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Gareth Liddiard

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Taking a moment out from The Drones, Gareth Liddiard performs a solo show at the Rosemount Hotel this Saturday, September 20, with support from Cam Avery. BOB GORDON reports.

Gareth Liddiard, by this time, has chalked up a fair, shall we say, gigology. 

He’s played all types, but one stands out in his mind for all the wrong sorts of right reasons, a decade ago in a small venue in the South of Germany.

“We had a show in a town where two people rolled up,” recalls. “It was fucked because we were just hoping that no one would show because we’d get the night off.

“But two people walked in and we were like, ‘nooooo!’. It’s more nerve-wracking playing to two people than it is to 2,000. It’s way more personal.”

As it turns out The Drones toured Europe in July and it’s fairly needless to say that things went a little differently.

“It was awesome,” Liddiard says. “It was one of those weird tours where every single bit was really good.”

The Drones have been signed to Bang! Records since 2002 in Europe and have maintained a loyal following as the years have gone by. Touring in support of last year’s excellent I See Seaweed album, the fascination is still there.

“It sort of depends of where you go,” Liddiard notes casually. “If we went to a small town we’d get 150-200 people and in big towns we’d get 1,000. It depends where we are; the more southern countries we tend to do better in, ‘cause they’re more into drinkin’ beer and gettin’ loose. It works for us (laughs).”

As it turns out, the European trip was the final go-’round for I Sea Seaweed.

“Yeah it was, in fact we finished rehearsing a couple of days ago for a new album,” Liddiard reveals. “That’s the next step, we’re moving into a studio on October 1, when I get back from Perth.

“I’ve got ideas… I’ve got three or four songs, some bits and bobs in the spare parts department and some nutty ideas. Hopefully we’ll do something kind of different.”

While many bands record new albums almost in reaction to how their previous one turned out, for Liddiard new albums are…

“… usually just what follows,” he notes. “You would have learnt things from the last record and simply taken them along with you. But with the bulk of the last record you’ve been there/done that and want to do something different.

“We go back and forth like that. We’ll have something like Wait Long By The River… (2005) which was quite stark and barbed and heavy and then we’ll have Gala Mill (2006) which was very laidback and full of space. We just do that; we go back and forth. It’s hard for me to say because I think about this shit full-time.

“All I ever think about is music… it’s just like spaghetti that never leaves me alone. I heard a great quote the other day from a film-maker who said, ‘there’s the film you make in your head, and there’s the film you write, and then there’s the film you actually shoot’. It’s the same with albums.”

Gareth Liddiard performs a solo show at the Rosemount Hotel this Saturday, September 20. Get your tickets here.