Inside A Crucible – Paying Tribute To Hunters & Collectors

An article and interview about the Hunters and Collectors tribute album, Crucible.

Author:  Rhythms.

Date: October 2013.

Original URL:


Article Text

Fifteen years after their farewell tour, Hunters & Collectors are the subject of a new tribute album, Crucible.

Singer Mark Seymour says the tribute prompted the Hunters & Collectors’ reunion. “It was really only because of this album that the record company have put together that we felt we could justify doing it.”Crucible

So what’s Seymour’s verdict on the album?

“It’s good. I think people will come to it expecting to hear something vaguely familiar that reminds them of Hunters & Collectors and it so isn’t like that. There is very little about it that is recognisably connected with Hunters.

“These artists have come out and just done their numbers on all these songs in a completely different way to how Hunters & Collectors would have. The stuff that’s on it that’s really good is just completely out of the park – electronic, lots of keyboard, synthesised vocals, there’s all sorts of shit going on, which is great.”

Seymour nominates Alpine’s cover of ‘Hear No Evil’ (originally an album track on 1992’s Cut) as his favourite Crucible cut.

“I think that’s really good, really special. It showcases how good that song is, and it was a song I’d forgotten. They’ve really done a number on it, it sounds really interesting.”

Seymour also highlights Paul Kelly and Emma Donovan’s take on ‘True Tears of Joy’, and Missy Higgins and Matt Corby’s cover of ‘This Morning’. “That’s really cool as well.”

Crucible was compiled by former journalist and record company boss John O’Donnell, who curated the successful Finn brothers tribute, She Will Have Her Way.

“During the 1980s and ’90s, Hunters and Collectors took me on an incredible journey as they evolved from an experimental post-punk/agit-funk collective with up to a dozen members into a streamlined and visceral rock & roll outfit that made a profound connection with audiences across the country,” O’Donnell writes in the liner notes.Hunters-and-Collectors-…-made-the-list-the-same-ye-5714805

In his illuminating liner notes, Seymour reveals: “As a writer, I’ve learned two things: songs are meant to be performed, to people who care. I’ve also learned not to be frightened of where I come from.

“Most of us are suburban people. Back in ’83 it felt truthful and right to turn our backs on the rat race of ‘chic’ and head out into the great Australian emptiness, looking for an audience.

“And you know what? It still does.”

Crucible kicks off with Birds of Tokyo’s take on Hunters & Collectors’ debut single, ‘Talking To A Stranger’.

The Panics’ Jae Laffer applauds Hunters & Collectors’ “admirable mix of ambition and artistic merit [and] radio songs that kept the poetry and the noise and came across as played by real, regular fellas you had something in common with”, while Something For Kate’s Paul Dempsey tells of how his older sisters were “completely obsessed” with the band, and when he heard Human Frailty and What’s A Few Men, he experienced “something of a revelation about how gripping and exciting and transforming ‘real’ music could be”.

Crucible is released on September 27, the day before Hunters & Collectors play at the AFL Grand Final. They will do a national tour early next year.

1. Birds of Tokyo – Talking To A Stranger
2. Eddie Vedder & Neil Finn – Throw Your Arms Around Me
3. Matt Corby & Missy Higgins – This Morning
4. Oh Mercy – The Slab (Betty’s Worry)
5. Alpine – Hear No Evil
6. The Living End – Say Goodbye
7. Paul Kelly & Emma Donovan (Feat Jimblah) – True Tears of Joy
8. The Rubens – Holy Grail
9. Husky – Blind Eye
10. Something For Kate – When The River Runs Dry
11. The Panics – Alligator Engine
12. Abbe May – Dog
13. British India – Do You See What I See?
14. Cloud Control – Still Hanging ’Round
15. The Avalanches – Stalking To A Stranger

# Hunters & Collectors #