The online home for Fergus Maximus (both the band and the bloke)
The online home for Fergus Maximus (both the band and the bloke)

Music

Let’s kick cancer’s butt

The wonderful Clare Bowditch eloquently refers to cancer as ‘this bastard disease’. She is, in this as in many things, absolutely correct. It is a hideous rampaging monster with a frightening reach that affects almost all of us. And we are often left feeling powerless as it weaves its sour sorcery through the blood, bodies and bones of those we love.

That’s why Ferg put his hand up to be involved in the Kicking Cancer’s Butt: one beat at a time fundraising event. Because while we may be helpless in the moment, in the face of what cancer does to the people we care about, we don’t have to take it lying down. We can fund research that helps find ways of preventing and defeating this bastard disease. We can fund support networks for people who are going through that ongoing rollercoaster nightmare. We can band together to kick cancer’s butt so that our grandchildren don’t have to go through the things we experience. Let’s consign cancer to being a footnote in history. Come along and be part of the solution.

kicking-cancers-butt-poster

 

Beyond Festival 2016

Ferg had a fantastic time at his first festival, Beyond Fest in Canberra. He shared the bill with Lior, Megan Washington, Montaigne, Shane Howard (from Goanna), Fred Smith and the lovely Liz Frencham’s new project Paper Mouse (a duet with terrific guitarist Robbie Melville) and heaps of other amazing musicians and communicators. It was beyond awesome! Met lots of wonderful musicians, made new friends, played lots of songs, gained some new fans and generally had a ball, despite the almost Woodstock levels of mud.

Ferg @ Beyond Festival 2016 - standing in front of an almost bare tree
Ferg waiting to go on stage at Beyond Festival 2016 (he was performing at the MMAD stage on Sunday, 2 October; the only sunny day of the Fest)

First official Fergus Maximus music video

2016 is a year of firsts for Fergus Maximus. Our first music video is now live and we’d love for you to see it. “Derek” was the lead single from the debut Fergus Maximus EP “Songs & Stories” (2015). The video was directed by John Chataway and stars the wonderful Lachlan Scown as Derek’s Housemate (alongside Gypsy the Cat as Mr Mittens). The project was part of the Vision and Sound initiative set up by Music SA and the Department of Screen and Media at Flinders University.

Click the link below to check it out on the hhhhappy blog and Like it if you like it. And if you’re willing to share it from the hhhhappy blog (and encourage others to do the same) that would be all kinds of awesome — the more shares it gets, the greater the Like-lihood they’ll do a proper review which will really help get the word out.

Derek on the hhhhappy blog

Speaking of which, please share freely and let’s get Derek out into the wild. As it were.

Derek Official

CREDITS

Cast (in order of appearance)

Derek’s Narrator – Fergus Maximus
Derek’s Housemate – Lachlan Scown
Derek’s Bored Delivery Bloke – Fergus Maximus
Derek’s Cat – Gypsy
Derek’s Friend Jenny – Indianna Bell
Derek’s Mother – Michelle Bell

Crew

Derek’s Camera Operator – Josiah Allen
Derek’s Lighting Operator – Indianna Bell
Derek’s Director & Editor – John Chataway
Derek’s Producer – Kurt Roberts

Shot on location in Adelaide at Julia Kaminski, Rebekah Kraft and Selena Gillard’s place. Thanks for letting us mess it up. And thanks to Nathan Roberts and Liz Phillips for consenting to allow Gypsy the Cat to appear (as if Gypsy pays any attention to anything you say).

No Dereks were harmed during the making of this film.

Exciting times!

2016 will be an absolute ripper!

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.

It’s Fringe Time!

Hey folks,

Ferg is performing in the Fringe for the first time (he’s performed *during* the Fringe before but that’s a different thing). And did we mention that it’s a cabaret?

What the …? Cabaret? Seriously? What’s that all about?

Well, Ferg’s friend, Julie, was organising a cabaret show for the Fringe with another friend, Mardi. They decided they needed a third person who wasn’t a girl and invited Ferg to be that person. (You won’t believe how surprised he was to discover there are people who don’t think he’s a girl*). Ferg decided that Fringe time is when you take risks so he agreed quickly before he could chicken out. (And, yes, he did have to google ‘cabaret’ to make sure he knew what he was getting into. Turns out it’s all about telling stories and that, as we all know, is his bag!).

Ferg, Julie and Mardi are each doing cameo sets, all three ably supported by the wonderful pianist, Ed Heddle. Ferg has reimagined a handful of his songs with piano accompaniment and they are sounding great! Oh, and it’s called ‘Kabarett’ (the German way, apparently).

You can get tickets here (or just google ‘Adelaide Fringe’, then search for ‘Kabarett’).

We’d love to see you there!

*Kidding, really. He’s only occasionally mistaken for a girl.

Fergus Maximus, Mardi Ragless & Julie Roberts in Kabarett - ably accompanied by Ed Heddle
Ferg tells a story

Beyond Festival 2015

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.

Ferg tells a story
Ferg tells a story

 

 

 

 

This calls for more red wine (Dazz laughs)
This calls for more red wine (Dazz laughs)
Q&A after Dazz's presentation
Q&A after Dazz’s presentation

 

Songs & Stories in the wild (and in the media)

It’s interesting what people hear. Fergus Maximus has recently evoked a variety of comparisons from listeners.

“A little like a cross between Darren Hanlon and Angus & Julia Stone.” David, Redwood City, CA, USA

“He reminds me of Things Of Stone And Wood or The Whitlams.” Matthew Jolly, BSide Magazine

“Quite Paul Kellyish in terms of sparse phrases evoking a deep story.” Craig, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Ferg was suitably chuffed by that last one in particular, which relates to his latest song, “Where You Need To Be”; a reflection for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

But whatever people’s individual musical touchstones might be, the response to the debut Fergus Maximus EP/LP “Songs & Stories” has been overwhelmingly positive, with accolades for both the songcraft and the storytelling.

“Songs & Stories” was recorded live at The Austral Hotel, Adelaide in November 2014. As the title suggests, the album includes both songs and Ferg’s between-song stories that provide context for those songs. But don’t take our word for it. Hear what the the reviewers are saying about “Songs & Stories”:

“I enjoyed listening to this record, it really felt like attending a gig. The stories are an important and essential part of the experience.”
Matthew Jolly, BSide Magazine

“Listeners will get a similar experience to those sitting at the front tables on the night in question.”
David Robinson, The Clothesline

Isn’t it about time you booked yourself a front row seat?

Digital downloads and limited edition physical CDs are available at the Fergus Maximus BandCamp store.

 

“Songs & Stories” is now available

After a fantastic launch show at the Jade Monkey on Friday, 29 May 2015, the “Songs & Stories” EP/LP is now available for purchase. You can try before you buy too — you can listen to the whole of both the EP and LP versions on the Bandcamp site or using their app.

Digital and physical copies of the EP and LP versions are available from the Fergus Maximus Bandcamp store and you can also get hold of digital versions on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Google Play, Amazon and Tidal (and some absurd number of other places around the web).

“Songs & Stories” comes in two versions. The standard EP has six songs (11 tracks altogether including all the chatterboxing).

Songs-&-Stories---Live-@-The-Austral---Standard-Edition-EP6---Cover

The special edition LP has 12 songs (24 tracks including all the chatterboxery). That’s TWICE as many songs and at least 33% more mistakes!

Songs-&-Stories---Live-@-The-Austral---LP12-cover-800

Fergus Maximus’ debut single is now live …

This is a song about a bloke called Derek, written for everyone who has ever lived in a sharehouse. And for all those who wish they had.

‘Derek’ is the first official single release from Fergus Maximus and is the lead single from his forthcoming EP/LP Songs & Stories – Live @ The Austral (launching in May 2015). Derek is available on Kicktone and iTunes and CDBaby and pretty much everywhere you might expect to find such things (Spotify and Pandora coming soon).

It was recorded live at The Austral Hotel in Adelaide, South Australia on Thursday, 13 November 2014 by Noni Espinosa. Noni did the live mix and recorded it straight to disk and then tweaked the levels a bit and, well, that’s pretty much all that happened. It was mastered by Peter Maher in London (because The Internet). Daniel Ralph and his sister Deborah ran cameras that night and then Daniel used magic and electrons to stitch together the video you see before you.

The gig was one of the regular weekly showcases of original music put on by SCALA (the Songwriters, Composers & Lyricists Association). They’ve been putting on such evenings for over 25 years. Go SCALA, you rock! www.facebook.com/scalasongwriters

Ferg says that all the above-mentioned people are awesome and great to work with and you should definitely check them out. We had assumed he includes himself in that statement but when we asked him to clarify, he responded with “No Comment” so you will have to make up your own minds.

The amiable Daniel Ralph can be found at www.PressStopProductions.com.au or via his FB page at www.facebook.com/PressStopProductions

The cheerful Noni Espinosa can be found doing sound at SCALA gigs at The Austral or with his riotously fun band Funk Latin Union www.facebook.com/funklatinunion

The legendary Pete Maher, Master Masterer Extraordinaire, can be found at www.petemaher.com

What happened to January?

Our January has disappeared. We could have sworn we left it lying around here somewhere but it’s gone.

To help identify our January in the event we have to report it to the police as stolen, here are some identifying features:

1. We had our annual gig at the Moana Surf Life Saving Club‘s Wine By The Waves food and wine event on 11 January. How many times have we done that now? Four or five? Something like that. It’s always fun. Great food and wine and the venue is wonderful, right on Moana beach.

2. We kicked off our regular gig calendar at The Artel Lounge Bar and Restaurant on 18 January. Great to get back to where we belong. It’s a terrific venue and has been a regular thing every month or two for a few years now.

3. We got invited to participate in the 2015 Crush Festival (that’s the Adelaide Hills Food & Wine event, not the hardcore moshpit that the name might seem to imply) on 25 January. A great afternoon at The Barker Hotel.

If you happen to find our January somewhere, please send it home. We miss it.

Ferg

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