Thing of Stone and Wood: Celebrating a lasting Australian folk rock legacy

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Thing of Stone and Wood: Celebrating a lasting Australian folk rock legacy

Sitting across the world in Geneva with a cup of coffee, singer-songwriter Greg Arnold is warmed by the fact that his band of 30 years, Things of Stone and Wood, are heading back to Australia this year, armed with the tracks of their 1993 debut album.

“I’m super excited about that one. It’s a funny thing, in all the touring that we did, we never actually played the album from start to finish so it’s going to be really fun.”

The Melbourne band’s The Yearning Tour will feature the album’s full fourteen tracks from beginning to end for the first time, as a tribute to the album which reached number eight on the ARIA charts, and in celebration of the band’s achieved national success, international tours, and a lasting legacy in Australian folk rock.

This 10 date tour will feature the band’s original line-up of Michael Allen on bass guitar and backing vocals; Greg Arnold on lead vocals and acoustic guitar; Justin Brady on violin, mandolin and harmonica; and Tony Floyd on drums and percussion.

“It’s always interesting in the life of a band that’s been going for a long time, I think we’re almost coming up to 30 years soon. After one of the fairly longer gaps in the band history, we got back together and played in 2014 which was our 25 year anniversary tour, and the band was just in really great form. It just had this fantastic feeling around it and that’s just continued on with everything we’ve done since then.

“For us, this album particularly, it’s indistinguishable to me from all those incredible experiences we had as a band touring around, releasing that record. So it’s a very emotional thing for us, and to be honest, we never even thought of it [playing all the tracks] until recently,” Arnold explains.

Looking back at the golden album that sky-rocketed the band to success, Arnold says this album was a real stand-out moment for the band.

“It would have been a few years that I couldn’t even have listened to it really without going or it kind of been too much fully, so it’s been nice to be able to come back and listen to it. I hear the differences in what we do now, how we have changed musically, but I love going back then, and I really recognise it as a real stand-out moment for the band,” he says. “I listen back to this record and I realise I’m really proud of it, it’s a really well crafted record.”

Even with Arnold based overseas in Switzerland, the band continue their legacy, continuing playing shows and are even at the beginning of creating new material.

“We are actually just starting to work on some new stuff now which I’m really excited about. It makes looking back at the Yearning even more fun, knowing that the band has a bit of an eye on the future as well.

“Because we are all off doing different things all the time, it’s been fantastic. I’ve just had one of those incredible song writing bursts that occasionally happen, and just the sound of it to me, I was just going, ‘it just sounds like a Things of Stone and Wood record to me, it would be great if we could do some more Stone and Wood stuff’, and so here we go.”

When & Where: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne – March 23 & The Workers Club, Geelong – March 31

Written by Talia Rinaldo