It’s been seven years, seven long years, but finally in 2014 we should be getting the long-awaited fifth album from Melbourne’s own The Band Who Knew Too Much (TBWKTM). From busking on the streets of St Kilda to playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the band has taken in a lot of miles over the last twenty-five years. I recently got the opportunity to sit down with Dave Evans, accordionist and vocalist for the group, to have a retrospective chat at their illusive career so far and to find out what the future holds.
Over their career, the band has built a strong following throughout Scandinavia and tours biannually throughout Europe. Although the crowds and reaction to the music isn’t that far removed from Australian audiences, there’s nothing better than playing at a European music festival, as Evans relates. “It’s fairly similar I think, but I do believe that the Scandinavians are very enthusiastic. We go over there for their summer and because their summer is so short they put a lot of energy into enjoying it. The festival circuit goes off over there and we’ve played many great gigs. There are tour stories, but they are best left on the road I think,” Evans said.
Dubbed as the Jimi Hendrix of the accordion, Evans has always had a love for the instrument. Growing up in a musical household, it was inevitable that Evans’ career would be in music. “My father used to sing and my mother played piano. She wanted us all to learn an instrument and I had a choice between piano, guitar or an accordion. At the age of seven, I picked up the accordion. To this day I don’t really know what initially attracted me to it. I think that it is one out of the box. How many accordions do you see at a gig?”
In the early days of TBWKTM, none of the members thought that they would be celebrating twenty-five years together. Not to say that they would think about breaking up, yet it’s still a bit of a surprise. “We all get along pretty well in the band and the playing is very enjoyable. We never thought we would be celebrating such a milestone, but it’s not hard to keep playing. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were celebrating fifty years down the road. We all love it so much and there is definitely no sign of stopping yet.”
The band is set to play at the Old Hepburn Hotel on the 22nd of June and Evans couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to head back out to the country. “I grew up in the country and so to an extent it is a little bit of a homecoming for me. We’ve been rehearsing and it’s sounding awesome. I like to get out of Melbourne any opportunity I get. It’s great to play your music in places you haven’t taken the band too much previously because there is an element of discovery for the audience.”
Not travelling to Europe this year, there is a very strong chance that we will hear a new record from the band by Christmas time. The process is set to be similar to their previous recordings, and although it won’t feature any Christmas carols, it will be great to hear yet another release from The Band Who Knew Too Much. In the meantime, head out to hear their new tunes in the live format.
When&Where: Old Hepburn Hotel, Hepburn Springs – June 22
Written by Tex Miller