A Wave from Down Under
A Canadian article on the Hunters first North American tour.
Author: Martin Strong, Richmond Review.
Date: 19 October 1986.
Original URL: N/A.
The last time the Melbourne group Hunters and Collectors toured North America it was in the wake of what some called an Australian invasion being led by groups such as Men At Work.
This time around, Australia is once again a fad, thanks to Crocodile Dundee and Fosters’ Lager.
And though the interest in the land Down Under isn’t hindering the acceptance of Hunters and Collectors over here, the band has about as much to do with Men at Work as they do with Crocodile Dundee.
Talking to The Review over the phone from Los Angeles, group lyricist and guitarist Mark Seymour finds the situation somewhat ironic.
Says Seymour, “it helps with the initial flurry of interest but it’s really the music that’s important.”
That seems to sum up the six-piece guitar, drum, and horn band, who have managed to survive through four albums and three EP’s without any significant chart success, even in Australia. Instead, they’ve played solid, intelligent rock and roll which has earned them a slow but steady cult following all over the world.
The band seems to put more emphasis on their live shows that on recording. According to Seymour, “In concert we go for the throat, and when you do that sometimes you miss.”
Citing Van Morrison as his “personal guru,” Seymour describes the group’s live sets as “working on a groove like a soul band… except that our sentiments are more extreme. We move from despair to elation.”
These themes are explored on their new LP Human Frailty. Seymour explains: “On this album we’ve striven to make clear lucid statements, something more coherent.”
In an effort to reinspire his writing recently, Seymour decided to stop watching T.V. “It was more of a gesture for the end of ’85,” says Seymour.
“I felt I’d run out of things to say because of so much media disaster. It’s a combination of disaster and junk which is all taken for granted. It radically does change the way you see the world.”
Now armed with new insights, a new stage show, and new record, Hunters and Collectors are looking forward to success in North America, though they won’t go out of their way to get it.
Seymour tells it this way: “We’re survivors, and we’ll keep on trying to spread the world.”
Their tour sees them doing dates in Vancouver, including one night in Richmond at Casey’s on Wednesday, October 29th.