Mark Seymour’s Search for the Holy Grail Goes Regional

An article about Mark performing for Flix in the Stix at Dubbo in regional New South Wales.

Author: Narromine News.

Date: 21 January 2011.

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Former Hunters and Collectors front man and now solo artist Mark Seymour is looking forward to a “refreshing” atmosphere in Dubbo when he fronts Flix in the Stix.

Seymour, whose voice provided the soundtrack to the inner-city pub rock scene of Melbourne and Sydney during the ’80s, was upbeat about gigging in regional Australia.

Having grown up in rural Victoria, Seymour’s lyrics are often tied to everyday issues affecting ordinary people.

“I tend to write about very ordinary events in life and how they affect your emotions. Approaching songwriting from that point of view tends to resonate with listeners a lot more,” he told the Daily Liberal.

Seymour spent 18 years with Hunters and Collectors, whose songs such as Holy Grail and When the River Runs Dry, cemented the band’s status as Australian rock icons.

Other songs like Throw Your Arms Around Me crossed a generational gap when covered by the likes of Pearl Jam.

“In many respects nothing has ever changed for me. I am still perceived as the guy that was in that band. I don’t think that is ever going to change. There is pretty much a handful of songs that heavily endured in people’s minds,” he said.

One thing that has changed is a return to the bush, sparked by a risky policy of booking unknown venues in front of unfamiliar crowds.

This year Seymour teamed up with the travelling film festival Flix in the Stix which toured Port Macquarie and Armidale last year and will screen in Dubbo on February 4.

“People are getting two types of entertainment at Flix in the Stix. It’s a real feast – you’re being asked to switch your concentration. You’re looking at a band playing and then there’s movies and then we get back up on stage and do another short set and then you have more movies,” he said.

“(Armidale) was hilarious. It was sort of the beginning of the rain. They were just surprised by the rain they were getting.”

The rain forced organisers to move the festival into a small school building, he said.

“It was this really old timber theatre built in the early 19th century,” Seymour said.

“It just created this feeling. It was really cool with a great community feeling.”

Beyond Flix in the Stix Seymour said his solo career had seen him play in regional areas more frequently.

“In the regional towns there are no expectations, people just don’t know what they are going to get,” he said.

“And it works the other way. I don’t really know how people are going to react and that’s really exciting.

“Even on a small scale it’s really refreshing.”

Flix in the Stix will be held at the Lazy River Estate on February 4.