Australian Nigel Wearne brings his Americana noir to Brighton

Australian Nigel Wearne tours the UK this summer for the second time this year, bringing with him what he calls his Americana noir. His dates include The Folklore Rooms in Brighton on July 28.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

“As a musician, it feels important to travel. We live in a big country by size but not such a big country by population. We do music festivals really well over here but it's often a long way between gigs. So to sustain yourself in Australia is pretty tricky as a musician. It is the travelling but it's also the shortage of gigs, to be honest. There just aren't enough places in between the big cities, but to be honest, I also just love travelling and England had been on my radar for a long time as somewhere to play. I came over the first time in January this year and it went really well. There's a real synergy between what I was playing and the audience. I would say that's probably the best tour that I've ever done. People came along and the shows were well attended and people were really, really responsive. It was great.”

Nigel suspects that people are also responding to the fact that he likes to give his music context: “When I travel I like to talk about where I come from, and I think people do respond to that. I grew up on a farm and I have learnt more about where I come from. It is in my songs. I've also been looking at Australian history. These stories from the past are relevant, like colonisation. And I found in England the audiences are really interested in that, and they are too in Canada and America but I would say definitely in England.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Besides Nigel has an affinity with this country too. His grandparents were originally from Cornwall.

Nigel Wearne plays Brighton. Credit Ian LaidlawNigel Wearne plays Brighton. Credit Ian Laidlaw
Nigel Wearne plays Brighton. Credit Ian Laidlaw

As for the music: “I am a songwriter. That’s what I say and the reason I say it's because it doesn't really fit any particular genres. When you're making music and developing what you do, you always feel like you have to have some kind of elevator pitch so that you can talk about what it is but I find that my records just change. My last record was just me and my guitar and my most recent the stuff I would say is Americana noir, a lot of minor key Americana with Spanish and Mexican and Latino influences.”

He's now working towards a new album which he hopes to get out in the second half of this year: “One of the songs is called The Reckoning and that sums it up. So many people would say that their songs are about the human condition and it's easy to say that but I would say it's more the societal condition. I didn't write any songs for a long time during the lockdowns but eventually I went through a patch of writing songs and figuring out some of the jazz chord changes. The new album is looking at society and saying ‘OK, there has to be change’ whether it's change within myself as a person or whether I'm talking about the change for the planet.

"I don't speak overtly about climate change but it's in there and there are also songs about young people in society and the fact is that if we don't change, then they're going to change it for us.”