After approximately forever, the debut Fergus Maximus studio album is almost here. Recorded at Wizard Tone Studios and featuring an array of incredible Adelaide musicians, ‘Restless Soles’ is a collection of melodic stories about people with itchy feet; about love, loss and memory and the things we hold on to. The final mixes sound fantastic and they are now in London being mastered (after which they’ll sound even more amazing).
The album is being launched with a full band show on the 13th of July at The Wheaty in association with Umbrella Festival and Guitars in Bars. The night will kick off with wonderful singer/songwriter/poet Alison Coppe (The Janes) bringing her poignant, passionate songs exploring the vagaries of the human heart and the sights and sounds of Adelaide’s western suburbs.
Fergus Maximus was selected as one of the bands for the new Vision and Sound initiative organised by Music SA and Flinders University. In a hugely exciting development, third year students from the Bachelor of Creative Arts in Screen Production are collaborating with local bands to produce music video clips. Ferg met with his director, John, to discuss the overall shape of the clip and it is going to be all kinds of cool. Seriously.
In other news, Ferg has been listening to the mixes for the next Fergus Maximus release (and they sound GREAT! Huge thanks to Matt Williams at Fat Trax Studios). This is a live Fergus Maximus set recorded at The Gaslight Tavern in August 2015, with Ferg on vocals, sax and percussion, Kym on guitars (and stomp box) and Jamie on basses. Some of you were probably there! A couple more minor tweaks and the tracks will be ready for mastering. Which means, of course, there must be a launch party coming!
The ‘One Gaslit Night’ EP will be launched at The Jade on Sunday, 17 July at 5 pm, supported by the wonderful Courtney Robb. The launch will be part of the Umbrella Winter City Sounds Festival and will also be linked in with the Guitars in Bars initiative organised by the Adelaide Guitar Festival. Once ticketing information is available, we will let you know. Don’t miss this one, folks. It is going to be our best show yet!
And speaking of festivals, rumours are that Ferg will have some super exciting news to share on that front really soon! So excited to tell you about that but for now, our lips are sealed.
Opening night of our Kabarett Fringe show on Sunday night was fantastic. We had an excellent crowd and the vibe was great. The team at La Boheme did a great job of juggling multiple shows and a good time was had by all.
There are still some tickets available for our final show on Sunday, 28 February but you’d better hurry because they are selling fast. You can pick them up here.
Over the October long weekend, Ferg was part of the inaugural Beyond Festival in Canberra. Well, near Canberra. Far enough outside the city that there was no phone coverage (unexpected but not such a bad thing).
Ferg was travelling as PA (and support act) for his mate Dazz who was speaking at the festival. Dazz talked about justice (and sex) and making the world a better place. And did some stand up comedy (really). Ferg sang some songs and told some stories. Much fun was had.
After 20 years as a frontman, Ferg finally took the plunge and signed up to do a solo gig (he blames Ronnie Taheny for bullying him into it but she continues to feign innocence).
After a trial run doing a few tunes at the ARBA Blues Heats at The Gov, Ferg performed at the “Which Fergus is Which?” event at The Austral on Thursday, 13 November 2014:
The photos of the two suspects above are believed to have been taken by forensic photographers Richard Parkhill and Brent Leideritz (respectively).
The event was one of the weekly original music showcases put on by SCALA. According to the promotional blurb:
“Fergus Maximus will be performing a 45 minute solo set at the SCALA Live event at The Austral Hotel.
However, to confuse matters, the mercurial Fergus O’Regan is also performing that night at the same venue. Yes, it’s a double Fergus bill!
It will be easy to tell them apart since they both have beards and long hair and baritone voices and a mild tendency toward silliness and … um …
Hmmm. I guess you’ll just have to come along and figure it out for yourselves (although FM is probably about 100 years older).”
And it went … remarkably, astonishingly well. So well, in fact, that there is a Live EP imminent.
Ferg told stories and sang songs (that were, admittedly, also stories) and that 45 minutes turned into an hour and people laughed at the right moments and stayed engaged the whole time. All being well, the EP should be released some time in March, with a special edition version containing the whole gig to be released a little later in the year.
Saturday, 9 March 2014. WOMADelaide. It was very dark, the flash on Ferg’s phone camera is terrible and the poor guy was exhausted after performing for an hour and a half but Speech from Arrested Development was gracious, humble and thoroughly lovely and Ferg’s big goofy smile says it all! So ridiculously excited to meet one of his heroes and so delighted that he turned out to be such a great bloke.
Later that same week. Ferg’s Christmas present to @ashlyferg was VIP tickets to the launch of Kate Miller-Heidke‘s fantastic new, crowdfunded album, “O Vertigo”. The show was in the Garden of Unearthly Delights as part of the Adelaide Fringe. Of course, Ferg had to go along too. Because, fanboy, you know?
In May, Ferg flew to Melbourne for Clare Bowditch’s Big Hearted Business conference. It was a challenging and rewarding experience. One of the highlights was Missy Higgins‘ keynote speech — it was incredibly encouraging to hear her articulate and affirm the value of what we do as songwriters (and Ferg’s daughters were appropriately jealous that he got to meet Missy). The lovely random stranger who agreed to take a photo of Ferg with the equally lovely Missy Higgins captured the candid shot below while they chatted in the moment before posing for a more typical fan photo. There is a sweet irony in the RAGE apparently emanating from Ferg’s forehead since the mood was entirely cordial.
In July 2014, as mentioned elsewhere, Ferg had the opportunity to sing with the lovely Clare Bowditch at The Gov in Adelaide. Clare is a genuinely lovely human being and she was so warm and welcoming of Ferg’s hastily-thrown-together gospel quartet (featuring Ferg’s daughter Rachel Ferguson, his kinda-sorta daughter Lily Wicks and the inimitable Luke Thompson). The snapshot below was taken backstage after the show (thanks Lily). If you haven’t seen the video, you can find it on YouTube by searching for “One Little River Fergus Maximus Clare Bowditch”. Or, you know, click here. That works too.
Megan Washington‘s “There There” is Ferg’s favourite album of 2014. This shot was taken by @ashlyferg after Washo’s album-launch gig at Adelaide Uni Bar in August (Ferg hadn’t been there in 15 years but ended up returning a few weeks later to bid a bittersweet farewell to Bluejuice). Meg was feeling pretty ordinary that night but soldiered on and even hung around afterwards because she is a super trouper. The highlight was a solo version of Cement (with full audience participation, of course). She almost didn’t do it because she said it was a “terrible idea”. Best. Terrible. Idea. Ever.
On 25 October 2014, Ferg took part in Welcome To Australia‘s “Walk Together” event, playing congas in Rundle Park, Adelaide to help welcome the thousands of people marching to say we want to change the conversation surrounding refugees and asylum seekers. He had the chance to meet the charming Wally De Backer (aka Gotye) who had flown over to lend his voice to the cause. Technically, I guess you could say Ferg shared the stage with Gotye but they were on that stage at different times. The shot below illustrates beautifully why Ferg doesn’t usually post selfies.
You Am I rocked Memorial Drive after the opening of the redeveloped Adelaide Oval. In fact, they rocked so ferociously that the security guy achieved a momentary state of serene calm. (Spiderbait were on first and they were seriously great too).
Things of Stone and Wood re-formed to celebrate 25 years since the release of their debut album at The Gov (and as a special treat for the Adelaide crowd, Seven Stories also re-formed just for the night).
Ferg’s brother, the absurdly talented and even more hard-working Mark Simeon Ferguson, launched his new project, a 19-piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra called Orquesta Mermelada, at Nexus.
And to top it all off, Ferg was treated to a masterclass in being a frontman by Mick Jagger, lead singer in some obscure little band you’ve probably never heard of (the tickets were Ferg’s Christmas/Birthday present from @ashlyferg). The Stones had originally been booked to play at the opening of the redeveloped Adelaide Oval in March but circumstances conspired against them and it was a nervous wait until October when they made good on the promise (since they are, collectively, about 250 years old). Well worth the wait.