Fanny Lumsden Brings A New Dawn To Country

By Joshua Eckersley

Fanny Lumsden is one such artist, delivering a compelling blend of stagecraft, storytelling, and musical prowess that has mesmerised audiences all over the world. For anyone that missed her last trip to Canberra, now is the time to load some Lumsden into your life!

Fanny Lumsden and her band, the fantastically named The Prawn Stars, have already spent a big chunk of 2023 sharing their joyful music throughout Australia and New Zealand, under her hugely popular Country Halls touring banner.

The Country Halls phenomenon is something Fanny has been pushing for ten years now, performing in halls in often overlooked regional and remote areas, and raising funds for these communities along the way (Saint Fanny has a fine ring to it).

In June, the rambunctious bunch packed their bags and set off to conquer the UK and Ireland, kicking off with a daring debut performance at the iconic Glastonbury Festival. It’s safe to say Fanny and the boys knocked English socks squarely off.

“It’s been amazing, coming from the other side of the world and having our first ever UK show be to a packed-out Avalon tent at Glastonbury,” Fanny tells us. “That is not a sentence I thought I would ever get to say.

“The audience was so incredible. We had not expected a packed tent of people who sang along, joined in on all the dance moves, and just really got into it.”

With hardly a spare moment in between, Fanny and co are now returning to Australia to start their national tour in support of their brand new album, Hey Dawn, set for release in August.

This highly anticipated album follows the critically acclaimed Fallow (2020), which made a clean sweep of the ARIA, CMAA Golden Guitar, and AIR awards for Country Album of the Year.

The widespread success of Fallow established Lumsden as one of the biggest names in Australian country music. Despite the huge impact she has made from sharing her music and stories, Fanny is simply carrying on, business as usual.

“I just try to keep on trucking, getting the shows booked, the songs written, and the stories told,” she beams. “I think the success of Fallow was very validating to myself, my husband, and the team.

“We all work hard on this, without a big machine behind us, so to think our grass roots approach has got us here is pretty mind blowing.

“I’m very grateful.”

The first taste of Hey Dawn comes in the form of lead singles Millionaire and When I Die. Both songs are brimming with upbeat, feel-good vibes that will help shake off any cumbersome winter blues.

Despite its title, When I Die is a life affirming banger. Not only that, it is replete with an amusing story behind it concerning a big, bearded lumberjack called Brett.

“Brett bailed me up at the pub one day to ask how much I would charge to perform at his wake,” Fanny explains. “I nominated an outrageous fee and a down payment of a cow, and two loads of wood.

“He rocked up a few months later with the first load of wood. Let’s just say it has taken off since then.

“The song is really about sticking to your guns and being true to who you are, both in life and in death.” (it is worth noting, at this juncture, that Brett is as healthy as a horse. He just likes to plan ahead, especially when it comes to booking big celebrations)

The title-track, Hey Dawn, is also an uplifting celebration of the human spirit, drenched in beautiful, The Beatles-esque harmonies, and strings. One of Fanny’s true gifts is her affinity for storytelling, capturing the everyday struggles and joys of life in her music.

Hey Dawn is about whatever weeds you’re in at the time, the fact that tomorrow has a promise of something brighter is always there,” Fanny reveals. “The song might subliminally be referring to COVID, or bushfires, or just the fact that it was deep winter when I wrote it…

“We don’t usually have a big plan for each song. We just see how it evolves, and what it needs to tell the story.”

Fanny and The Prawn Stars will be breaking in the new songs at The Street Theatre on Friday, 4 August, and it will be a very special night of celebration.

“It’s the very day Hey Dawn comes out! We will be celebrating in Canberra!” Fanny enthuses. “Maybe we should have a cake?

“We really love playing Canberra,” she continues. “The audiences are always such fun. It was our favourite shows on the Fallow & Variations tour last year.

“This performance will be full of new songs, but not exclusively. We will play old ones, of course, and fun ones too. We are designing the set at the moment, and really want to make it special.”

Fanny Lumsden and The Prawnstars bring the Hey Dawn album launch tour to Canberra on Friday, 4 August. The show starts at 7:30pm, and tickets are $23 for under 12s, $44 standard, and $65
VIP (all + bf) via
[Please note that the show is now SOLD OUT!]

Have a listen to Hey Dawn on Spotify and Apple Music

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