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How my old band broke major Australian political news

12 May

If you subscribe to the Wasp Summer newsletter, you would have read about how my old band, the Mime Set, broke up on tour. In November 2014, I was flown back to Australia for an unlikely reunion.

If you want to subscribe to the Wasp Summer newsletter, you’ll get more bizarre and hilarious stories like the one I’m about to tell you, plus playlists, downloads, special offers and tour news every fortnight.
Newsletter link: http://eepurl.com/rO3db

Australian literary journal Going Down Swinging received a grant for their One Night Wonders concert series and their editor Geoff Lemon asked Sean M Whelan and The Mime Set, my old band’s spoken word project, to reform for the final show of the series. You can read an article I wrote on the reformation here.

When I arrived, I played 5 Wasp Summer shows in 6 days, then after just two rehearsals, Sean M. Whelan and The Mime Set were into the poetry shows.

On the Friday, we played to a full house at the Mission to Seamen in Melbourne. Even in rehearsal, I hadn’t remembered how intense the band could be in full flight. It was a glorious show, recorded for posterity.

Saturday, we drove 8 hours to Australia’s capital, Canberra. Sadly, they’ve now taken down the world’s best road sign just outside of Yass. We checked into our 5 star hotel to find ourselves booked into three rooms… two bandmembers to a bed. Seeing my surprise, the receptionist said, “Maybe you love your band but you probably don’t “LOVE” them, right?” We got better rooms.

Sunday morning, I got gastroenteritis and a fever. We had a 4pm show in the hotel bar. I slept until the show and emerged, weak and sweating, at 3pm to find Clive Palmer, one of Australia’s most controversial politicians, taking meetings in the bar and watching our soundcheck. The show was hazy and psychedelic. The music sounded amazing, textured, electric. I was singing ‘Honey O’, an epic ballad, and threw my hand forward. As I opened my eyes, Clive Palmer was walking directly towards me. “Honey, I can’t, honey, honey I can’t feel you…” I sang. Our eyes slid awkwardly apart as he left the bar.

Sean M. Whelan & Clive PalmerThat’s poet Sean Whelan in the foreground and Clive Palmer in the back. After the show, I went back to bed to sweat out my fever in high thread-count sheets. During the post-show drinks, several of the band noticed Clive Palmer speaking with Jacquie Lambie, the Tasmanian Senator who very angrily and publicly split from Palmer’s party. They took a sneaky photo and posted it on social media. Next day, the photo was front page news in Australia. Our band broke the story of their meeting.

2 rehearsals, 2 shows, 16 hours driving, 1 national headline. We laughed all the way back to Melbourne.

Cheers,
Sam

Wasp Summer Australian Tour Gallery Part 2

23 Jan

Hallo Dearhearts,

Here is part 2 of Wasp Summer’s Australian Tour gallery, spanning Melbourne to Brisbane to Meredith Music Festival. In these photos, I had a magic time with the following amazing people: Damian, SJ, Ari, Cam, Tams, Sally, Chez, Naz, Phil, Nicho, Bek, Patrick and Lisa. x

Wasp Summer Australian Shows 2014

9 Oct Wasp Summer tour poster 2014. Coming to a club near you!

Earlier this year, I got an email out of the blue from Geoff, the Editor of Going Down Swinging, the long-running and innovative Australian journal of poetry, writing, graphic novels and art.

He requested that, for one night, we reform Sean M. Whelan and The Mime Set, the 2005-2008 collaboration between my former post-rock band and one of Australia’s best spoken word performers. They had funding to fly me back to Melbourne from Berlin for the show. I actually cried.

So, Sean M. Whelan and The Mime Set will perform their One Night Wonder on Friday 28 November, 2014 at the Mission To Seafarers Chapel in Docklands, Melbourne. Click here for tickets. We’ve also picked up a Canberra show on Sunday 30 November, for the Bloody Lips night held at New Acton.

Sean M. Whelan & The Mime Set
Friday 28. November – Mission to Seafarers, Melbourne
Saturday 29. November – Bloody Lips @ New Acton, Canberra

And while I’m in the country, why not show people what Wasp Summer’s been working on in Berlin? So I’m organising solo Wasp Summer gigs in Victoria and Queensland. Here are the confirmed dates.

Wasp Summer
Thursday 20. November – The Old Bar, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Friday 21. November – The Eastern, Ballarat
Saturday 22. November – The Bridge, Castlemaine
Friday 5. December – Couplet @ Brisbane Square Library, Brisbane
Wednesday 10 December – Skukum Lounge, Brisbane

Do you?

9 Dec

Madder than a mad dog worshipping its own madness – Céline

Look, if you two were plucked and cooked together, he wouldn’t roast up much bigger than you. His bulk is mostly in that bomber jacket, but the difference is, he looks like he enjoys fighting. I’m not sure you do. Do you?

Image

Australian Tour Thank You

28 Nov

My great thanks to everyone who made my Australian Tour possible and amazing. Here’s a wrap-up: http://bit.ly/ue1srI

Ruby Heart Australian Tour Thank You

28 Nov

Dearhearts,
Swimming in the Pacific after two years away is some kind of bliss. The lakes of Berlin are great in the Summer, but bodysurfing down along Stanwell Park or Nobby Beach just empties me out into the bright, white Australian light.

It was so good to go back to Australia and, man, I was so happy for the sun, the light, the trees, the roads and trains and to see my friends and play them the music I’ve been working on in Berlin. Like all concentrated bursts of touring, it sharpened me up and I really wanted to do well for my home crowd. I got such kind feedback and had a lot of fun with old friends and new.

I want to post this massive list of thank yous to the kind and immensely talented folk who gave me a couch, a gig, a meal, a lift, a cuddle and encouragement:

Melbourne: Michelle, David, Damian, Becky, Emilie, Michael, Sean M., Darren, Nichole, Patrick, Naz, Jonathan, Lubica, Sean S., Bron and Spencer, Chapple, Lisa, Cazzy, Joel at The Old Bar, Miles at the Townie, Dave and Holly at Pure Pop, Vincenzo at Don Vincenzo for the coffee, Dono and A1, Jules, Max, The Kilniks, The Tiger And Me, Charlie Owen and all of my crew (Georgie, Bags, Ann-Maree, Bernard, PPR, Amanda, Margie, Julitha, Seri, KJ, Kate, Tom, Dave, David, Tim, Mike, Claudette and everyone else) who came to shows. Sydney: Kieran, Emily, Andrew at Proper Music Social, Cj Shaw, Pete’s Musician’s Market, Terry, the nice guy at the newsagent at Sydney Central, the Chauvel for Autoluminescent, Buzzzbar for the coffee, Stanwell Park – the most dangerous beach in NSW and its hot lifesavers. Brisbane: Paul, Helen, Kate at Black Bear Lodge, Luke, Ryan, Nerissa, Sally, blackstar for the coffee and Silke/Lucy for the bed, Craig, my brother. Adelaide: Ben Revi, Sarah, the awesome Paul Heggart, Wren, Henry and Ned, Brendan, Hugh, Walter, Naomi, Naomi’s Dad, Hawker St Cafe for the coffee and the Crown & Anchor and Grace Emily Hotel crews for lovely evenings and pear cider.

Much love to all these people. I hope to be back with the new album next year. I will have news of a big project tomorrow!

For Love and Mayhem Tour 2011

20 May

Next week, I start out on a massive adventure. I’m on my first European tour with Matty Water Music, a funny and talented guy that I’ve never met, mostly going to places I’ve never been.

I am SO excited! I’ve given up my day job and I’m throwing myself on the talent and resourcefulness I possess to try and be a full-time musician. This is all I have ever wanted.

There has been an incredible amount of work since January to pull this tour together. We’re still confirming some new shows which makes me nervous and exhilarated together. I can’t WAIT!

The FOR LOVE AND MAYHEM TOUR 2011 wouldn’t be happening without the support, contacts and friendship of various folk including Mark Steiner, Ola Karlsson, Louise McVey, Eric Eckhart, Dora Schneider, Guy Dale and Dimi, Lisa and Sofy. Thank you also to Felipe Ubilla for the AWESOME poster.

Here’s the dates. Keep an eye out as there may be more to come:

May 26: Joe’s Bar, Berlin (DE)
May 27: Des Geiger’s Raetsel, Leipzig (DE)
May 28: Die Buchbar, Dresden (DE)
May 29: Musik Nonstop, Dresden (1:00-2:00) (DE)
May 29: Veränderbar, Dresden (DE)
June 2: Oslo (TBC) (NO)
June 3: Sofa Salon, Oslo (NO)
June 4: Musikkfest, Sound of Mu, Oslo (NO)
June 9: House Concert, Turku (FI)
June 10: House Concert, Tampere (FI)
June 11: House Concert, Helsinki (FI)
June 12: Bar Loose, Helsinki (FI)
June 15: Fairbar, Aarhus (DK)
June 16: Cafe Retro,Copenhagen (DK)
June 17: Southside Cavern, Stockholm (SWE)
June 18: House Concert, Stockholm (SWE)
June 21: Fete de la Musique, Berlin (DE)
June 29: Pop-In, Paris (FR)
July 1: Edinburgh (TBC) (UK)
July 2: 13th Note, Glasgow (UK)

I’ll be blogging our shenanigans via Facebook, Reverbnation, MySpace and this blog. Please invite any friends you have in towns along our tour and email berlinsofasalon [@] googlemail.com if you want to come to any of the house concerts, many which were organised through Couchsurfing.

Wish me luck.

Love,

Wasp Summer
waspsummer [@] gmail.com