WHERE THE HEART IS
hottest gig, Homebake, is ready to roll. Kathy McCabe talks
selection of top performers.
You Am I are the epitome of an Australian
rock'n'roll band. Hip swinging, hard playing and equally
hard partying, one of the country's most consistent acts
are back to basics with their new album, Deliverance.
The release of Deliverance -- after frontman
Tim Rogers' soundtrack to the Dirty Deeds film -- has also
been marked by You Am I's admirable touring ethic which
has taken them not only all over Australia but throughout
the US with their good mates, The Strokes. And the return
of the band (pictured above) to the Homebake stage at the
Domain this Saturday. Frontman Rogers will also perform
solo at the acoustic
stage earlier in the day. The impetus for You Am I's musical
efforts these days, whether in the studio
or on stage, is a desire to entertain each other as much
as their loyal fan base.
After butting heads with their US label
over their previous studio album, Dress Me Slowly, the band
eschewed the temptation of big budgets and trying to write
the ubiquitous commercial hit single and
headed into the studio with plenty of wine and beer to make
a quick, cheap but artistically sound album.
"If I can make these guys laugh or
let out a 'yeah', then I'm doing my job,'' bassist Andy
Tim Rogers, who declares Deliverance to
be the band's most personal album to date, agreed that a
sense of fun had reinvigorated their creative efforts.
"Making this record was so much fun.
It was all about getting everything in one or two takes
-- and drinking a lot,'' he laughed. "It's an extremely
affectionate album. And I think it has also given us a shitload
Drummer Rusty Hopkinson said the band's
renewed enthusiasm for their day job -- Deliverance is their
sixth studio album -- has also come as they feel confident
about how they have carved their own niche.
While other Australian acts may have to wait for major success
at home before enticing international touring agents, You
Am I have always developed relationships with other bands
to allow them to tour with them at their convenience. You
Am I introduced The Strokes to Australian audiences long
before the New
York act generated an international following and The Strokes
were happy to re-pay the favour by inviting them to join
them on their October tour.
The short visit also gave You Am I the
opportunity to perform their own showcase gigs in New York.
"It's a great position to be in a band that can exist
in its own right and doesn't have to rely on other extraneous
forces,'' drummer Rusty Hopkinson said.
"We are at the point where we just do what we want
to do. We may not hit those dizzy heights we did in 1996
but we're a lot happier.''
It also reiterated the fact the band has
a considerable following there after regular visits during
the past decade.
"I remember being down in San Diego sitting in the
corner of this bar and people kept going up and putting
songs from Hourly Daily on the jukebox. It wasn't people
I knew, I swear,'' Hopkinson laughed.
One thing that hasn't waxed or waned in
the band's career is their ability to put on one of the
best live shows an Australian rock fan is ever going to
You Am I perform at 7.30pm on Homebake's