Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission announce 20-date East Coast Christmas tour

Subscribe to Forte Magazine


Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission announce 20-date East Coast Christmas tour

Mick Thomas' Roving Commission are hitting the road in celebration of a new seven-track EP 'Back In The Day' featuring new and old originals and unexpected covers of The Saints, Cold Chisel, Neil Young and Johnny Thunders.

Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission, the latest vehicle for the main man of Melbourne’s legendary Weddings Parties Anything (and also featuring fellow Weddo Squeezebox Wally, and the Waifs’ Ben Franz), is back with a swathe of news, including a new partnership with esteemed Brisbane indie Coolin’ By Sound, a new EP and a 20-date East Coast tour.

The National Christmas tour will see the band kick the fun off at Arcobar in Heatherton on November 2, and take to Ararat, Drysdale, Main Ridge, Canberra, Marrickville, Katoomba, Petrie Terrace, Tasmania, Adelaide, Margaret River, Fremantle, Leederville and Thornbury for three dates before finishing up at Archies Creek on January 1 2023.

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here

Coolin’ By Sound, whose roster already includes Adam Gibson, Tape/Off, Dumb Things and Full Power Happy Hour (who will also be joining the Qld and NSW legs of Mick and band’s upcoming tour) is owned by esteemed music writer Steve Bell and his partner, longtime Qld music mover and shaker Michelle Padovan. The label has international distribution through US indie Redeye Worldwide.

“As a young Aussie music fan I fell in love with Weddings Parties Anything in the mid-’80s while still at school and I’ve followed Mick’s career ever since – I own pretty much everything he’s ever put out and been seeing him play live for decades – so to welcome him and The Roving Commission into the CBS family feels like an absolute privilege on so many levels,” says Steve Bell, co-owner Coolin’ By Sound.

“We’re so excited to work alongside someone that we hold in such high esteem, with Mick being in my humble opinion one of our country’s greatest-ever singer-songwriters, and these new releases highlight that he’s still at the peak of his powers with an awesome band at his back.”

Ahead of a 20-date National Christmas tour they’ve also just announced (it wouldn’t be Christmas without a Mick Thomas tour) and while they toil away on their next full-length album, Mick and the group have decided to christen the new relationship with a 7 track “maxi single” called Back in the Day.

The greatest Australian seven-track maxi single since Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons’ 1978 classic So Young, Back In The Day will feature a mix of new and old originals and some great covers. The EP’s title track will be the next album’s first single, while the EP itself expands upon that song’s premise of looking in the rearview mirror of life with a perfect batch of beautifully chosen and executed covers and reinterpretations relating to the same theme.

New versions of “Houses” and “A Tired Old Hat” shine fresh light on a couple of an undeservedly lost Thomas classics from the past decade. The covers, which include the The Saints’ late ’80s classic “Shipwreck” (something of a tribute to the late Chris Bailey), Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s Ragged Glory highlight “Days That Used To Be”, and the unsung first album Cold Chisel gem “Home & Broken Hearted”, featuring a spunky lead vocal from the Roving Commission’s newest member, Brooke Taylor, reveal something of the diverse influences on Thomas’ songwriting and the band’s approach.

Brooke Taylor also takes lead on a gorgeous version of Johnny Thunder’s heartbreaking 1978 ballad “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory”. One of those rare songs that is vividly remembered by everyone who has heard it and an unexpected delight awaiting anyone who hasn’t (and also covered by Ronnie Spector, Willy DeVille, Celibate Rifles, Blondie, Billie Joe Armstrong and even Guns N’ Roses!), “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory” is perhaps going to be the EP’s dark horse, and Brooke, Mick and gang make it their own.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Micky Jim (@micko23b)

Together the seven songs which constitute Back In The Day combine to become one fascinating and vibrant rumination upon dealing with the passing of time, delivered with both authority and authenticity by this accomplished five-piece band.

“Even though the whole theme of the EP seems to be about looking back, it’s really great to be doing it as a means to move forward,” Thomas laughs.

“The whole album that we’ve done which is coming out next year is about people being focussed on what came before. I was originally going to call the album Solastalgia – which is just a term I read in a book which refers to this existential recognition of being attached to a time and place that you can never really attain, like something that’s in the past – but then I found out that Missy Higgins already had an album called that!

“But it just meant that I became really interested in songs that were about looking backwards to some degree, and I had some covers that I knew would fit around the theme so it all came together really quickly and easily.”

Mick Thomas has been at the coalface of the Australian music scene for four decades – releasing six acclaimed albums throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s with his band Weddings Parties Anything and another ten albums during the subsequent solo career which has continued uninterrupted to this day – and while he’s well-and-truly counted amongst our country’s greatest ever songwriters (WPA’s 1992 single “Father’s Day” won the 1993 ARIA Award for Song Of The Year), over the journey he’s also proved a dab hand at making other people’s songs his own and imbuing them with his own spirit.

Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission Touring Back in the Day

Wed 2 Arcobar – Heatherton (VIC) + Kerryn Fields TBC
Wed 9 Ararat Live (VIC) + Kerryn Fields TBC
Fri 11 Bennets on Bellarine Winery (VIC) + Kerryn Fields
Fri 18 Pig and Whistle (VIC) + Dave Wright and the Midnight Ramblers

Thu 1 Smiths Canberra (ACT) + Full Power Happy Hour
Fri 2 Great Club Marrickville (NSW) + Full Power Happy Hour
Sat 3 Baroque Room Katoomba (NSW) + Full Power Happy Hour
Sun 4 Leftys (QLD) + Full Power Happy Hour

Sun 11 Longley International (TAS) + Teresa Dixon

Tue 13 Grace Emily (SA) + Cookie Baker
Wed 14 Grace Emily (SA) + Tom Redwood
Thu 15 Grace Emily (SA) + Mark Curtis and the Flannelettes

Fri 16 River Hotel Margaret River (WA) + Carla Geneve
Sat 17 Navy Club Freo (WA) + Carla Geneve
Sun 18 Oxford (WA) + Carla Geneve

Fri 21 Shotkickers Thornbury (VIC) + Skyscraper Stan
Sat 22 Shotkickers Thornbury (VIC) + Alana Jagt and the Monotremes
Sun 23 Shotkickers Thornbury (VIC) + Maggie Alley Band

Sun 1 Archies Creek (VIC) + Sherry Rich and the Grievous Angels

All tickets at mickthomas.com/shows