THE HUMAN experience of life, love, hope, disappointment and guilt can be incredibly confusing. Yet, once in a while a song comes along that encapsulates that universal feeling, and for three and a half minutes provides some much needed release.
A hot-pot of words and stories seasoned with people and places is what makes up good song writing for folk-singer-songwriter Carus Thompson.
“You don’t realise you are coming up with these ideas, these songs, but they are just sort of stewing away and cooking in your mind,” he said.
“Sometimes a song can come in two minutes. Sometimes it can take months or a year. And sometimes the song that came in two minutes you were actually thinking about for a year.”
When he’s not pushing a pram around Melbourne’s eclectic city streets 36-year-old Thompson is busy riding the singer-songwriter tide. His creative cycle could be represented in a three pronged flow chart — song writing, recording, performing and back to song writing again. Currently Thompson is in performance mode and will be heading to Europe for a 10 year anniversary tour.
Thompson will play a total of eight shows in the UK, Germany and Switzerland. Five of the shows are in Germany where Thompson has tapped into an audience starved of local singer-songwriters.
One determined fan is driving from the F1 in Hungary to Berlin to catch the show.
Thompson said: “The Germans call what I do handmade music. They love Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. They love this sort of singer-songwriter stuff with balls, with a bit of a rock edge to it.
“In Australian even singer-songwriters have to come up through the pub rock scene, you have to learn how to rock ‘em. So when you take that sort of thing to Germany people love it and so do the English too I might add — especially when they get a few Australians to show them the way.”
Fatherhood means this will be Thompson’s last European tour for a while. Originally from Fremantle, he is hoping to stay closer to home for the next couple of years.
Having played with the likes of John Butler, Jack Johnson, Pete Murray, Xavier Rudd and Seth Lakeman; Thompson was a little bewildered the first time he was asked if he planned to try out for reality television show Australia’s Got Talent.
“I don’t care how many X-Factors there are. It’s not the same thing as going to a pub and seeing a band or a musician and having a pint in your hand. It’s a different thing and it will always survive and in my heart it’s way better. TV talent shows are my sworn enemy,” Thompson said.
For Thompson human interaction is what makes the live music experience so special.
“What I do I can’t do in four minutes. My thing is about establishing and building a connection with my audience,” he said.
“A performance needs to be an event. Any performance that happens once — a certain bunch of people are there, it’s a certain venue, a certain bunch of songs, certain things happen. You build to some sort of crescendo and it ends. Everyone has a chat afterwards but the next day it’s gone.
“I need at least half an hour with people to tell them a few stories, get them dancing, hopefully make them cry a little bit and no worries,” he laughed.
Carus Thompson will play The Half Moon in Putney on Friday 9 August, at 8pm. Tickets cost £10 and are available from thehalfmoon.musicglue.com.