No Pause for Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo
Emily Barker has the best of both worlds.
Born and bred in Bridgetown, a small country town in Western Australia, Barker is now a successful folk artist living in England, who regularly flies back to Australia to do what she loves most, perform.
Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo’s upcoming Australian tour to promote the release of her third album Almanac is happening around the country in April.
“I’m really looking forward to it actually. It’s going to be the biggest tour that I’ve done in Australia by quite a long way so I’m just really looking forward to exploring my home country because I’ve not really seen very much of it,” said Barker cheerfully over the phone from Stroud, where she is currently based.
“I’ve been away for about ten years now, well I’ve been travelling for about ten years, backpacking and such, but in the last sort of five years it’s been my permanent home. So I’m really looking forward to going back and doing a whole lot of shows in Australia.”
Having last toured Australia in December 2011 with a few blink-and-you’ll-miss-them tour dates, Barker is quite well adapted to touring down under despite living in the UK for the past decade.
The only aspect of touring Australia that is noticeably different for her is how big our country really is.
“I guess the biggest thing is the distances. Last time I was out there it was quite, even though it was only a few dates, the distance that I covered was so huge!” laughed Barker.
“I sort of tried to super impose that onto a UK and European map and it was something ridiculous like going from London to Athens or something and then the next night going up to Helsinki or something ridiculous like that. It’s just, you would do that kind of scale of touring over here at all so I really noticed the different, I really noticed how big Australia is!”
Her upcoming Australian tour to promote Almanac, an album ‘about transition and change and beginnings and endings and cycles and things like that,’ includes a whopping fifteen tour dates, a large tour for a band that is still relatively unknown here in Australia.
The size of the tour is indicative of the success Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo have had over in the UK, where thousands of people recognise their music, even if they don’t realise it!
Barker’s song Nostalgia off her second album Despite the Snow was used as the theme song for hit television series Wallander in the UK after composer Martin Phipps heard it at a house party the band was performing at.
“At this house party was a composer called Martin Phipps and he was working on the music for Wallander and he was just really struck by the song Nostalgia and then rang a couple of days after and asked how I would feel having that as part of the series.”
And if one theme song doesn’t sound like a big enough achievement, Phipps also used Barker’s song Pause off Almanac in the opening credits of 2011’s The Shadow Line, a seven-part crime thriller on BBC2.
“It’s pretty bizarre! Really bizarre actually,” laughed Barker.
“It’s very ironic but, I’ve never actually owned a television in my life. I grew up in the country without a television or anything so it’s quite bizarre to be having all of this television exposure but yeah it’s good!”
With only a few minutes left of the interview, conversation turns to whether Barker would ever consider relocating back to Australia given her success in the UK.
“At the moment I feel like I’ve got the best of both worlds because I come back to Australia a couple of times a year but in a few years I can imagine myself being back,” said Barker over the phone. Laughing, she quickly adds with a cheeky tone, “but don’t tell my mum because she’ll get her hopes up!”
Make sure you catch one of our best exports when she returns in April for her Almanac tour. Dates and venues are below:
Thursday April 19th – Denmark (WA) Transmission Lounge @ CWA Hall
Friday April 20th – Bridgetown (WA) Emporium
Saturday April 21st – Perth (WA) Fat Shan – West Coast album launch
Sunday April 22nd – Brisbane (QLD) The Music Kafe
Monday April 23rd – Gold Coast (QLD) The Cavern, Nobbys Beach
Wednesday April 25th – Yamba (NSW) The Old Kirk
Thursday April 26th – Marrickville (NSW) The Newsagency
Friday April 27th – Dee Why (NSW) Lizotte’s
Saturday April 28th – Central Coast (NSW) Lizotte’s
Sunday April 29th – Newcastle (NSW) Lizotte’s
Tuesday May 1st – Surry Hills (NSW) Café Lounge
Wednesday May 2nd – Bondi (NSW) 34 Degrees South
Friday May 4th – Canberra (ACT) Front Gallery & Café
Saturday May 5th – Melbourne (VIC) Pure Pop – east coast album launch
Sunday May 6th – Melbourne (VIC) Wesley Anne