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Fanny Lumsden

Australia’s darling of country music is making her way to Darwin to share her award-winning tunes at Darwin Festival. Tierney Seccull caught up with her for a yarn.

First off, congrats on your huge recent successes – with an ARIA for Country Album of the Year, and of course your sweep at this year’s Golden Guitars – I mean, five? How did that feel?
It’s wild! It feels unreal in the truest sense – like it doesn’t feel like it was me, or should be me. We’ve been so DIY and doing our own stuff for so long, that that kind of stuff feels more reserved for the professional people. They’re on my mantle piece at home because I’m obviously not hiding that [laughs].

It’s always felt like maybe we haven’t been doing things the way you’re supposed to in the industry, we kept touring the way that we tour and putting music out the way that we put it out … I’m super grateful that my peers in my industry feel like we did good enough work to deserve that.

Well, in terms of doing things how you do things, you’re known for playing little country halls across Australia – in fact, you’re currently on your Country Halls Tour, plus touring with Paul Kelly – what is it about these little spaces in the pockets of our country that entices you?
They’re always such great shows! The Country Halls Tour is application based – the halls apply to host, so that gets us to places we’ve never heard of, which as a starting point makes it a really exciting experience.

It built us as much as we built it, in that it existed before we were known at all. People weren’t really coming to see us, they were coming along to the hall and maybe the footy club was catering, so they were supporting the footy club … what runs through is that it’s community driven. Kids and grandparents are there, the committee and volunteers – it feels like what events felt like when I was a kid. You come across wonderful stories and wonderful people. For some people, it’s their first ever gig!

Speaking of touring, your band mate Dan is also your husband and baby daddy. What’s it like being on the road with your significant other?
It’s wonderful, to be honest. My brother’s also on the tour now, with my extended band and my three-year-old. It’s very much a family affair! It’s actually really sustainable because I don’t have to leave my family all the time. We’re all going through the same experience, and we’re all going through it together. Of course, there are moments – but I think the benefit of having family members to have those experiences is that you bounce back really quickly. There are no grudges.

And we hear there’s also someone else very special joining you on the road this year… Congrats on your baby news!
Thank you! Yeah, it’s been an added element, that’s for sure, but it’s exciting. I’m just rolling with the pregnancy part. If all the shows come off, we’re meant to have another 36 shows before I have a baby [laughs].

And how cool to be able to tell your baby one day they shared the stage with Paul Kelly!
I know! It’s so cool [laughs].

You’ve visited us many times over the years – what is it about the Top End that keeps bringing you back?
I think it’s got magic air, or something. If I wasn’t a touring musician, I’d live there full time – I honestly love it. I think it’s such a special part of Australia – the attitude, the people, the community, the scenery. Everything about it, I love it so much.

I also think that potentially you all run on the same time schedule as me. We call it Fanny time, but I think Fanny time and Darwin time’s the same thing. I think maybe that’s why I slotted in so well!

Fanny Lumsden
COST $34-$38

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