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Thebarton Theatre - Adelaide (24th April 2014) – Hugh Laurie

Starts at 7:30PM || Map || Tickets

Local Food

Yum Yai Thai Kitchen || River Cafe || Red Ochre Grill

Venue Recommendations and F.A.Q (Source: Thebarton Theatre Site!)

What are their policies regarding photo/video/audio?

There is no mention of this policy on their website so assume that you will either not be allowed to take cameras into the venue, or only non-professional/fixed lens cameras will be allowed.

Seating arrangements?

Seating is allocated at time of sale. Many prices available dependant on location and view. 

Hotels

The Wheatsheaf Hotel || The Mile End Hotel || Rockford Adelaide

Hugh Laurie on 666 Afternoons

©666 ABC Canberra

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Hugh Laurie in the house at 666

From Blackadder to blues man, Hugh Laurie is pursuing his first love; music

"I was not born in Alabama in the 1890s. I’ve never eaten grits, cropped a share, or ridden a boxcar. I am a white, middle-class Englishman, openly trespassing on the music and myth of the American south," Hugh Laurie admits in his notes to his album Let Them Talk.

The English actor - most recognisable from Blackadder or House, depending on which continent you were raised in - has taken on jazz and blues with aplomb.

Let Them Talk is Laurie’s debut album, which he released with the Copper Bottom Band in 2011. His follow-up, Didn’t It Rain, came out two years later.

Laurie dropped by the 666 Canberra studios during his Australian tour to talk with Alex Sloan about songwriting, family and his love of blues.

Music is one of Laurie’s first passions, and he says he still gets a thrill from performing in front of a crowd.

"There are moments in [my] show where I’m actually shivering, and that’s something I have to hide from the audience," he told Alex. "They’re probably thinking, ‘is he alright? Is he having a fit?’"

Didn’t It Rain features Laurie’s gritty vocal covers of U.S. blues classics, like ‘The St. Louise Blues’, ‘Careless Love’ and ‘One For My Baby’.

"I wanted the second album to feel as though we were getting closer to the neon lights, to the hum of the city," Laurie said. "There was something about this that came from the same place [as the first album], but spoke of a more urban and urbane mood."

While Laurie acknowledges he’s “openly trespassing” on U.S. jazz and blues, he says has a direct affinity with the genre.

"It’s just the music that spoke to me … right from the word go. I never really got into pop music; I don’t know much about it and didn’t listen to much of it. Bessie Smith was more present to me in life than Beyonce," he told Alex. "No disrespect, obviously, to the great and wonderful and glorious Beyonce," he joked.

Laurie disputes the idea that you have to have lived experience to appreciate the music that surrounds it.

"These are standards we don’t apply to opera," he said. "We don’t say you have to be German to play Beethoven. We say this is high art and high art belongs to the world. In my mind, blues and jazz music is high art. This is one of the greatest gifts America gave to the world and the world ought to be damn grateful - I think everybody’s now allowed to say it belongs to the world."

©James Vyver & Farz Edraki - 666 ABC Canberra

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Hugh Laurie in the 666 ABC Canberra studio.

©666 ABC Canberra - Facebook

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Hugh Laurie’s ‘culture’ just the right medicine for blues Hugh Laurie may describe his stratospheric career as just ”rattling along like a pinball”, but his legions of fans know better.
And the fact that these fans span at least three generations - from those who watched and loved Blackadder in the 1980s, Jeeves and Wooster and A Bit of Fry & Laurie in the 1990s, and the hugely successful House in the 2000s - never enters his thinking.
”Well, obviously, I’m flattered to have made any kind of impression - but it’s not really the way people think about what they do,” he said.
”Sometimes you hit the clown’s mouth and score double points, sometimes you don’t.”
He was speaking to The Canberra Times in advance of his appearance at the Royal Theatre next week in his current guise, as a blues singer.
For those confused by the notion of a man who, for many, is the very epitome of Englishness, even despite his role in the US show House, he has a ready explanation.
”I don’t really think of it as blues - don’t even use the word much,” he said. ”To me it’s just music, songs that I’ve loved since I was a small boy. And I’m pretty sure I always will. I don’t see a dubstep phase on the horizon.”
And he saw no contradiction in the idea of an Englishman playing the blues in the American tradition.
”I don’t accept the term appropriation - that implies denying something to the original owners, which is meaningless in music. And many other things too, come to that, whether it’s a Korean playing Rachmaninoff, a Chilean making wine, an Australian playing cricket - all culture belongs to all people,” he said.
”What I do mind is the idea that jazz music only has value as a quaint, sociological exhibit - that its proper place is in a glass cabinet. Much of this music has as great a right to be considered ‘art’ as anything in the classical repertoire. I also know that, as an Englishman, I would be thrilled and honoured if a Swede or a Nigerian would try some Morris dancing.”
But he was well aware of the apparent incongruity between his comedian and acting persona and his musical career. On stage, performing music was where he felt most at home, he said.
”I don’t struggle with it - in fact, I feel completely at home - but I understand if audiences do,” he said.
”I decided right at the beginning that the only way to prove my sincerity is to keep going. So if I’m still lucky enough to be doing this in 10 or 20 years, I might be able to win some people over.”
Hugh Laurie & the Copper Bottom Band are playing at the Royal Theatre on April 22. Tickets through Ticketek.
©Sally Pryor - The Canberra Times
Source

Hugh Laurie’s ‘culture’ just the right medicine for blues

Hugh Laurie may describe his stratospheric career as just ”rattling along like a pinball”, but his legions of fans know better.

And the fact that these fans span at least three generations - from those who watched and loved Blackadder in the 1980s, Jeeves and Wooster and A Bit of Fry & Laurie in the 1990s, and the hugely successful House in the 2000s - never enters his thinking.

”Well, obviously, I’m flattered to have made any kind of impression - but it’s not really the way people think about what they do,” he said.

”Sometimes you hit the clown’s mouth and score double points, sometimes you don’t.”

He was speaking to The Canberra Times in advance of his appearance at the Royal Theatre next week in his current guise, as a blues singer.

For those confused by the notion of a man who, for many, is the very epitome of Englishness, even despite his role in the US show House, he has a ready explanation.

”I don’t really think of it as blues - don’t even use the word much,” he said. ”To me it’s just music, songs that I’ve loved since I was a small boy. And I’m pretty sure I always will. I don’t see a dubstep phase on the horizon.”

And he saw no contradiction in the idea of an Englishman playing the blues in the American tradition.

”I don’t accept the term appropriation - that implies denying something to the original owners, which is meaningless in music. And many other things too, come to that, whether it’s a Korean playing Rachmaninoff, a Chilean making wine, an Australian playing cricket - all culture belongs to all people,” he said.

”What I do mind is the idea that jazz music only has value as a quaint, sociological exhibit - that its proper place is in a glass cabinet. Much of this music has as great a right to be considered ‘art’ as anything in the classical repertoire. I also know that, as an Englishman, I would be thrilled and honoured if a Swede or a Nigerian would try some Morris dancing.”

But he was well aware of the apparent incongruity between his comedian and acting persona and his musical career. On stage, performing music was where he felt most at home, he said.

”I don’t struggle with it - in fact, I feel completely at home - but I understand if audiences do,” he said.

”I decided right at the beginning that the only way to prove my sincerity is to keep going. So if I’m still lucky enough to be doing this in 10 or 20 years, I might be able to win some people over.”

Hugh Laurie & the Copper Bottom Band are playing at the Royal Theatre on April 22. Tickets through Ticketek.

©Sally Pryor - The Canberra Times

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The Copper Bottom Band stage and drum set up! #huckabucktour - @Huckabuck
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The Copper Bottom Band stage and drum set up! - @Huckabuck

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Concert review: Hugh Laurie, The Civic
There was more laughter in the first half hour of Hugh Laurie’s musical debut on New Zealand soil than at some comedy shows.
He charmed his way into audience hearts almost immediately with quick quips about tearing us away from the royal tour coverage (“We did ask if they would like to come - they couldn’t get a babysitter”), and tales about a previous Auckland visit.
He also thanked everyone for taking a punt on him and his musical endeavours. “Can you imagine if we were all sitting on a plane, and the captain came over the loud speaker saying, ‘Welcome on board, everyone, hope you enjoy the flight. Until recently I was a dental hygienist, but I’ve always wanted to fly a plane, so thanks for giving me a go’? You’d be shocked.”
But this dental hygienist clearly got his pilot’s licence years ago, because he’s one heck of an entertainer, and a surprisingly top-notch blues man. Even better in the flesh than he sounds on his albums (Let Them Talk, and Didn’t It Rain), one might suggest.
He may be a white British actor with little to feel blue about (in fact, he seemed positively bursting with enthusiasm, jumping all over the stage with his long stretchy legs), but when he sits down to roll his way through old-time classics like Jelly Roll Morton’s I Hate A Man Like You or Dr John’s Wild Honey, you can’t help but feel transported to New Orleans.
That’s a testament to Laurie’s passion for the music, but also the talents of his Copper Bottom Band, who drip authenticity and deserve their own acclaim. Sister Jean McClain and Gaby Moreno have golden voices, and accounted for plenty of highlights, like Send Me To The ‘Lectric Chair and The Weed Smoker’s Dream in particular, but getting the men up front to do an almost acapella version of Lazy River was equally grin-worthy, and the horn solos from Elizabeth Lee and Vincent Henry were as expressive as any vocal takes.
It might not have been the smokey, raw blues of a down-at-heel tavern, but it was a pleasure and a privilege to watch Mr Laurie fulfil his musical dreams.
Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom BandWhere: The CivicWhen: Tuesday, April 15
©Lydia Jenkin - NZ Herald
Source

Concert review: Hugh Laurie, The Civic

There was more laughter in the first half hour of Hugh Laurie’s musical debut on New Zealand soil than at some comedy shows.

He charmed his way into audience hearts almost immediately with quick quips about tearing us away from the royal tour coverage (“We did ask if they would like to come - they couldn’t get a babysitter”), and tales about a previous Auckland visit.

He also thanked everyone for taking a punt on him and his musical endeavours. “Can you imagine if we were all sitting on a plane, and the captain came over the loud speaker saying, ‘Welcome on board, everyone, hope you enjoy the flight. Until recently I was a dental hygienist, but I’ve always wanted to fly a plane, so thanks for giving me a go’? You’d be shocked.”

But this dental hygienist clearly got his pilot’s licence years ago, because he’s one heck of an entertainer, and a surprisingly top-notch blues man. Even better in the flesh than he sounds on his albums (Let Them Talk, and Didn’t It Rain), one might suggest.

He may be a white British actor with little to feel blue about (in fact, he seemed positively bursting with enthusiasm, jumping all over the stage with his long stretchy legs), but when he sits down to roll his way through old-time classics like Jelly Roll Morton’s I Hate A Man Like You or Dr John’s Wild Honey, you can’t help but feel transported to New Orleans.

That’s a testament to Laurie’s passion for the music, but also the talents of his Copper Bottom Band, who drip authenticity and deserve their own acclaim. Sister Jean McClain and Gaby Moreno have golden voices, and accounted for plenty of highlights, like Send Me To The ‘Lectric Chair and The Weed Smoker’s Dream in particular, but getting the men up front to do an almost acapella version of Lazy River was equally grin-worthy, and the horn solos from Elizabeth Lee and Vincent Henry were as expressive as any vocal takes.

It might not have been the smokey, raw blues of a down-at-heel tavern, but it was a pleasure and a privilege to watch Mr Laurie fulfil his musical dreams.

Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band
Where: The Civic
When: Tuesday, April 15

©Lydia Jenkin - NZ Herald

Source

HUGH LAURIE INTERVIEW: A BIT OF BLUES AND LAURIE

March 2014

Hugh Laurie will return to Australia for the first time in more than 30 years, joined by the Copper Bottom Band to deliver a tour featuring blues, tango, southern and South American music. The talented actor and comedian recently turned his attention to music, which has seen the former star of House record two acclaimed albums Let Them Talk and Didn’t It Rain.

Your upcoming Australian tour will be your first visit to Australia since 1981. Do you have any fond memories from that comedy tour of 33 years ago?

Plenty of fond memories – which doesn’t mean they’re accurate ones. But in my head, we ate like princes, drank like kings, dressed like idiots and laughed all the time. With the mad arrogance of youth, we also assumed that this was what life would be like forever.

For the Australian shows, will you concentrate on material from the two albums, or do you like to incorporate covers, which you might never record, as well as songs that might make future albums?

I always want to play shows, pieces of theatre, rather than just recitals – so we have all sorts of odd things creeping into the show now, some of which we might record one day. Our sound checks are almost the best part of the day, when we get to simply mess about.  But it’s not just to amuse ourselves – I really want people to love these songs as much as I do. In fact, I’d settle for half as much, because that’s still a lot. I also want people to laugh and dance and cry and forget their troubles. A good show, basically.

Will the full seven-piece Copper Bottom Band join you on this tour? And can you tell us a bit about what it’s like for you to play music with this band in front of audiences?

I’ve somehow managed to get a 12-piece band for the price of seven. Vincent Henry can play anything with a reed in it – he could make a drinking straw sound good – and Mark Goldenberg, a Chicago blues guitarist, also has a whole music shop of stuff around him. Gaby Moreno plays guitar and ukulele as well as singing like an angel. Honestly, this band is so good; they can make me weep for joy. 

Have you got plans for new recordings in mind? And will Joe Henry be involved with future recordings?

No immediate plans. I realise now that I was pretty quick with a second album – the conventional wisdom is you leave two or three years between releases, but I just couldn’t wait. I’m going to try and be cooler this time, cultivate some mystique.  And I would be mad to venture out without Joe Henry’s steady hand on the tiller. He has been an incredible partner and friend – everything I hoped for when I listened to his records and then more still. I owe him the whole shop.

Can you explain the process of choosing the songs to record and the styles to cover?

It’s almost the best part of the whole process.  Joe and I spend months swapping lists of songs, perhaps a hundred or more, and gradually we whittle them down. Then we just let the band try them on for size. The tricky thing is, like buying clothes for a model, almost everything looks good on them.

For the immediate future, is music your primary creative focus?

I don’t know about creative focus. But it’s certainly my greatest pleasure, and has been for a long time. I know very well how lucky I am to have this chance to play with people of this calibre and I’m determined to savour every note.

Stephen Fry said in a NY Times article that he had given up on the idea that you would come out about your music and that he thought it was wonderful when you agreed to do an album. Has recording and touring been a liberating experience for you?  

Absolutely. Or maybe the decision to do it at all was the liberation, and everything since has been flags, parades and throwing hats in the air.

Before agreeing to record Let Them Talk, was the idea of recording an album always in the back of your mind? And do you regret not embarking on a recording/touring career earlier?

It’s something I’d always dreamed of, although not in a scheming, this-might-happen way.  I dreamed of it the way a child dreams of being invisible. I don’t regret not starting earlier because, well, I try not to regret things too much. I’m just so lucky to be doing it now.

Are there plans to record original blues music?

Yes. Highly secret ones.

Before recording your first album you said you would only count it a success if you encourage people to rediscover the likes of Lead Belly, Allen Toussaint and Willie Dixon. Have you received feedback from fans that have discovered these artists because of your music?

I honestly don’t remember saying that – or even thinking how I, or anyone else, might judge it.  I only knew that it had to be sincere. The fact that young fans might have become aware of Big Bill Broonzy as a result of songs we’ve played is just a pure bonus. And a great honour, too.

You’ve collaborated with some wonderful artists. Does one stand out for you more than any other as a truly special experience?

Every one of them was a thrill.  Every one. But I suppose Dr John was the biggest moment because he’s a piano player, the greatest there is, and he’s been my hero since the first day I heard him. After he left, I got into my car and actually cried, it was so overwhelming.

Do you think of yourself a blues artist or a fan? Or both?

I don’t really think about the blues as a category. To me, they’re just songs ­– great, great songs. In fact I always try and avoid using the word because I feel it makes people think oh yes, I know what that is. But every song is different, every musician is different, every time we play feels different.

You discovered the blues aged 11 or 12 when you heard Willie Dixon. Most music people love at that age they don’t love 40 years later. What is it about the blues that has held this four-decade long love? And do you still discover old (and maybe new) blues artists as well as styles?

I honestly don’t know why it has this power over me.  But I knew the first time I heard it that this was the music for me and I would never stray. And yes, I find new artists all the time.  I’d never heard of Lil Green until a year ago. A toweringly brilliant singer – it’s like discovering a whole continent. Which I’ve never done, by the way, but I imagine it must be a bit of a moment.

Aside from next year’s film Tomorrowland, are there some upcoming projects that you can share with us?

I’m not even allowed to talk about Tomorrowland, under pain of excommunication.  Except to say it was fantastically enjoyable to do and George Clooney is a mensch. There are some other things floating around, but I don’t want to jinx them by shooting my mouth off.

Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band

Thebarton Theatre

Thursday, April 24

hughlaurieblues.com

©David Knight - The Adelaide review

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Melbourne vs Gold Coast Suns #huckabucktour - @Huckabuck

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The magical sound that turned actor Hugh Laurie into a musician

©Shane Green - The Sydney Morning Herald

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