Kev Carmody launches new single
By Dave Wright
Kev Carmody, one of Australia's top singer/songwriters, launched the new single from his excellent Eulogy (For a Black Person) album at Sydney's Harbourside Brasserie before a very appreciative crowd on April 8.
With "Blood Red Rose", Carmody combines simplicity of style and melody with a searching, razor-edged narrative to create yet another finely crafted musical essay. Kev describes the song as "a comment on personal isolation. Late night, big city alienation." Kev, on guitar, is partnered by Mixed Relations' Brenda Gifford and her bluesy saxophone.
The new single also includes "Elly", the moving story of a young woman attempting to escape the poverty and racism of western Queensland, who finds herself trapped in Surfers Paradise working in the sex industry.
As always, politics was at the fore in Carmody's Sydney performance. He conjured for the audience an uncomplicated array of images which highlight the struggle for black rights and social justice in Australia. He is a special performer, because he remains committed to his ideals at a time when the mainstream is beginning to pay a lot of attention to his music.
Supporting Carmody were the Melbourne-based band, the Tiddas. This three-woman group, one of the most exciting bands to visit Sydney for a long time, does not fit into any single musical category. Powerful vocals and extraordinary harmonies are interwoven with issues such as women's rights and black deaths in custody.
But the Tiddas also set out to have fun while they performed. They engaged the audience with a frankness and friendliness which cut across the usual sterile atmosphere of a pub gig.
Kev Carmody will be one of the feature artists at this year's National Folk Festival in Canberra. The festival takes place over the Easter long weekend, and one of his concerts will be recorded for ABC Radio National's Music Deli program.
Addicts of late-night music video shows should keep their eyes out for the "Blood Red Rose" clip. The entire production was made by a totally Koori team. "Blood Red Rose" and Eulogy (For a Black Person) are available through Festival Records.