Back in 2005-06 my band the Gloomchasers was based in Melbourne and had a line-up consisting of Lucy Lehmann on the gut string acoustic, Ben Mason on the electric bass, Lachlan Franklin on the drums, Paul Rigby on the banjo with myself on the acoustic guitar and mandolin. We all sang. Most of the songs were from the Home Of The Big Regret album and the 'new' one we were about to record (Play All Night - which came out four years later.
The band was a lot different from the one that evolved when I moved back to Sydney in 2006. We were definitely a country-folkrock-bluegrass band. We hadn't gone electric yet!
Here are two live shows from the 'Melbourne line-up'. The first one from a show at the Empress Hotel in October 2005 and the second one from the Hopetoun Hotel in July 2006.
Hopetoun Hotel 22nd July 2006 via547
Bandcamp * iTunes
The Empress Hotel 7th October 2005 via548
Bandcamp * iTunes
Play All Night
The second Gloomchasers album was released December 3rd, 2010 (on vinyl, compact disc and digital).
Being launched at the Petersham Bowling Club Thursday 2nd December 2010 with special guests Dog Trumpet and Ruby for Lucy. This will be drummer Danny Heifetz' last show with the band for quite some time as he heads back to the US for a year. Play All Night features both the 'Melbourne' line-up and the 'Sydney' line-up with special guests such as Bernie McGann (saxophone), Darren Hanlon, Bryan Estepa and Tim Kevin.
Home Of The Big Regret (hac114)
For five years, Nic Dalton lived on a farm at the outskirts of Morongla, population 40, in central-west NSW. It was a regular occurrence, on the way to Sydney, to drive through Goulburn, Home Of The Big Merino. When his long-time girlfriend, Lucy Lehmann, left him, he declared Morongla Home Of The Big Regret and changed the sign to 'Pop. 39'. Nic had always planned to record his second solo album (his first was the 1998 release, Romolo, a collection of four-tracks from 1986-88) before his fortieth birthday. "At the beginning of 2004, when I started to list all the songs I wanted to record, it dawned on me that half of them were either written by Lucy, or co-written with her. We'd broken up the year before, but had remained long-distance friends. It was looking like this album was about our relationship - a break-up album. So I called Lucy and told her this. We wrote a few more songs together to bring the concept to a full realisation."
Home Of The Big Regret has an almost entirely acoustic line-up, a world away from what Nic had originally envisaged for his second solo-album: "I always thought I'd do it with a regular line-up of electric guitars, keyboards and group vocals - folk-rock with a few psychedelic overtones." The sound of the album is a response partly to five years on a farm, where a lot of country, folk, bluegrass and singer-songwriter music found its way onto his record-player and also to the contributions that Lucy, a life-long country and western devotee, made to their co-writes. The songs on Nic's to-do list simply lent themselves more to a mandolin and a gutstring guitar than to fuzz pedals and the trusty ol' Casio MT-65.
Home Of The Big Regret was recorded between July and November 2004. "I wanted the sound of some late-60s country pop production line, where each song is stamped with exactly the same mix of instrumentation." The standard electric guitar/bass/drums rhythm section was replaced by an underlay of banjo and mandolin with country bass and drums. John Encarnacao scored string arrangements for each of the thirteen tracks. "He said to me, 'You're not going to have banjo and mandolin on all the songs?' I said, 'Of course!' " Some of Australia's finest bluegrass musicians play on the album - The Lynch Mob from Cowra, Jenny Shimmin on banjo and Mick Moffitt on mandolin. Danny "Mr Bungle" Heifetz is on drums and Bill Gibson on bass. Members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra play strings, and other guests include Marcus Amann, Darren Hanlon, Ben Pettit, Tom Morgan and Leticia Nischang.
From about 2011 onwards Nic started to play the electric guitar (as well as mandolin and the acoustic guitar). The big change was Lucy leaving the band. Luke has been the constant bass player since the turn of the new decade and the Gloomchasers have a revolving line up including Katherine Brownhill (violin, accordian), John Encarnacao (keyboard), Peter Timmerman (drums), Peter Velzen (drums), Elmo Reed (guitar), Tim Kevin (guitar) and Jonathan Nix (cigar box guitar).
The live band (2007-2010) in Sydney: Luke Russell on the bass (replacing Kevin McClaer who moved down to Melbourne), Danny Heifetz on drums, Nic Dalton on lead vocals/guitar/mandolin and Lucy Lehmann on gutstring guitar/backing vocals. Gavin Farley makes it down from Morpeth when he can to pick some banjo.
In Melbourne, the lineup (2005-2006) was Paul Rigby on the banjo/mandolin, Ben Mason on the bass, Lachlan Franklin on the drums/guitar, Nic Dalton on lead vocals/guitar/mandolin and Lucy Lehmann on gutstring guitar. Everyone sang harmonies.
the Gloomchasers filmclip