The Living End – Shift

Author: Spencer Scott

SHIFT
Dew Process/Universal

When The Living End released the first single from Shift, there was a small ‘backlash’ from fans. The defiant slow burn of ‘Keep On Running’ somehow left a bad taste in a few fans’ mouths – did they just hear strings on a Living End record?

Of course, what they wanted was ‘classic’ Living End – fast-paced action with more guitar riffs than you can poke a stick at. The opening tracks on this album hand them all out in a row, ‘One Step’ and ‘Monkey’ laying down frantic energy and deep groves.

What separates The Living End’s seventh album from previous releases is its maturity. Chris Cheney’s songwriting is more personal than ever, evident in the lead single and the grimly named ‘Death’ and ‘Staring Down The Barrel’.

After the initial burst of signature tunes, the charm of this record comes to life as the band spreads its wings. ‘With Enemies Like That’ is best Living End ballad to date, while tracks like ‘Further Away’ and ‘Coma’ expand upon their signature, incorporating sounds from outside their rockabilly-influenced-rock wheelhouse.

Shift is a standout album by one of Australia’s most-loved bands. Long may The Living End reign.

Monkey Business

Author: Daniel Cribb

Aussie rock staples The Living End took a dangerous approach when recording their new album — one that resulted in some conflicting feedback at first. Frontman Chris Cheney tells Daniel Cribb all about the “daunting task”.

The Living End have been such a prevalent influence on the Australian music scene since the mid-’90s that it can be a bit hard to believe that frontman Chris Cheney has spent the better part of the past five years living in LA. The shredder fell in love with the US when he flew to New York for three months in 2010 with his family to write the band’s last effort, The Ending Is Just The Beginning Repeating, and things took off from there. “After that, we just thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be good to try base ourselves overseas for just a couple of years or three years, four years,” Cheney begins from his Californian abode. “It’s sort of still a temporary arrangement; we’re just kind of playing it by ear at this point,” he adds.

There’s no shortage of opportunities over in the States, which is why he’s probably spent so much time there. Regularly taking advantage of the smorgasbord of gigs available at any one time, he caught The Damned at iconic venue The Roxy a few nights earlier. “I actually play in another band, The Jack Tars, over here which has got Captain Sensible from The Damned in it and Slim Jim Phantom from Stray Cats and Mike Peters from The Alarm, so it’s sort of weird being in a band with those guys when you grew up listening to their music.”

It’s a similar relationship between The Living End and their longtime Aussie heroes Cold Chisel, which sparked the flame that turned into new album Shift. After a studio collaboration in 2014 with Jimmy Barnes, the band joined him around the country for A Day On The Green, which is when their seventh LP came to life through a means completely foreign to them.

“We were doing A Day On The Green and there’s so much time in between — they’re only weekends those things — so we just thought we might as well jump into a studio during that time and just throw some ideas around and not really put any pressure on as far as having to have songs; just get in there and press record, which is a pretty daunting task.

“I’ve always had songs to bring in and we’ve always wanted to be prepared, so there was a certain danger by doing that that it would be a failure and that we would come out with nothing.”

It was because of that creative shake-up that some of the material on the new album is a little different to what fans may be expecting. While upbeat rock number Monkey saw a return to their roots, follow-up single Keep On Running received some mixed reviews from fans on social media. “For The Living End to release a song like Keep On Running, I think a lot of people were just like, ‘What the hell is happening,’” Cheney explains. “It’s just not what you’d expect from us; there’s no solo in the middle, there’s no overly energetic slapping bass. Even though we’ve done lots of things, I think people forget we have a pretty diverse range of tunes and albums over the years.

“There was just an initial kneejerk reaction I think, people wondering what the hell we were doing with a full string section and it’s a very pop kind of melody, but I’m quite proud to go out with a song that people don’texpect. What’s the point of coming out with something that’s just The Living End by numbers, it just doesn’t excited me.”

Gearing up to head home for the band’s first headline run in five years, Cheney cast his eye on local talent as they chose tour supports; a exercise that proved an inspiring process and will see The Living End on their toes as they sweep across the country in June. “I’m really excited by all those bands like The Smith Street Band, Royal Headache and The 131s; they all just seem hungry, edgy and everything that I love and I find it really inspiring.

“I’m sort of making sure I’ve got my shit together for the tour because I know that [support bands Bad//Dreems and The 131s] are going to be forces to be reckoned with. There’s just bands out there that are no bullshit; just laying it down and they’re damn good, they’re not hiding behind anything, it’s just raw rock’n’roll — how it should be.”

The Living End – Shift

Author: Dylan Stewart

It’s been five years between drinks for one of Australian rock’n’roll’s most-loved trios, The Living End. 

Having spent their 20-plus years shifting from punky upstarts to veritable A-listers, Shift is just that; a change of direction. The problem is, it’s hard to know which direction that is. The record, while featuring a number of solid moments – see the ballady Keep On Running and sturdy rockby- numbers Up The Junction – lacks any consistency in voice. Occasional guitar flourishes keep things interesting, but opener One Step gets the album off to a very poor start and TLE struggle to right the ship from there.

The Living End – Shift

Author: Alexander Darling

SHIFT
(Dew Process/UMA)

Aussie rock has taken a beating this year. The once rock-solid AC/DC are caught in a vicious cycle of lineup changes, and the stigma that the genre’s solely for dads and bikies persists. Aussie rock needs a figurehead – a band forged in pubs, who can reliably combine energetic rockabilly with heavy blues and give it an Australian flavour – and we may have found one in The Living End.

The Melbourne trio’s seventh album is a refreshing return to form after the flirtations with dance beats on 2011’s The Ending is Just the Beginning Repeating. The album is full of reasons to consider them the modern torchbearers for one of Australia’s proudest musical legacies. One of them is Monkey, which sees TLE triumphantly return to their punky origins. Chris Cheney’s guitar barks like a dog from the opening chords, his solo is short and sweet, and Andy Strachan’s pounding drumbeat demands fists be pumped and beers spilt.

Shift showcases TLE’s growth as musicians, notably in their exploration of softer sounds. Keep on Running is a string-laden ballad with deeply introspective lyrics about the inevitability of life and change. The song is no less powerful for the instrumentation, and Cheney’s voice is passionate and believable where it could’ve become clichéd.

Elsewhere, like on the album cover, TLE spread their noise out into the darkness. There’s a storm cloud brewing and a hurricane in my head,” sings Cheney on Up the Junction, and the hostile lyrics and frantic strumming of his reverb-effected guitar are characteristic of the album. Sudden dynamic changes on tracks like Life As We Know It and Death only heighten the sense of danger.

With Shift The Living End take their place alongside Cold Chisel as Aussie pub rockers with a versatile side that people of all ages can get around.

Living & Learning

Author: Zoe Radas

Instead of returning to rally-cry roots, Chris Cheney mined his personal travails to inform The Living End’s new album, Shift.

The great thing about The Living End is that when they leap into the air, you never have any question about whether they’re going to land. Melodies and rhythms fling outwards but always snap back, like rubber bands (not rubber balls). It’s the pattern in the raw product that’s kind of baked into the trio’s bones, and it’s all the way through new album Shift – even though the release sounds incredibly different from their previous work, and thematically, it’s brand new territory.

“I felt like the more honest and real that the lyrics seemed to be, the better the song was going to be,” says singer and guitarist Chris Cheney. “It just felt like it would be doing a disservice to the songs, I reckon, had we dumbed them down. It’s the warts and all and it can be a bit ugly, but that’s life, huh.”

Cheney and his bandmates Scott Owen (bass) and Andy Strachan (drums) are interested to see how these tracks will grab the minds of listeners, considering the former’s move to the introspective; paradoxically, it could be more inclusive. “We’ve always written in the third person, and weren’t too literal with our lyrics. And I think that’s more isolating,” Cheney says. “We’ve got a lot of these real rally cry, sing-along, anthem tunes, and in a way you almost hand them over to the audience – at some of our gigs, they take the lead vocal. But I really feel like people are going to connect with this album and with the band. They’re going to hear stuff that doesn’t really sound like The Living End.”

Single Keep On Running is acutely moving and hopeful, with minor chords scattered throughout the sweet parts. Cheney says it began as a collaborative session with a mate whose children “get along really well” with the singer’s own offspring. “We’d been saying for months, ‘We should crack a couple of beers and write something together,’ and one day we finally got around to it. It was almost, I don’t know, sort of like talking to our kids: ‘It’s all going to be OK. There’s going to be some pretty heavy times, and you’re going to go through some sh-t, but it will work out.’ Yeah, when everything’s going great, there is that bittersweet thing of, well, for how long, until it turns sour? But I think that’s the beauty of a song like that. You’ve got to just live in the now, don’t you. So yes, it’s our Chariots of Fire. Inspirational moment,” he chuckles.

From the inspirational to the emotive, one particularly stand-out cut is With Enemies Like That. The true quality of Cheney’s voice is baldly laid out in its melodies, and there’s absolutely no leaning on laurels of nostalgia or phony feelings; Cheney’s assertion that this is “an ‘I’ record, not a ‘we’ record” filters through all its parts. Perhaps it comes from the band’s newly discovered, inherent sense of selection. “You’ve just got to find the right perspective,” Cheney says. “For whatever reason, we seem to have a better perspective and a better way of stepping back, looking at the songs and deciding on what they needed. And sometimes that was less,” he explains.

In terms of the catalyst for output, there’s got to be a spark, and sometimes the fiercer the better. “I don’t know many bands that can just get in there and produce greatness without any kind of friction,” Cheney says. “We all butted heads. There were some doozies. We know each other far too well, and that’s the reason you can say, ‘No, you get f-cked.’” An adjudicator came in the form of Woody Annison, long-time friend and live engineer of the band’s shows. “He knows how we want to sound live, and that’s always the initial idea of going into a studio – to try and catch that common energy,” says Cheney. “He was going to be great at being able to say, ‘You’ve done enough takes for that,’ or ‘That part’s fine, don’t squash all the energy out of it by trying to perfect it.’ Because that’s the danger: that you can get it really, really good and then it’s boring. But the only time we were disagreeing on things was because we wanted to find the best result,” he asserts. “And that’s definitely what we got.”

SHIFT’S GEMS

Up The Junction
There’s a totally synchronised breakdown at the heart of this belter, in which drums, guitar, bass and most importantly space are in complete unison. But it’s Cheney’s subtle harmonies and the timbre of his voice, which cuts through everything like a sweet vinegar, which is the kicker.

Staring Down The Barrel
In terms of vocals, this is the most astonishing of the tracks on Shift; were it played to you in isolation, you may not know it’s Cheney at all. His voice has a vibrato which rolls onto a meaner edge while Owen and Strachan provide a relentless, perpetual motion behind the aching lyrics.

Keep On Running
They say that any happy moment is inherently sad, because we’re aware that happiness is ephemeral, like everything else. That poignancy is captured perfectly in gentle oscillations between major and minor chords while Strachan kicks out little off-beat accents on the snare, and chugging strings complement the track’s hopeful feel.

Wire
In this cracker, pithy rhyming phrases are spat out, repeated, and spun around to reflect on themselves, and Strachan gallops his sticks ferociously across hi-hat and snare.

With Enemies Like That
Try keeping your willies together while listening to Cheney sing “Remember when there was no wrong or right, just a feeling in the night.” Never mawkish, this is genuine reflection all over.

Shift Review

Author: Chris Murray

Twenty-two years of playing seriously intense music (to varying critical and commercial success) hasn’t dampened the torch one molecule.
That unmistakable raw and middle-fingered energy is still front and centre in The Living End’s latest. Except, they’ve dropped the ‘Clash meets Stray Cats’ style pigeonhole; this is instead a dark, angry and furious record dripping with sweat, regret and a pain you have to punch through. Old school Australian rock, modern moods and frank authenticity fall from lead singer Cheney’s lips. Life As We Know It is a highlight amongst solid work that will see ample airplay and deserved success. Nice one!

The White Album

Author: Rory McCartney

The Canberra Theatre
Tuesday July 22

Officially entitled ‘The Beatles’ but universally known as The White Album, the double LP was recorded in a fragmented atmosphere (with many songs lacking the participation of all four Beatles). In 2009, 41 years after its release, four of Australia’s finest – You Am I’s Tim Rogers, Josh Pyke, Chris Cheney of The Living End and Grinspoon frontman Phil Jamieson – brought it back to life. Now they were back again to play the whole lot in track order.

The 17 piece backing setup was impressive, with brass, strings and two drum kits. The gear was picked to match the album cover too, with white baby grand and black and white drums. The show kicked off with a jet plane sample as Cheney let loose with ‘Back in the U.S.S.R.’, before Jamieson followed up with the gentler ‘Dear Prudence’. Jamieson, Cheney and Pyke joined forces for ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ before Rogers made his first appearance in a truly shocking checked suit for ‘Wild Honey Pie’. He had no guitar to do windmills with, but did the next best thing with his tambourine. It was a bizarre feeling at first, seeing these legends in a kind of super karaoke. However, that feeling passed quickly as the four guys and their backing band were so into the songs and the fun of the event. With 30 songs in two sets to get through, there was no mucking about and a continual swapping over between singers, with occasional participation by all four at once.

Each of the stars brought his own style to the show. Jamieson, in dinner jacket and bow tie, camped it up in the first half, but came back full of attitude and high kicks after the interval. Pyke was the cool crooner, while Cheney was the guitar wielding straight rocker. Rogers played the rascal, becoming increasingly more disheveled as the night wore on, although he returned in the second half looking cool in tropical white. He was also the comedy relief and spokesman for the main players, with his most telling comment being that they were not there for nostalgia, they were there for the joy of the songs and delivering them with a lot of love.

Jamieson was the most mobile, wandering through the backing band, draping himself on them and, to the misgivings of the audience, overselected members of the crowd. He was super flexible, banging out the big notes in ‘Yer Blues’ and mincing about for ‘Honey Pie’ (it was a long way from Grinspoon’s ‘Dead Cat’). Cheney showed his stuff with the wailing, drawn out guitar solo in ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ and rocked out in ‘Helter Skelter’, playing a guitar laid flat on the floor before throwing it high for a catch. Rogers shone out with his extravagant, theatrical style, with a fake pistol (complete with ‘bang’ flag) against his head for ‘Happiness Is a Warm Gun’, then dancing around a plastic pig mask during ‘Piggies’. Pyke’s biggest moments were in ‘Julia’ and ‘Blackbird’; songs just made for his smooth vocals.

The backing band, led by musical director Rex Goh, flexed its muscles presenting the experimental instrumental ‘Revolution 9’, with its clouded vocal effects, before all four blokes returned. The encore served up ‘A Day in the Life’, from the ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album and a reprise of ‘Revolution1’. At the end, a small boy went on stage to dance and sing along with the band. Boosted onto the piano by Jamieson, he was so good that it was hard to believe that it wasn’t a set-up. However, a gob smacked Rogers assured us of its genuine spontaneity.

The White Album Concert

Author: Chris Martin

Sydney Opera House
Sunday July 20

They may not quite be Australia’s Fab Four, but there’s plenty of star power in the air when Tim Rogers, Chris Cheney, Phil Jamieson and Josh Pyke get together. They’re touring (once again) their tribute to The Beatles’ self-titled 1968 release colloquially known as The White Album, and the Sydney Opera House has filled four times over for the occasion.

It’s a surprise, therefore, to witness a docile crowd welcoming Cheney with only muted applause for ‘Back In The U.S.S.R.’. There a few key songs that were always bound to define this project as a success or failure, and the McCartney penned opener is one of them. So is ‘Dear Prudence’, led by Jamieson, which despite the 18 musicians onstage for this rendition, gets nowhere near the shimmering magnificence of the original. And it takes two drummers to do what Ringo did by himself 46 years ago.

The first real wave of enthusiasm spreads across the Concert Hall for ‘Ob-La-Di,Ob-La-Da’ – as a song, it’s one of The Beatles’ worst kitschy crimes, but it’d be unfair to deny the fun that it creates for this audience. Cheney, Jamieson and Pyke share the stage for this one, before the self-appointed rock star of the group makes his arrival in Rogers.The You Am I frontman seems to insist that his hungover monologue is the one consistent presence that ties the whole show together, but frankly, his bravado act gets tiresome.

Not so Cheney’s, as ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ lifts much of the audience to its feet. As ever, some of The Beatles’ songs sit better in certain hands than others, and Cheney’s treatment of George Harrison’s tune (and Eric Clapton’s solo) is exultant. Pyke is a natural fit for the softer tracks – ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ especially – while Jamieson seems happy to ham things up, so it’s fair enough that he gets ‘Don’t Pass Me By’.

By no means is The Beatles a flawless album – even the most popular group in musical history made its mistakes – but this all-Australian ensemble does a commendable job in reflecting the source material fairly. It’s just a shame that The Beatles never actually get a mention in all the self-congratulation that goes on here. Still, the Rogers/Cheney/Jamieson/Pyke group could do worse than tour Rubber Soul or Abbey Road, perhaps – because if all those songs haven’t yet grown dated, they won’t anytime soon.

The White Album Concert

Author: Annelise Ball

Hamer Hall
15 Jul

Well dressed baby boomers dominate the crowd gathering in Hamer Hall’s multi-level foyers. The White Album Concert brings The Beatles’ seminal double album back to life 44 years post-release thanks to the talents of Tim Rogers, Chris Cheney, Phil Jamieson and Josh Pyke. Cheney’s punk-rock credentials blast the set open with Back In The U.S.S.R. and Glass Onion while Jamieson charms wearing a big bow tie and singing the wistful Dear Prudence. All take part in the crazy Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, with Pyke giving Cheney a blokey, footy-style tap on the bum before walking off once the job is done.

Rogers takes on the early run of wacky, acid-trip tracks dressed in a fetching tweed suit. The timeless While My Guitar Gently Weeps then shifts the tone to moving, all-encompassing intensity. Cheney fills in admirably for Eric Clapton for the compelling lead guitar solo and receives a massive response from the crowd. Pyke successfully maintains total coolness while singing the twee Martha My Dear, but perhaps shows his true feelings when tossing away the tambourine as he walks off. He later recovers by nailing the fingerpicking acoustic beauty of Blackbird.

Helter Skelter is an early highlight from the second side, with two wailing guitarists, double drum kits and Cheney’s ripping guitar solo making huge amounts of awesome noise. Later, Cheney almost misses the start of Savoy Truffle but redeems himself by chucking Cadbury Favourites into the crowd. Two drummers keep perfect time as they bash their kits in mirror image during this rhythmic track. Avant-garde shit gets real with Revolution 9 – a track so trippy and multi-layered that musical director Rex Goh steps up to conduct. Gorgeous lullaby Good Night, greatly improved by the merciful absence of Ringo Starr’s vocals, sees all four artists on stage together to bid us farewell. Rogers whispers, “Goodnight,” and then, “let’s go fuck shit up” – a suggestion that’s probably not often heard on the Hamer Hall stage.

A Day In The Life, an imposter track from Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, lets the rock orchestra loose with its signature instrumental rise to the top of the scales while triumphant octaves crash below. Random punters are hauled up on stage to join the fun during Revolution 1, forcing Jamieson to defend himself against an enthusiastic older lady who tries to pinch his mic. The White Album Concert is definitely the best aural acid trip through the swinging ‘60s you can score.

The Pants Collective

Author: Augustus Welby

The Pants Collective is the solo product from Living End drummer Andy Strachan. His first foray into band leading is an accessible listen, but it rarely seems interested in pushing the envelope. This debut EP hews closely to the attitude and aesthetic scope of The Living End, but it doesn’t necessarily sound like the output of Strachan’s day job.

The seven-track release begins with the cartoon-like garage blues of ‘Secrets’, before getting more debauched (and less effective) on chunky rocker ‘It’s Gonna Be Fine’. It gets more interesting when Strachan shifts into gears he’s less familiar with. ‘You’ll Never Know’ dons a hazy ’90s pop-rock visage, while two-faced EP closer ‘Hometown’ evolves from a neo-reggae experiment into a pub rock anthem. Strachan’s voice is by no means laughable, but it’s not a striking feature. Accordingly, nothing of lingering curiosity is said during the set’s 24-minute run time. Nevertheless, Strachan does show promise as a songwriter. These songs would surely benefit from someone with pronounced on-record character revving them up.

Similar to how films that don’t require particular patience or attention to detail are the most suitable for in-flight viewing, this is easy to digest, but it mightn’t have you raving to your friends at journey’s end.

The Living End

Author: Emily Kelly

THE LIVING END
The Corner, Monday December 17

I will admit, regrettably, that I attended The Living End’s show with a firmly instilled and rather smug sense of irony. It was, after all, many years since the band fi rst enamoured my 13-year-old self with their anti-authoritarian anthem Prisoner Of Society. It was also many years since I totally dismissed them as mainstream fodder, so revisiting their debut self-titled album seemed an apt way to revisit my fondness whilst not entirely surrendering my perceived good taste. Not entirely unlike attending a Vengaboys show.

Immediately upon launching into aforementioned song of a generation, I was forced to eat my words. The Living End may no longer be particularly relevant for a vast portion of their initial fan base (though there was a great deal of them throwing up the horns in a tame but thoroughly enthused mosh up front), but that doesn’t mean that they ever stopped being masterful musicians, or for that matter, writing good goddamn songs.

Steaming verbatim through their self-titled album, with the occasional embellishment, it occurred to me that for all my obsessive fandom, I never quite appreciated the quality of this band’s songwriting. Borrowing from every niche, nook and subgenre of the late ‘90s, this album was the embodiment of legitimate, Australian punk rock. It was cheeky and charismatic, the perfect representation of the band themselves.

Even as Chris Cheney lamented the band’s brutal touring schedule, suggesting that rehashing Second Solution was more fucked than it was fun, it did little to dampen his temperament. Smashing stuff. I was at once sentimental and then, deeply humbled. It was a bold move, regurgitating an entire career’s worth of albums for this Australian tour, but one that may have just reignited all the right flames.

LOVED: Revisiting Prisoner Of Society.
HATED: The chronological setlist dictating that all the best songs were played first.
DRANK: All of the beers.

Mr Cassidy

Author: Zoe Radas

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the most apt adjective that comes to mind when attempting to describe Danni Carr happens to be the same word as her own daughter’s name. Danni is mother to Sunny, wife to Ash Grunwald and one half of gorgeous new country/folk outfit Mr Cassidy. The other half is Emilie Owen, who has two children of her own with another of Australia’s darlings, Scott Owen. The two met when their husbands were playing together, and the subject of music and family became a deep discussion which quickly bore sweet fruit.

“You’re focused on [your children], I guess; that’s your main priority,” Carr says contemplatively, over the phone from Byron where she’s about to head back inside to continue rehearsal. “You lose a lot of that creative drive, and Emilie was the same. So when we met, we talked about that and I felt ready. I really felt like it was time to start playing again, and she was in exactly the same boat. Also with having husbands that are well-established musicians… you seem to be more supportive toward their things that they’ve got going on, which is cool.”

As it happened, the bluegrass stars aligned and Carr and Owen decided to get jamming, and jamming good. The result is an EP of five exceptionally beautiful, sometimes bangin’, always searingly heartfelt tracks, with Carr’s guitar and lead vox and Owens’ backups and fiddle accompanied by extra instrumentation from percussionist Fingers Malone, and Mr Owens himself. “Yes, he’s playing bass on the whole EP,” Carr confirms and then adds with a grin, “actually we were rehearsing today and he was doing some extra special stuff, and I’m like, ‘What the hell?’ He’s just playing so fast and slapping the crap out of the bass. He’s such an amazing player. Sometimes I kick myself: I’ll be at a gig, and I look over and Scott’s going crazy and I’m like, ‘Shit! I’m actually playing with the bass player from The Living End’,” she laughs brightly.

Carr also has warm things to say about Fingers Malone, whom she calls “the Modern Day Renaissance Man” for all the feathers in his cap. “He’ll play drums, he’ll help you write a song, he’ll produce the album, record it, he did all the artwork for the EP, he did the artwork for our posters and postcards, he does everything,” she says, but adds that he’s still incredibly understated. “You’ll say, ‘Why don’t you do a drum solo?’ and he’s like, ‘No way, I don’t do that shit’,” she smiles.

The titular track from the EP, Mountain Side, is driven by Fingers’ infectious shuffle with brushes on the snare, and some great unusual harmonies backing Carr’s vocals that are spot on as a bell. “It’s not recorded in such a bluegrass traditional way, it’s a bit more of a modern take on it. That one Ash and I wrote together over a bowl of muesli one morning and then went down and recorded it that day,” she says. The other stand-out is the hauntingly pretty Where My Babies Lie, which Carr wrote about the story of Robert Farquharson and Cindy Gambino, whose three sons were killed when Farquharson drove his car off the road and into a dam on Father’s Day in 2005. Carr has been friends with Gambino for a few years and for a long time felt a propulsion to write something about the tale.

“Being friends with her and having spent a lot of time with her,” begins Carr, and then pauses to ponder. “Her story, she’s very open about it, she will talk about it. I think it’s part of her healing. You just walk away from her feeling, ‘oh God, it’s just so, so sad.’ I only met her about three or four years ago, but it’s always playing on my mind. I think about her all the time, I think about her suffering all the time. It’s going to sound a bit wanky but I was getting quite upset, writing the verses, and I wanted it to be right. I didn’t want it to be too graphic, but I really wanted to tell the story. And it’s really quite a fine balance.” Carr sweated over anticipating Gambino’s response, but said when her friend eventually heard the finished track she was “freaking out”, in a good way. “She was glad someone could express her point of view, especially in the form of a song,” Carr breathes. “I was really happy and relieved.” Expect more awesomeness when the full-length is out (heads up: Nash Chambers may be heavily involved) towards the end of the year.

MR CASSIDY launch their EP Mountain Side at The Workers Club on Saturday February 2, supported by Dave Larkin.