The Audreys are one of Australia’s leading exponents of blues/roots music.
Since forming in 2004 they have won three ARIA awards and been recognized at events such as A Day on the Green, Woodford Folk Festival and The East Coast Blues and Roots festivals and even the Adelaide leg of the Big Day Out.
They have also toured overseas, including shows in the USA, Canada, the UK, France and Russia, and according to co – founding member Taasha Coates the experience of touring overseas can be quite different to playing in their home country.
“We did very well in America, and we also spent a little time playing in the UK but they hated us. We weren’t ‘folk’ enough for them,” she laughed.
“In America the fans are incredible. They’re SO respectful of the artists when they are on stage. They don’t talk, they just listen. And the first few times we played there it completely freaked us out because they were so quiet! In Australia when people are enjoying things they often make a lot of noise so when they didn’t we thought ‘oh my God, they’re hating us’ and we didn’t know what to do until we realized they were actually being respectful and it was really nice then but it took a little adjusting.”
One aspect which would be an obvious counteract to that response would be to change the style and performance of the show to accommodate the fans reactions, but Taasha says that although that would make sense, it is important to keep your sense of self.
“You try not to change too much but it’s really hard not to,” she mused.
“It’s something we learnt early on that you don’t… obviously going into a show if you’re playing on a big festival stage then you’ll want to include a few of your rockier numbers but once you get on stage and once you’ve committed to something you have to see it through and be true to what you’re doing and try not to pander too much to the crowd which is quite hard to do.”
The Audrey’s, which also comprises guitarist Tristan Goodall, will be back in Cairns on May 29, touring not on the back of a new release, but more as a celebration of their latest offering, ‘Til My Tears Roll Away’, being released on vinyl.
“We just love vinyl,” Taasha enthused. It’s a personal passion. What’s not to like about it? Vinyl is very ‘in’ these days. There is a vinyl resurgence, a vinyl revival!”
“We’ve put all our records out on vinyl from the first one in 2006,” she continued more seriously, “so we’re not doing it because it’s part of a trend – although it happens to be at the moment – but we just really love vinyl. In my house we have vinyl Sunday’s where we are only allowed to listen to things on Sunday that are recorded on vinyl. It’s just a very visceral experience. You’re very connected to the experience of putting on and changing and choosing the music. The artwork is big and it’s quite a process to open up the player, pull out the sleeve and put the arm down….. you just feel really connected to it. It’s so different from just pressing shuffle on your I-Pod or whatever – and as it happens I don’t even own an I-Pod. I don’t listen to music digitally.”
One thing for sure when you go to an Audreys show is that the two of them will bring you into their stage experience with a concert that is not only full of great music but also great presence making it more of an experience than just a gig.
“Tristian and I know each other really well,” Taasha said, “and we have travelled together for so many years and we just have a lot of stories and they all just come out! Sometimes we ramble on and we have to remind ourselves we’re supposed to be playing music!.”
The Audreys play The Tanks Arts Centre on Friday, May 29