The music of Australian Crawl is like a summer soundtrack for the 80s and 90s. When you hear songs such as Boys Light Up, Errol, or Reckless, it’s like a portal back through time. James Reyne fronted the band and is currently touring with Moving Pictures for a very special double bill in Aussie rock.
Although his is a show that delivers the hits, Reyne is most passionate these days about his songwriting. In fact, according to Reyne and many music reviewers, he’s only got better.
‘I have been doing it for longer. The more you do it the better you get. The mistake a lot of gatekeepers in the industry make about people like me is that you go off the boil or something. If you are smart or self-critical you get better. I’d rather get someone build my house who’s been doing it for 30 years not one. I know how I work. I have better ideas, I know more, I have read more books…’
Aussie bands in the 80s showed a touring stamina unknown to bands today with many clocking up hundreds of gigs each year. A relentless gig trail around the country. Reyne chuckles as he looks at his schedule; ‘We are still playing places we played 20 or 30 years ago. It’s lucky for me that I have a healthy back-catalogue. Yes, the industry has changed. It’s more corporatised. And the significance of the IT industry can’t be underestimated.
‘We never had mobile phones back then,’ laughs Reyne who admits is seems unimaginable that a band could go on the road without any means of contact!
‘How on Earth did we ever get around without our satnavs and mobiles? Technology has made a huge difference in every industry; it’s streamlined some things and made other things more complicated.’
But without mobiles and satnavs, the bands still got there, the audiences found shows without social media, and bands sold music without the help of iTunes.
‘This tour is called All the Hits. We are doing this neverending tour. We did a theatre run, and now we are out to the regional areas – we have been on the road for six or seven weeks already – it’s all the hits, all the solo hits that people love, that people want to hear.’
Playing all the solo smashes and all his Aussie Crawl hits – Reyne has never been in better form. Joined by Moving Pictures, this will be one giant blast from the past from the safety of the now!
James Reyne, playing at the Ballina RSL Sunday 3 January. For tickets go to Ballina rsl.com.au or call 6686 2544.