BEN SALTER HITS THE ROAD
Acclaimed songwriter leaves Tasmania's otherworldly bosom for 'It Became a Thing' tour
Never one to knowingly sit still for more than 90 seconds, newly Tasmanian-based post-colonial epic-folk perpetrator, founding member of Giants of Science, The Gin Club, The Wilson Pickers, Hownowmer, The Young Liberals and Anigozanthos - and possibly Australia’s most under-rated songwriter and performer - Ben Salter is setting off on another hastily cobbled together and arbitrarily branded run of performances. Or "tour". The tour is called the “It Became A Thing” tour and it will take place in July, August and September 2018 at locations in Victoria, New South Wales, the ACT and Tasmania in association with the fine folk at Dashville Presents who take no responsibility for this press release.
For those who came in late, Salter, who is really rather under-rated and special, returned earlier this year from a seven month, 100+ show sojourn around Japan and Europe a markedly improved performer, with some pundits putting his post-sojourn efforts at 12-16% better than pre-trip levels. A pretty impressive statistic, especially given Salter’s already well known commitment to songwriting and performance excellence.
“I guess something good had to come from it all,” says Salter of these exciting recent developments and accompanying stats. “More than once on the long trip I found myself performing my trademark ornately arranged vignettes, accompanied of course by my carefully crafted lyrics, that deal as they do with knotty existential dilemmas and video games and such, to two barflies in a one-horse town, neither of whom could speak English, whilst also trying to make banter in Spanish or French or German, all of which I am unable to speak, and quietly, internally pondering the direction my life was heading.”
Salter continues: “It was at these exact moments that I made the decision to try and ignore extraneous factors, barflies, communication issues and such, dig a little deeper inside myself and focus my attention on the minutiae of my performances, to sharpen my faculties to a diamond-like hardness and clarity. The entire trip could be seen as an attempt to re-forge the blunted rapier of my soul through rigorous exposure to alternating bouts of extreme indifference, exotic locales, protracted periods of travel and foreign intoxicants.”
Upon returning from the trip Salter had hoped to retire from the music business to pursue a quiet life of composting, but once again life got in the way. “Unlike many Australians, I have now managed to acquire a mortgage,” says Salter, pensively. “It requires a level of care and attention that sleeping on people’s floors never demanded - daily walks, regular check-ups and what not. Having ruined myself for any other type of work a long time ago and burned most of my bridges in the Tasmanian artistic community, I knew I had best get back up to ‘The Mainland’ as we island folk call it, and shake my hoo-ha for some fat cookie.”
And so it became a thing. This July Salter will hit the road once again with his guitar, and a sack of effects pedals and shiny trinkets. He’ll be attempting to perform live some of the songs that he’s been releasing through Patreon, a crowd-funding website/platform that enables artists to build a direct relationship with their fans.
“I’d be dead if it wasn’t for the Patreon funding that my fans have so generously provided me,”he gravely opines. “Also it’s forced me to write and record something every couple of weeks for the past twelve months and I now have a fat little hard drive full of paranoid folk music, wobbly bangers and post-colonial art noise. It has definitely become a thing.”
Salter will be releasing a vinyl compilation of some of the Patreon material, including some demos and live tracks, before the year is out, whilst continuing to work towards a fourth ‘studio’ album. “I’ve been doing some sort of improvised piano and noise pieces, a little bit like Robert Wyatt or James Blake I suppose but consistently better,” he says, falsely. “I’m mainly just excited about using a new font on an album cover because Century Gothic is so passé. I’m out of contract at the moment so if anyone wants to give me heaps of money to release an album speak now, or later.”
DASHVILLE NIGHTS featuring BEN SALTER
One of the country's finest singer-songwriters, Ben Salter, is embarking on an extensive Australian tour, which will travel the country before coming to an end at... where else? The hallowed tree-studded surrounds of Dashville.
It will be an evening of amazing music, featuring a live Q&A with Salter's old pal Ben Quinn. We're even going to record it, so come and be a part of the crowd.
Saturday, August 31, 2019. Tickets include camping. There'll also be a communal dinner and a Father's Day Sunday breakfast (both optional add-ons).
Join the event page for updates and ticket link: https://bit.ly/2LPh8Ie
Don’t Miss Ben Salter Sometime Between Now And The End Of His or Your Life At These Exciting Locations:
Fri 26th July
Tanswells Commercial Hotel
Sat 27th July
Sun 28th July
The Taproom - Shedshaker Brewing
Fri 2nd August
The Golden Wattle
Sat 3rd August
The Three Brothers Arms
Tue 27th August
Wed 28th August
The Brass Monkey Cronulla
Thu 29th August
Petersham Bowling Club
Fri 30th August
Heritage Hotel Bulli
Lower Belford, NSW
More shows and supports to be announced soon!
Head to bensalter.com.au for more information