Augie March

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Augie March

Augie March are arguably one of Australia’s most innovative and enduring bands. In their long career they’ve seen both commercial and critical success, and amassed a loyal following. In 2014, after a five-year break, the five-piece made a triumphant return to the international stage with Havens Dumb. The album features 14 tracks that echo the Augie March of old and that sparked a wildly successful national tour.
Since returning home however, things have been a little quiet on the band front, so I caught up with founding member and guitarist Adam Donovan to find out what they’ve been up to.
“There have been a couple of rumours and murmurs around, but I know for sure that we’ll be playing Queenscliff [Music Festival],” he smiles. “It’s been a number of years since we’ve played there and we’re excited to go back because I know Ainslie Wills is playing and I quite like her band – they’re really good.”
This year the QMF Inc. pulled out all the stops when putting together the stellar line-up. Recently their fifth and final announcement revealed a main stage comedy program featuring Tom Ballad and Cal Wilson, and the addition of 15 local acts including major drawcards like Lior and Angus & Julia Stone.
“Everybody likes to get out of the house – and to see live music is so important that I don’t see it [QMF] going anywhere,” he says.
Augie March has played at almost every festival in the country at some stage, and they were a stand-out at the 26th Bluesfest this year – but it was their recent national tour that had them back in the rehearsal studio re-learning old favourites from Sunset Sounds which was recorded in 2000 but, due to its continuing popularity, only reached Gold status last year.
“We hadn’t played ‘Asleep In Perfection’ for over a decade – you gotta love YouTube!” Donovan laughs.
“I had to go online and watch a performance from the 10:30 Slot [hosted by Dylan Lewis and Angus Sampson] that was on in the ’90s to learn how to play it again. There are a lot of live performances of us on there, and that comes in very handy if you haven’t played a song in a number of years. I watched the clips thinking ‘Oh, that’s what I did – I’ll try to do that again’,” he grins.
Reliving old memories put Donovan in a mood to reminisce about the early days in Shepparton where Donovan, drummer Dave Williams and front man Glenn Richards grew up.
“We became friends when we were kids and we moved to Melbourne about the same time and started living in share houses together. I think the band was born a year after moving to Melbourne [where they met Edmondo Ammedola studying music in Collingwood, and a few years later Kiernan Box, who replaced original keyboardist Rob Dawson after he passed away in 2001]. It feels like ancient history! We’re still great friends to this day and we keep in touch regularly.”
As a band, Augie March seem stronger than ever: “When we’re together and playing, it feels familiar and similar to how it’s always been. We’ve been lucky enough to have people wanting to come and see us play, which is a very nice thing and not something to be taken for granted.”
Written by Natalie Rogers
When & Where: Queenscliff Music Festival – November 27-29