Mudgee will be part of a very limited tour by the reunited Hunters and Collectors when the band headlines Mudgee’s second A Day on the Green concert this summer.
Tickets go on sale today for the event on March 8, 2014, at Robert Oatley Vineyards, which will also feature Aussie acts Something For Kate, Diesel and British India.
The band has played together only sporadically since its retirement in 1998, at events including the 2009 Sound Relief bushfire benefit, a V8 Supercars meet at Olympic Park, and the recent AFL grand final.
Lead singer Mark Seymour said the Sound Relief concert had been “a bit of an ice breaker” for the band, their 35-minute set showing them that Hunters and Collectors were as strong as ever.
Having seen each other occasionally since the breakup, Seymour said he had enjoyed coming together to spend a few days rehearsing each week.
“It’s been quite good. Everyone’s really relaxed, focused on the job,” he said.
“I think everyone’s mellowed.”
After playing as a solo musician in recent years – including performances at Mudgee’s 2006 A Day on the Green and Roth’s Wine Bar – he said the biggest difference in returning to Hunters and Collectors was the volume.
“It’s a massive shift,” he said. “It’s just twice as loud – it’s a very loud band.”
Seymour attributed the Hunters and Collectors’ unique sound to two elements – the constantly riffing, dominant bass, and the band’s three-piece brass section.
The reunion performances have brought back the full band to deliver a setlist that Seymour says is fairly close to the performances the band was giving when they finished in 1998, ranging from early material through to what he considers an underrated final album, including 20 years of hits along the way.
Without the pressure to sell bigger venues and more albums, he said the musicians could just enjoy performing.
One trigger for the band’s reunion has been the release of the Crucible tribute album, with covers of Hunters and Collectors classics by artists including Paul Kelly and Neil Finn – as well as fellow A Day on the Green performers Something For Kate and British India.
Because Hunters and Collectors’ sound is so much their own, Seymour said the album’s artists had to distil their songs down to their essence to create their own versions, and he had been impressed by the result.
Seymour said he particularly liked Alpine’s recording of Hear No Evil.
Even after the reunion, however, he said, “There’s no intention of rekindling the whole thing as it was.”
The band will play a strictly limited tour including theatres in Sydney and Melbourne and A Day on the Green.
As a veteran of A Day on the Green, Seymour was glad the opportunity arose for the band to be part of the outdoor festival series.
“I really like them, I think they’re fantastic events,” he said.
“They’re multi-generational, they’re regional, there’s no stress.”
Most importantly, he said, “You’re bringing live music into regional towns.”