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Byron Shire
April 19, 2021

Supporting the Union

Latest News

Head-on crash car traveling in wrong direction

Police say that two men are in hospital after an accident on the M1 overnight, when emergency services responded to reports of a crash involving two cars near Clothiers Creek

Other News

Flawed plan

Kai Beijerbacht, Mullumbimby For those of you who haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you are aware of the...

Rotary Downunder Baton handed over at Byron Bay

The Rotary Club of Byron Bay recently took the Rotary Downunder Baton to the most easterly point of Australia as part of its national journey. As well as being the national celebration of one hundred years of service by Rotary in Australia, the theme for the centenary is 'Rotary says no to domestic violence'.

Midwife quits

Deb Walsh, Fernleigh It’s become untenable for me to continue working in hospitals. I have quit. I will be deregistered soon...

Holiday letting policy adopted by NSW govt

New state rules on short-term holiday lets (STHL) for NSW, announced late last week, won’t be introduced to the Byron Shire until as late as February next year, as the local housing crisis intensifies.

Rocky Creek Field Day coming in July

As part of the Rural Landholder Initiative, rural landholders in the Rocky Creek area are invited to an Off-stream Watering and Riparian Habitat Field Day.

Where announcements masquerade as action

The great secret about government in Australia is this: no-one wants to know about government in Australia.

immigrant union

Immigrant Union formed over beers via a chance meeting between Brent DeBoer of the Dandy Warhols and Bob Harrow. Their friendship grew, they acquired the talented vocalist and keyboard player Peter Lubulwa, and over the years has seen members including Courtney Barnett, Dave Mudie and Bones Sloan who feature on Anyway. These days Immigrant Union’s lineup sees Ben Street and Paddy McGrath-Lester on bass and drums.  Credited with four stars from Rolling Stone, four-and-a-half stars from The Australian, four stars from The Age and four stars from The Music, the release of Immigrant Union’s Anyway has a tour to match. Brent DeBoer answered some questions while on the road with the Dandy Warhols.

So tell me, what exactly is ‘alt-country psych’? 

You know, I really don’t know. All good music should be psychedelic, I suppose. If it doesn’t somehow expand your consciousness I don’t really see the point. And basically you have to describe your music somehow, and then even when you, do people want to say ‘what do you mean by that?’ I guess it is true that talking about music is the same as dancing to architecture.

What is the key, do you think, in writing an infectious foot-stomping tune?

I guess a good beat and a good sound and something that is fun to sing along with.

How did the members of Immigrant Union find each other? How hard is it to find exactly that right combination of people to create the ‘magic’
of a band? 

Bob and I met at a bar and then a year or so later I moved to Melbourne. We already had a couple of songs and started writing more. Once we had a dozen or so we decided we better get a band together so we started calling around to Bob’s musician friends in Melbourne. We went through quite a few great musicians before we found the combination that we have today. I guess it just takes a bit of time and a lot of experimenting until you nail it.

You appear to be having a lot of fun, particularly in the video for War is Peace. Can you tell me a little about that?

I watched a documentary about global arms sales and there was this section of the movie where they visited an arms convention. There were dudes in suits and turbans just walking up to booths grabbing brochures and checking out the latest weapons of death and destruction. It was as though they were checking out fishing equipment.

Just going ‘hmmm this looks nice. This would kill a lot of people.’ Total psychopaths. We decided they should have their own home-shopping channel.

What did you set out to achieve recording Anyway?

I guess we had the same goal that anyone has when making an album: to make a timeless classic record for the ages.

Can you tell me a bit about the producer? What changed from page to studio?

I think among the six of us in the band and our engineer Matt Robins we all produced the album together. As far as what changed from page to studio I would say quite a bit.

When you go in to make a record it’s good to keep an open creative mind. You never really know which direction you’re going to go and that is the fun of it.

What should we expect for your live gig in Byron? 

Expect to go in to the concert as the person you are today and leaving a completely different person marked for a life by the experience of witnessing Immigrant Union live.

For the rest of your life, when people talk about you or tell stories about you, for clarity, it will be necessary to specify whether the story pertains to you before or after Immigrant Union. Be warned: you will never be the same. There is no going back.

Immigrant Union play the Hotel Great Northern on Friday 28 August.

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Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


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Housing crisis and Council

Avital Sheffer, Mullumbimby Population growth in this Shire is inevitable like it or not. Those who are being pushed out by the unfolding housing tragedy are...

Flawed plan

Kai Beijerbacht, Mullumbimby For those of you who haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you are aware of the ever-increasing housing shortage crisis in...

Affordable myth

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads There is a ‘myth of affordable housing’ in Byron Shire. Well may councillors lament the lack of ‘affordable housing’ in Byron Shire but...

Midwife quits

Deb Walsh, Fernleigh It’s become untenable for me to continue working in hospitals. I have quit. I will be deregistered soon by my own choice. Working with...