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March 8, 2021

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with Mandy Nolan

Songsmith Lucie Thorne returns to Mullum to play an intimate solo concert at the Courthouse. Of her last release, Bonfires, The Age proclaimed: ‘Hers is a poetic gift,’ and they’re pretty well on the money. Seven had a quick chat to find out just what makes this girl tick.

 

What are the stories that most appeal to you in songwriting?

The little ones. The snippets of the ordinary and the everyday… the ones that somehow then magnify through the process of getting turned into song and, rather than being pedestrian or banal, somehow shift outwards… take on an expansiveness, a resonance…

 

How do you decant those vast emotional landscapes into a song?

I don’t know that’s a matter of ‘decanting’… perhaps more a case of putting in just enough in the first place to give a sense of the feeling… – like shining a small light in to the corner rather than lighting up the whole room – and to leave enough open for the listener to bring their own thing to it too…

 

What are you listening to at the moment? Does what you listen to ever inform your ideas or your songwriting? 

I’ve recently had my record player fixed, so I’ve been having a great time trawling through some old favourite longplayers ([ITALIC]Communique, The Kick Inside, One Man Dog, Court & Spark, Regatta de Blanc, Diamond Life[/ITALIC]… ) and yeah sure, songs are slippery little creatures and can creep up from anywhere… and of course they’re sometimes sparked by a borrowed/pilfered thread … even if it’s a very loose thread…

 

Do you ever see something like a painting, or a movie, and think, oh I have to write a song?

Occasionally a song will spring out of something like this, though more often it’s from a story I’ve read or a conversation had or overheard, but these are all the exceptions. Most of my songs – in terms of where the text comes from – grow from a single turn of phrase, or sometimes a single word…

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How do you think your singing/songwriting has evolved over the years?

Slowly? I think the biggest single shift for me came when I fell in love with Loretta (my 1966 Guild Starfire )… before that I played mostly acoustic guitar… and the move to electric coincided with quite a shift in my playing – and to my approach to the sound of it all – in general. With regards singing I feel like I’ve really settled in to my own voice these past few years… which I guess is something that grows from a combination of practice, confidence and comfort.

 

What about your live shows? How do you approach them?

I love performing, I always have. Even though I also always get a pretty serious bout of the nerves beforehand. But I guess that’s all just part of it. And when you can get to that space where you’re right in the middle of the music you’re making, and folks are diggin’ that music, well it’s a mighty fine thing…

 

Do you consider yourself a songwriter or a poet or both, or are they the same or different?

Ah, I don’t really think of myself as a ‘poet’ as such, no; I very rarely write anything that’s not in song form (well, apart from a rambling diary!) and there are plenty of my songs that wouldn’t stand up on their own pair or legs without the music. But I do love the poetic nature of songwriting – a playful approach to language, the often sparing use of words and that distilling down of a text…

 

What do you love?

Well now that could be a really big list… but, ah, how about belly laughs, human kindness, good whiskey and a great song…

 

How about your next show here? What should we expect?

I’ll be playing two sets at the Courthouse on Thursday, so there’ll be plenty of room to try out a bunch of new songs, as well as some old favourites of course, and a bit of a dip in to the back catalogue no doubt. A great young local talent – Shea O’Toole – will be opening the show – who I’m really looking forward to hearing. And I do have rather a soft spot for the northern rivers region – so many friendly music-loving folks round these parts! It’s always a beautiful show in Ol’ Mullum Town!

 

Presented by Mullum Music, Thursday at the Courthouse at 8pm. Tickets $14/10/8

www.mullummusic.com or 6684 6195.

 

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