In celebration of the tenth anniversary of Eskimo Joe’s A Song is a City, frontman Kav Temperley is hitting the road and playing the entire album start to finish – just himself and an acoustic guitar.
“I went down to a café called The X-Ray. I often go down there and do little anonymous acoustic sets or whatever I feel like doing and they are kind enough to let me take over from time to time,” says Temperley. “Earlier in the year I realised that it was ten years since A Song is a City came out, so I decided to grab an acoustic guitar and set up down there and play the album from start to finish. It was just really lovely and I’d forgotten just how well that album plays through on an acoustic guitar. I had all these tweets like ‘why don’t you come do that here’, and I thought maybe I will.”
Along with playing, Temperley will be pausing to reveal the inspirations and backstories behind each of the songs, as well as playing covers of songs that influenced his writing at the time.
“With this format I can just talk and interact and tell the stories, and that to me can be as much a part of the shows as the songs,” explains Temperley. “Also, everyone who comes to the shows, I’ve done a little acoustic covers EP of songs that inspired the songs on A Song is a City, so I’m going to come out afterwards and give people their CDs and talk to them.”
These shows are not just about Temperley or Eskimo Joe, they are also about the crowd sharing their memories and stories that have formed around the band’s music.
“I really hope people will rock up with merch that they bought from that era, or photos, and I just want to talk to people about their experience with the record,” says Temperley. “If you do your job properly as a songwriter, once you put that song out there you create this kind of mirror for people to get their own stories out of it.”
As for what to expect from these upcoming shows, outside of the songs not even Temperley is sure what will happen from night to night.
“I know how to play the songs and I can do that, but I don’t really know what else happens,” says Temperley. “I’m just going to let that spontaneously come out of me, so you’ll have to come along and see exactly what happens because I don’t really know either.”
What’s for certain is this is an unmissable experience for all Eskimo Joe fans, especially those wanting to reminisce on the band and their own lives 10 years ago.
“Hopefully they are coming along because they were a fan of A Song is a City because that’s really what it’s about,” says Temperley. “It’s about coming and listening to one of your favourite albums played in order from start to finish, and played in a raw format with just a voice and a guitar.
“There is something about the album A Song is a City where Eskimo Joe fans will always say ‘that’s my favourite album’. People took that album into their life and made it a very personal thing for them, and that’s pretty amazing.”
When&Where: NSC, Melbourne – August 1; The Karova, Ballarat – August 2; and Beav’s Bar, Geelong – August 3
Written by Zach Broadhurst