One song can tell a dozen stories and stir even more memories, but there’s only so much that can be told in a four-minute window.
The real stories, the ones that were happening while the public story was being written, generally remain in the hearts and minds of only those directly involved – and usually with good reason.
But now, in an unprecedented move and one which would have possibly drawn consternation a mere 15 or so years ago, Aussie rock legends Choirboys are opening the vault of secrecy with a stunning new live performance combining music and tales.
Forming in 1978, Choirboys rose to prominence on the back of songs such as Run To Paradise, Boys Will Be Boys and Struggle Town, songs that reflected their surroundings told in an uncompromising and honest fashion to great effect.
They remain the honest toilers of the Australian music scene, traveling far and wide to play a show with their humour intact and their passion for music unwavering.
So it is fitting that a band like Choirboys have elected to tell their story through a mixing of live songs and behind the scenes stories titled Run To Paradise, The Stories Of Australian Rock & Roll. It is a live-action event unlike any seen before in this country as told by frontman and one of the most down-to-earth guys in the business, Mark Gable.
Gable joined HEAVY recently to chat about the show and life as a Choirboy. We started by pointing out the sheer magnitude of touring the band has committed to over the next 12 months.
“I think considering the condition of the Australian music industry at the moment and how I feel about doing pubs and all the rest of it…,” he trailed off, “and it was Tim Freedman I spoke to at the ARIA Awards and I went ‘Tim, you’ve inspired me’ and he said how come, and I said you know, Blow Up The Pokies because I just don’t wanna do pubs anymore because all they do is have people go in and gamble. Of course, Blow Up The Pokies was about The Whitlams bass player who ended his own life because he gambled, and he couldn’t deal with it anymore, and that’s why the song was written. Tim goes, ‘that’s a bit extreme isn’t it Mark?’ (laughs). I was just thinking, I’d rather do interesting things, so hence we’re doing lots of festivals. And the theatre show is part and parcel of that because… I think rather than just re-iterate the same old, same old, I would rather make it interesting, and the theatre shows are the beginning of that. The stories and the stuff that we’ve seen on the road and the stuff that’s happened – the legendary stuff – I talk about that in the theatre show and also celebrate the music that we’ve seen which still exists, but a lot of the bands have come and gone. It’s a different world out there now so we have to celebrate the way it was. Actually, I’m enjoying the new world; the internet world of new Australian bands who are breaking all over the world because of what we have now.”
In the full interview, Mark talks more about the theatre show and what to expect, how Choirboys have survived so many years in the industry, using other people’s music to tell a story, the early days of the band and their initial vision, having to research and relive old memories and more.
For a full list of upcoming shows visit https://www.choirboys.net/