On The Road Again

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Kicking off a national tour in his home state Queensland this week, Darren Hanlon talks to us about touring, his new EP and favourite venues in Melbourne

You’re known for playing gigs at less-traditional venues – on this tour you’ll be playing an RSL, a bowling club and a zoo. What’s the attraction of these places?
I prefer playing in more intimate settings, anywhere people can have a drink and get rowdy. I like it when the crowd can heckle, throw things, interact with the show. To me that’s more fun than playing a packed-out stadium.

Having played a lot in Europe and the US, how do you find connecting with audiences who may not be as familiar with your work and Aussie references in the songs?

I love the anonymity of playing in other countries, with people chatting and not knowing anything about you. You’ve gotta be tactical and try to win the crowd over, it’s almost like a date. And like a date sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

What are some of your favourite venues to play in Melbourne?
This tour I’m playing The Thornbury Theatre, which is one of my favs. Melbourne’s got so many good venues it’s hard to pick one, but The Northcote Social Club would be up there.

Butterfly Bones, your new EP, features a mix of new songs and live performances of previously recorded tracks. Do you ever prefer live versions of songs you’ve recorded?
Live tracks can take on a life of their own, depending on my mood, the crowd, even the weather. But generally I just pick up the faults in a live stuff: a missed chord, an off-key note, someone sneezing…so I tend to like the recorded versions better, less chance of me stuffing up.

Plans for the rest of 2011?
After the Oz tour I’m doing shows in the US and UK, then heading to Europe to work on my next album which should be out next year. If I get an album out every two years I reckon I’m doing alright.

Darren Hanlon plays The Thornbury Theatre on Thursday, 10 March.
Advance Sale $24 + bf ($ more at the door if still available/Dinner & Show option available)
w/ Special Guest Gary Olson (The Ladybug Transistor)
Butterfly Bones is available via iTunes

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