Olivia Bartley, known across the globe as Olympia, is no stranger to the stage. Soon to leave on a seven-date tour of Europe, Olympia will return home to Australia in October to begin her first Australian tour since the release of her second album Flamingo. With two big months of touring looming, Bartley is ready to get on the road again.
“I’m laminating luggage tags as we speak,” she said. “I’m trying to be super organised this trip. [I’ve had] heaps of practise, and heaps of sleep, because I think I’ll lose a lot from the travel. But we’re really excited about this tour.”
The first Australian date is the intimate Anglesea Memorial Hall, a venue with a capacity of just over 330. Yet Bartley is not daunted by the transition from playing European clubs and Reeperbahn Festival to such a small hall.
“We’ve never played Anglesea before and we’re really looking forward to it. We’ve also got a different set; we’ve brought different things to the stage,” Bartley explained. “[This will be] the first time we’ve tried out some new live things for Australian audiences. I’m really looking forward to that.”
Bartley will be joined by her full band to bring her latest release, Flamingo, to life. Fans of her earlier work need not worry, as she will also explore her past catalogue during the show. On choosing the setlist, she said: “it’s been a lot of fun, and I can’t wait”.
“Even the songs off Self Talk  have a different life now. They’ve been toured so much and there’s so much of the audience in some of the tracks. So it’ll be really fun to mix it up and play those ones as well.
“With the full band, it’ll be high energy,” Bartley promises. “The live show is an amazing opportunity to get closer to the record for a little bit, I find, in a way you don’t always get when you listen to a record at home. It really does bring the record alive. We worked a lot on the show to make it a really unique experience for the audience.”
The show won’t only be about the music, however. Bartley has been praised for her ability to connect with the audience, through song-writing stories and mid-set banter, creating a uniquely enjoyable experience for the audience.
“For me, it’s definitely important [to connect to the audience]. We always work really hard to make the show special. It’s important to have respect for the audience and make the show as special as we can.”
Having been over three years since performing on the Surf Coast, Bartley is bringing a whole new experience this time. “It’s a different world. That was a solo show, so it’ll be completely different.”
“And it’s always so great to be on the Coast.”
The Sound Doctor presents Olympia at the Anglesea Memorial Hall on Friday 4 October. Support by Friend and fellow musician Jess Ribeiro. Tickets are available from TryBooking.
Written by Thom Devereux