2011. After 9 years on the road… in hotels, in foreign mud, strewn packets of guitar strings, bags full of hotel keys, flight stubs and stickers on gear cases that map a zig-zag of touring across just about every continent on the globe….
…After 8 years solid on the road with TBG, the Blackbird tapped on Mat McHugh’s window with a handful of songs that felt close to his heart but out of pace with The Beautiful Girls.
Then it tapped on his ribs; a motorcycle accident saw some cheap Los-Angeles-Hotel recovery time. It saw him strip the songs down, take some time sitting still, and record his first solo album. A soulful unwinding, and a timely look back to the early TBG. With just an acoustic guitar and a band of transient ruffians borrowed from Sydney’s jazz scene, he took to stages around the country and played his songs from his first solo album Seperatista, up close and personal. It was a transitional period, a chance to linger in the rear-view mirror for a while, before looking up to see what lies ahead; not the beginning or ending of anything.
“We were always going to do another T.B.G. album,” says McHugh, “the band now have a definite sense of direction and we are working-on from where we were at.”
The Beautiful Girls, kick-started with two full-throttle, sold out tours of Brazil, huge shows at last year’s Splendour In The Grass, Sounds Of Spring, Pyramid Rock festivals and a string of sold out summer time shows on the East Coast of Australia headed into the studio to lay down their fourth studio album. With the electric plugged back in, the band were ready to deliver on the promises made on We’re Already Gone and Ziggurats. “I wanted to be able to bring the whole thing together” Mat explains “to make sense of the music on all the previous albums.”
‘Spooks’, the follow-up to 2007’s international success Ziggurats, is a rich production where stylistic threads run deep. The ever-solid song writing pushes further forward. Spaced-out effects and pulsing synth’s, skittering drums and dark blue horns, brash toasting and cops-and-rude-boys narrative, offbeat keys and dub undertow pulls ‘Spooks’ into a world of it’s own.
With the May release of Spooks seeing the a Top Twenty debut on the Australia Aria charts, a Number 1 on the AIR Independent Charts, a Number 6 USA Billboard Reggae Chart debut, and a plethora of very positive reviews from around the globe, the boys took the live show to every corner of the globe before returning to Australia for some well earned R & R. Next on the cards is a huge tour of their favourite home away from home – BRAZIL!