chooses to play 'No Doubt', a song featured on Cruickshank's recent Hymn For Her solo album. Harvey captures the beauty of this ode to new found love and creates an incredibly uplifting popular song.
With the track 'Home Is Far From Here', Harvey references Crime And The City Solution, the band he formed in the mid 1980's and with whom he recorded six LP's until the group disbanded in 1991. This moving track was the closing number on the 1988 The Crime And The City Solution album, Shine.
Mick Harvey has worked extensively with English singer songwriter P.J. Harvey throughout the past 12 years and was a featured player on P.J. Harvey's albums To Bring You My Love (1995) and Is This Desire? (1998). In 2000 he co-produced P.J. Harvey's Mercury Music Prize winning LP, Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. On Two Of Diamonds, Mick pays tribute to P.J Harvey with a haunting rendition of her previously unreleased hypnotic love/lust song, 'Slow-Motion-Movie-Star.'
"A large percentage of the songs I end up playing are ones that my friends have written.” admits Harvey. “And this provides another level on which the performance of the songs is a really personal undertaking for me."
Other songs on Two Of Diamonds point towards Mick Harvey's American musical influences. Harvey's brooding take on 'I Don't Want You On My Mind' was written by soul legend Bill Withers and his beautiful rendition of 'Here I Am' by Emmylou Harris, featured on her 2003 LP Stumble Into Grace. The exciting and melodramatic 'Walk On The Wildside', was originally composed for the 1962 feature film adaptation of Nelson Algren's novel by Elmer Bernstein, with lyrics by Mack David, and performed by Brook Benton. "That's where the personal history comes in because it's always been an enormous frustration to me that the song is not on the soundtrack album," says Harvey. "I had to watch the film again to figure out the song. And then I added some lyrics. I think with every one of these songs on Two Of Diamonds, although there is probably an exception, I've added lyrics or changed lyrics. That's part of the process for me. I'm not really a 'cover versions man', where you do it all dutifully and perform an exact rendition. When I get to a part of a song that I don't think is right for me, I'll change it. You have to make it YOUR version. It also relates to the way old folk and blues songs used to evolve over time and would have different verses added or lost through the years. I’d like to think my approach is part of that tradition"
Mick Harvey's entry into the spotlight is not unexpected. Since the late 1970's, he has enjoyed a highly successful career as a musical collaborator with singer/songwriter Nick Cave. Through their bands The Boys Next Door, the explosive The Birthday Party, the formation of Cave's Bad Seeds, right up to 2004's triumphal two CD set Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus, Harvey has provided invaluable assistance in helping realise Cave's vision on stage and record.
Concurrently with his work in Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds and Crime And The City Solution, over the past 23 years Mick Harvey has always made time to forge his own creative path. Harvey played drums, guitar and backing vocals on Conway Savage's eponymous first EP, then produced and played on two albums by chanteuse Anita Lane, Dirty Pearl (1993) and Sex O'clock (2001). In 1992 he produced Once Upon A Time's LP In The Blink Of An Eye and the following year, with Ed Clayton-Jones, Harvey created music for an Australian theatrical production of Nick Cave's novel, And The Ass Saw The Angel.
In the mid 1990's Mick Harvey also produced, arranged, translated, played and sang two albums of songs by the magnificent French songwriter, Serge Gainsbourg - Intoxicated Man (1995) and Pink Elephants (1997). These records were acclaimed by all who heard them, including Gainsbourg's muse, partner and musical collaborator, Jane Birkin. Harvey's up tempo version of the French band Mano Negra's 'Out Of Time Man', featured on Two Of Diamonds, echoes the invigorating pop of Intoxicated Man and Pink Elephants.
Together with Cave and fellow founder Bad Seed Blixa Bargeld, Harvey scored two John Hillcoat films, Ghost Of The Civil Dead (1988) and To Have And To Hold (1996). He would also release a compilation of his other film scores from the 1980's, Alta Marea and Vaterland (1993). Harvey would later receive much critical praise for his scores for two Australian films, Andrew Dominik's Chopper (2000) and Paul Goldman's Australian Rules (2002). For Australian Rules, Harvey won Best Original Soundtrack for Film and Television at the prestigious Australian Recording Industry Association awards (ARIAS).
Since the release of One Man's Treasure in August 2005, Mick Harvey has released a second compilation CD of his film soundtrack work, Motion Picture Music '94-'05, in November 2006. He went on to write the score for Paul Goldman's 2006 film Suburban Mayhem, for which he garnered an Australian Film Institute award in December 2006. He also contributed music to Amy Berg's American documentary about the paedophile priest Father Oliver O'Grady, Deliver Us From Evil which was nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar at the 2007 Academy Awards. Last year, Harvey also co-ordinated the mixing and compiling of the best selling Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds four disc DVD/CD set, The Abattoir Blues Tour, released in January 2007. Harvey also found time to finish his extra-curricular "rock" record project. Collaborating with other songwriters, such as Tex Perkins, Harvey's band is called The Wallbangers and the EP is entitled, Kick The Drugs. During the summer of 2007 Mick Harvey will commence recording once again with Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds.
On Two Of Diamonds Mick Harvey seeks to bring the songs to their most emotionally powerful level. Two Of Diamonds is another Mick Harvey record passionately delivered straight from the heart. Harvey and his band will be presenting Two Of Diamond live throughout Europe from late April 2007. Play your cards right and be there.
Three Sisters - Live At Bush Hall
Exclusively by mail order from Mute Records.
Released in 2006, this compilation offers music from a wide spectrum of international productions including documentaries, short films and features.
From Australia: Lighting fires (1994), a documentary of Sydney-based painter Tim Storrier, directed by Geoff Bennett; Frank Hurley - The man who made history (2004), a documentary about the man who began his career with the film of the Shackleton expedition to Antarctica directed by Simon Nasht; Sparrow (1996), a short film by Australian director Polly Watkins; and the infamous Chopper (2000), directed by Andrew Dominic.
From Europe: Rien ne vas plus (2005), a German “photo film” by Katja Pratschke and Gusztav Hamos featured at the 2006 Venice film festival; Rosehill/rosenhügel/rozedomb (2002), a German-Hungarian feature, directed by Mari Cantu; and Go for gold (1997), a spanish-german production, directed by Lucian Segura.