| The rumours of Smudge’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. With an average of at least 3.75 shows a year since 2001, new songs, a bout of reissues, live appearances in four time zones across two hemispheres and a new album slated for January next year, the slacker pop trio are admittedly “firing on all cylinders”.
In support of their “best of” compilation This Smudge Is True, Smudge will hit the road in October for their first Australian tour since 1999. The tour follows their second stint in Europe, 16 years after their first.
Out now through Half A Cow Records, This Smudge Is True features 27 tracks handpicked by the band and a 36 page booklet including a track-by-track commentary and never-before published photos.
Fri 1st The Metro, Adelaide, SA with 20th Century Graduates
Sat 2nd Northcote Social Club, Northcote, Vic with Summer Cats & Tailor Made For A Small Room
Fri 8th The Sando, Newtown, NSW with Little Lovers & Tailor Made For A Small Room
Sat 9th The Troubadour, Fortitude Valley, QLD with Little Scout & Tailor Made For A Small Room
Sat 16th North St Bar and Cafe, Batemans Bay, NSW with Nic Dalton (Gloomchasers solo)
Sat 23rd The Grand Junction, Maitland, NSW with Bambino Koresh
THIS SMUDGE IS TRUE UK/EUROPE TOUR In late May Smudge head over to the UK and Spain for a handful of exclusive shows. Local English label Fire will be releasing the classic albums Manilow and Real McCoy, Wrong Sinatra. Half A Cow will be releasing the first ever 'best of' called This Smudge Is True. The 27 track compilation spanning from 1991's 'Tea, Toast and Turmoil' to 'Real McCoy, Wrong Sinatra' and includes 'Don't Want To Be Grant McLennan' on compact disc/iTunes for the first time in Australia. Includes a 36 page booklet full of more than you'll ever need to know about one of Sydney's most cherished bands.
Fri 21 Colchester Art Centre, UK
Sat 22 Sound Control, Manchester, UK
Mon 24 The Windmill, Brixton, UK
Wed 26 SalaBeCool, Barcelona, UK
Sat 29 La Palma, Madrid, UK
10th Oct at Sounds Of Spring, RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane, QLD
Smudge return to Brisbane for the first time in years to play at the inaugural Sounds Of Spring Festival.
17th Oct at The Empress, 714 Nicholson St, North Fitzroy, VIC
First full band Smudge show in Victoria since 2004! Very special guests are The Zebras! Limited presales at $10+BF from Moshtix.
18th Oct at The Empress, 714 Nicholson St, North Fitzroy, VIC
Second full band show in Victoria since 2004! Very special guests are Bambino Koresh. Limited presales at $10+BF from Moshtix.
22nd Dec at Annandale Hotel, 17 Parramatta Rd, Annandale, NSW
Smudge wind up a year of solid touring - five shows across three cities - with a joyous Christmas celebration at the Annandale Hotel. Special guests I Heart Hiroshima (Brisbane).
Originally released in 1994, Manilow was given a new life in 2006 with a bonus disc of Tom Morgan acoustic demos and a live radio show from 1994.
******yesterday's news******ye olde past******
...and with the 10th anniversary of Manilow upon us, SMUDGE hit the road in October for a five show run, bettering the amount of shows they've played in the last five years in a fell ten day swoop. Keep an eye out for the re-issue of Manilow (hac26) with new artwork and up towards 20 previously unreleased live and demo tracks.
And it's not too late to add your contribution to the booklet! If you have a 'Manilow Memory' please email it to Half A Cow. Now start scribbling...
Thursday 7th Cobra Bar, Collingwood with Shutdown 66
Friday 8th The Rob Roy, Fitzroy with the Smallgoods and The Crayon Fields
Saturday 9th The Esplanade Front Bar with The Treetops
Friday 15th The Gearin Hotel, Katoomba with Sekiden
Saturday 16th The Hopetoun Hotel, Surry Hills with Sekiden and Modern Giant
the return of SMUDGE
Fri 6 The Annandale, Sydney w/ 78 Saab, Silo
A Condensed History Of Smudge
Smudge have been around since 1991 when Tom Morgan (guitar, vocals), Alison Galloway (drums) and Paul "Duncs" Duncan (bass) got together to contribute a song to the Half A Cow 7 inch called Slice (along with Swirl, Jupiter and Studley Lush). There's only so much room for two songs on one side of a 7 inch so Tom was asked by the label to write a song "around a minute in length". He came up with 'Tea, Toast & Turmoil' - a short, melodic pop song with colourful lyrics which set the blueprint for the future output of Smudge.
Tom and Alison used to hang out at the Lansdowne Hotel and talk about the "pop-punk" band they were going to form - inspired by their heroes at the time Dinosaur Jr and Descendents. The newly-formed Half A Cow label and offered to put out a seven inch. Don't Want To Be Grant McLennan soon followed. So did a review from NME which gave the slab 'single of the week'. Whilst on tour in Australia in the middle of 1991, Evan Dando from The Lemonheads met up with Tom (recording two songs for Tom's other band Sneeze) and a song-writing friendship was struck up and they co-wrote songs for It's A Shame About Ray including the title track.
Two more releases followed for this lineup of Smudge - the Love, Lust & Lemonjuice and Superhero EPs before Duncs left and was replaced by Adam Yee (formerly of noise-merchants Headache). This lineup still rocks to this day and have been responsible for 1994's Manilow album, the Hot Smoke & Sassafras mini-LP, 1996's You, Me, Carpark...Now and many other releases.
A second guitarist, Pete Kelly, filled out the sound for much of late 1997 and 1998 and can be heard on their most recent album Real McCoy, Wrong Sinatra which was released at the end of 1998. Pete has since left the band and they are back to being a three-piece. A single from the album was released in September 1999 called 'Eighteen In A Week' with the usual addition of exclusive bonus tracks.
Smudge played their last show for quite some time (drummer Al trekked-off across the world for a couple of years) at Goldmans in Sydney on Friday October 8th 1999. A full house, support from an acoustic Evan Dando made it a happy and sad time for all.
In 2002, Alison returned and Smudge meet up again to map out their future. It's been a show every once in a while since then...