You can’t imagine the joy it brings me to tell you I’ll be supporting Joe Pug and Courtney Marie Andrews when they appear in Newcastle next month. Joe is someone I have admired for years and his podcast The Working Songwriter in the last 18 months has been one of the biggest inspirations in my attempt at becoming a writer myself. His signature sign off ‘…Reverb is not a song,’ is stamped on my brain as the constant reminder that regardless of any hype, image marketing or production, if your songs aren’t good, the rest of it doesn’t matter. The added bonus of Courtney sharing the bill is just icing on the cake. Her album Honest Life has been on heavy rotation in our house, in the car and at my desk at work and is easily one of my favourite records of the past 12 months. It all goes down in one my favourite places in Newcastle, The Edwards Bar, and they have come up with a special dinner and show package just for the occasion. Follow the link below and secure your tickets to what will be a very special evening.


Last week I did a little Q&A with the good folk at Newcastle Mirage  Check it out.

Word on the street is that Ben Leece is playing with Dan Southward at The Stag & Hunter Hotel on June 23rd and we already love Dan so we were pretty confident we would love Ben too…

Tell us a little bit about yourself Ben?
Ben: I’m a confused kid from the bush singing sad honky songs. I’m a lover of classic funk & soul, Golden Era Hip Hop, rugby league and cats.

When did you start playing?
B: I’ve been playing like this for a long time but have probably only started taking it seriously in the last 12 months after my bands The Delta Lions and Hazards were put on the backburner. I’m also currently lucky enough to be playing guitar in Life.Love.Regret. for some reunion shows.

Who are your influences?
B: The spectrum is broad, but always The Replacements – The greatest rock and roll band to ever grace good Gods Earth.

Have you got any local favourite artists?
B: This town is a hive of the underrated. I’m eternally grateful for Maitland’s Tom Morgan and his contribution to those break-through Lemonheads records. Tori Forsyth is your new queen of Australian alt-country, roots and Americana – song writing well beyond her years and a stunning human to boot. Mark N is the greatest DJ I’ve ever witnessed, the things that man does with a 7” is other worldly.  And If Lachlan X Morris didn’t just release one of the finest pieces of art in Australian modern music I’m not here. Also, the entire Dashville collective is something to behold and Ill Natured and Paper Thin I really dig too.

There is a show coming up? 
B: Next show is the 23rd of June at The Stag with Dan Southward and Brock Henry and it will be a good time.

What should people expect?
B: Awkward banter, more than likely a Jason Isbell or Son Volt cover, a flannelette shirt, a denim jacket, Nikes, blue jeans and carefully parted slicked back hair.

What is next?
B: I’ve got a bunch of shows through July and August and hopefully, I can put some money together to attempt an album before the end of the year.

Catch Ben Leece June 23rd at The Stag & Hunter Hotel.