The Dwarf in Conversation With... Lurch & Chief
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The Dwarf in Conversation With... Lurch & Chief




Lurch & Chief are on the verge of kicking off their national tour in support of their debut EP Breathe, and they’re excited – understandably so. “It’s a relief that the EP is out, but we’ve got the tour now to show off what we’ve written,” Hayden Somerville, one half of the male-female vocal duo, explains. “We can’t wait! We have never been more excited to travel the country with our music, our latest creation.”

The tour will cover 15 dates around the country, including several regional centres. Hayden is particularly excited about the Western Australian leg of the tour, and not just for the scenery. “We’ve never been [to WA] as a band, so that will be a huge highlight, it’s beautiful over there. And the music! The amount of bands coming out of Perth in the last 20 years, it’s a musical hub.”

Although some might call the tour ambitious, Hayden is looking forward to the opportunities and challenges it will bring. “We feel like it’s going to be a huge step up for us, doing that many dates in a row, in such close proximity. It’s going to be really hard for us, but it will also make us better at performing live … at the end of the tour, the band is musically better because you’ve been playing instruments for months straight.”

The tour is also the perfect opportunity for the band to show off the results of their songwriting sessions in the Grampians, west of Melbourne. The process was very organic and experimental and, Hayden admits, competitive. “The guys [Alexander Trevisan, Josh Lane, Brendan Anderson, Joel Rennison] would figure out the musical parts while Lili [Hall] and I were almost competing, singing random lines back and forth over different harmonies.”

Breathe was recorded with Lindsay Gravina, a legendary Australian producer (The Living End, Grinspoon, Magic Dirt). Was it nerve wracking working with someone with such an impressive resume? Hayden laughs it off, saying “[Gravina is] insanely good at what he does but he’s a hard taskmaster … he likes to hammer home the 'exhaust all options’ point. He pushes you to make the songs as best they can be, and it’s worked for us so far.”

The saying ‘from humble beginnings come great things’ could not be more appropriate for Lurch & Chief. Forming in 2012, the six-piece started as a way for a group of friends to share and express their musical creativity. Despite their rapidly growing success, it is clear that this friendship is as strong as ever, and is part of what makes the band and touring so special for Hayden. “You get to go around Australia with your best friends, it’s quite a kick.”

The familiarity between friends also contributes to the chemistry between the band on stage. Each of the six-piece move together as one, like a well choreographed routine, although not without some near misses. Hayden is embarrassed as he confesses, “I’ve learned now not to bump into her [Lili], we play on small stages and I like to move around a lot, and she’s so small, I can easily knock her off stage!”

The learning process isn’t just limited to the stage, however – the pre-show preparation is just as important for a good show. Having recently finished a tour with Kingswood, Hayden says he learned a lot from following them around the country. “Seeing how they prepare for shows, not that they do anything specific like yoga stretches! But they do little things to make sure they’re on stage and good to go, and not stressed, and seeing that was definitely valuable for me.”

Unplanned stage diving and yoga stretches aside, what should fans expect from the upcoming tour? “I don’t want to give anything away!” Hayden laughs. “But I think one thing is that we’re definitely going to try to make them more engaging – the performance in general, I mean, there’ll be no interpretive crowd involvement! Just expect something a little bit different from everyone in the band, how we look and feel on stage.”

Lurch & Chief kick off their tour on May 8 in Geelong. Tickets are available through www.lurchandchief.com

LURCH & CHIEF TOUR DATES:
Fri 8 May - The Workers Club | Geelong
Sat 9 May - Howler | Melbourne
Thu 14 May - Karova Lounge | Ballarat
Fri 15 May - Cats @ Rocket Bar & Rooftop | Adelaide
Sat 16 May - The Loft | Warrnambool
Thu 21 May - Moonshine Cider & Rum Bar | Manly - Free Show
Fri 22 May - Newtown Social Club | Newtown
Sat 23 May - Transit Bar | Canberra
Wed 27 May - The Small Ballroom | Newcastle - Free Show
Fri 29 May - The Brightside | Brisbane
Sat 30 May - The Northern | Byron Bay - Free Show
Thu 4 Jun - Prince Of Wales, Bunbury - Free Show
Fri 5 Jun - Settlers Tavern | Margaret River - Free Show
Sat 6 Jun - Mojo's | Fremantle
Sun 7 Jun - Four5Nine @ Rosemount Hotel | Perth

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