Mark Seymour – Roll Back The Stone
Mark Seymour and the Undertow present cracking performances recorded live at the Bakehouse, Richmond, in June 2016.
Released in: [Australia / NZ].
Release Date: 24 March 2017.
Australian Chart Position: TBA.
Availability: Moderately common. Available new in CD and digital form.
Highly recommended track.
Version: Liberation Records Australian two CD album.
CD1 Album length: 48 minutes, 46 seconds.
ReplayGain loudness: -6.90dB (2017).
- Home Free
- True Tears Of Joy
- Classrooms and Kitchens
- Throw Your Arms Around Me
- Sylvia’s In Black
- Light On The Hill
- Everything’s On Fire
- Tobruk Pin
- Master Of Spin
- The Ballad of the One Eyed Man
- Holy Grail
- What’s A Few Men?
CD2 Album length: 54 minutes, 47 seconds.
ReplayGain loudness: -6.90dB (2017).
- When the River Runs Dry
- Courtroom 32
- Back In the Hole
- Lucky Land
- Two Dollar Punter
- Football Train
- Say Goodbye
- Still Hanging ‘Round
Original studio source of the songs on this live album:
- Human Frailty contains:
- Fate / What’s A Few Men? contains:
- Ghost Nation contains:
- Cut contains:
- Demon Flower contains:
- One Eyed Man contains:
- Westgate contains:
- The Undertow contains:
- Mayday contains:
‘Roll back the Stone’ was recorded over three nights in June 2016, in the Scrap Museum at Bakehouse studios Richmond, Victoria, Australia.
There are twenty four songs here, gleaned from thirty years of writing. Chosen for their structure and storytelling power, these are the ones that have stood up, beginning in 1985 to the current album ‘Mayday’ which was released last year. These twenty four essentially comprise the current set list, although there are a further six or seven we simply couldn’t cover on the night..
It is also a way to introduce the band, the ‘Undertow’ who have an uncanny knack of sounding big when there are only four on stage.
Together we plot a course through the rooms and halls of Australia, juggling this ever expanding list…
And by way of answering the question I’m sometimes asked when I’m waiting to pay for the petrol or standing at the check out,
“Didn’t you use to be in a band or whatever?”
“So.. what do you do now??”
– Mark Seymour
There was once a room in Wagga. The ‘Australian Rules Club’ it was called. Hunters and Collectors tanked there every time. Nobody knew why but fresh out of the packed-out beachside fleshpots, that half empty room was like a slap in the face. The locals saw it differently but that didn’t matter.
Out there, on the edge of the great centre, it was as if those boys had barely left a scratch in the sand. There were crisis phone calls. Egos got smashed up on late night motel rider. The agony of defeat. They looked for a reason, but there was none.
It just was.
Thirty years later I lurch along the sandy bed of the Todd River listening to the wind in the desert oak and all that anguish from long ago is as real as the hair on my face. Arrernte women walk by. They look through me, their eyes fixed on some distant mark. I sing quietly to remind myself of what’s coming.
“Last night I saw an angel,
she kissed me in my sleep…
She said, “You can’t go back son.
Your heart is in too deep,””
In this mysterious place cradled in the heart of the land, feeling the warm air move across my face, I scratch and wonder what the hell the fuss was all about…
All that building and tearing down, the years of driving out into the dusty void, reaching out into those dark rooms, to invisible people who squeezed in through the door to drink and sing. The mad scramble to leave some kind of mark in the road, a bird to solitude and irrelevance, all that scratching in the sand, what else was it other than the yearning to be loved?
And nothing has changed.
Except for the songs. They’ve twisted and flexed. They’ve howled and whispered from one town to another. They were in the air before the towers went up, hanging in the space, waiting to be heard and then lingered like ghosts after the punters shuffled out into the night.
And what of the ones that vanished? I wonder now if songs are like artists themselves, who die from forgetting the simple joy of youth, crushed by the common-arsed grind of human barbarity.
This empty riverbed lies low and humble in the red dust. I’ve seen pictures of the hills that surround it, lurid prints on the walls of suburban school libraries next to the picture of her majesty. I am loose on a land I barely understand. Fragility is everywhere.
I have failed and triumphed.
I’ve howled into the void.
“I followed orders.
God knows where I’ve been,
but I woke up alone.
All my wounds were clean…”
But the songs howled back even louder. There were people there, standing in the shadows. They knew the words, better than me sometimes and that was the main thing.
I’ve carried these songs with me like children roaring in the back seat…
They rise in me again like tearful prayers as I tramp along the Todd. Together we’ve crossed the land along tracks we couldn’t see, cut deep like invisible tattoos of pain and yearning. Australia will do that and there’s no end to her.
Wounds heal and form new pathways that fill with longing once more, like this river bed when the rain comes.
Home is out there somewhere and each song is like a beacon leading me on.
So here’s the list of those who shared the love on those two nights. You were seen, loitering in the shadows.
Mick & Naomi Vagg
Alan Scott | Joan Kaaden
Allan Ronzon | Tracey Gemmell
Bruce Nibbs | Kylie Layfield
Carolyn Spencer-Jones | Paul Stannard
Damian Gaume | Marissa Gaume
Dan Howes | Kati McKoy
Dan Liddy | Shane Luchterhand
Darren Rowe | Sharyn Rowe
Darryl White | Rebecca Riley
Dave Wright | Jamie McLellan
Gerard Delaney | Daniel Freer
Jan Doyle | Eva Chapman
Jason Ditcham | Bec Ditcham
Jo Williams | Adam Williams
John Hockey | Sherrie Hockey
John Morton | Sharon Morton
Julia Philips | Andrew Mitchell
Karen Anderson | John Anderson
Kerryn Donaldson | Peter Donaldson
Lee Cummings | Daniel Cummings
Lynne Shields | Paul Service
Mark Naumann | Jacki Cincotta
Mary-Anne Coughlin | Steve Lyon
Matt Jones | Kate Jordan
Michael Pemberton | Mary Pemberton
Michael Pescatore | Jason Milton
Michelle King | Andrew King
Pete Marr | Jules Marr
Peter Ryall | Liza Baker-Clark
Peter Sherman | Amanda Sherman
Renny Gosatti | Diana Oliver
Rod | Rhonda
Rosie Phelan | Geoff Rowdon
Sarah Fulton | Melinda Dower
Scott Hearle | Erynne McKewen
Sean Bowen | Loren Gold
Sten Thorborg | Susan Benton
Suzi Hunter | Jeff Anthes
Tracey | David
Troy Wells | Rhys Wells
Vanessa van Clute | Michelle Aitken
Vyvyan Stranieri | Phillip Ripper
William King | Brandon Dimech
Yvette Sangster | Jan Sangster
Andrew Bloomfield | Ross Luchterhand | Sally Steel
Dean Bauer | Roz Franken-Rebbechi | David Rebbechi
Janneane Wilkinson | Yael Katz | Colleen O’Brien
Karen Ross | Andrew Crane | Kristine Gardener
Matthew Yau | Chris Segrave | Denis Moneghetti
Narelle Robertson | Kristen Dillon | Fiona Kerr
Niamh Clements | Lani Clements | Nigel Clements
Tina Beltrame | Eliot Fletcher | James Vergis
Paul McSweeney | Denise McSweeney |
Trish O’Rourke | John O’Rourke
Debra Birrell | Leanne Hill | David Hill |
Janet Fitzpatrick | Tanya Fitzpatrick | Glen Cowan
Roll Back The Stone
Recorded June 24, 25 and 26, 2016 at Bakehouse
Studios, Hoddle Street, Richmond.
The Undertow are:
Mark Seymour: Vocals and Guitar
Cameron McKenzie: Guitars
Peter Maslen: Drums
John Favaro: Bass
With special guest:
Scott Griffiths on Keyboard and Guitar
All words by Mark Seymour
except ‘Tobruk Pin’ words by Geoff Goodfellow.
All Music by Mark Seymour
except Disc One: 2,4,7,11,12 Disc Two: 2,4,9,10,11 by H&C
Mushroom Music Publishing
Produced, mixed & mastered by Cameron McKenzie
Live Sound by Robert Miles
Stage Manager: Handsome Stan Armstrong,
Guardian of the Secrets
Photography: Isamu Sawa
Artwork: Samantha McFadden
Michael Roberts for Loud & Clear Management. Thanks mate.
We’d especially like to thank Quincy McLean and
Helen Marcou and all at Bakehouse for their gracious
hospitality, Dean McLachlan for his unbridled enthusiasm and
all of you who gathered in the Scrap Museum to share the love.
Some of you came from distant places and we were honoured
in knowing that. Your presence in the room helped lift the
songs to a special place where they howled as they should.