Where: Yuyintang, 1731 Yanan Xi Lu, near Kaixuan Lu 延安西路1731号(凯旋路)
Starts: Saturday, August 1, 9PM
Cover: 50 RMB
We’ve been really looking forward to the Jeff Lang concert coming up tomorrow. Jeff Lang, an Australian folk, country and blues artist is a busy guy – besides playing innumerable instruments, he’s somehow managed to release nearly one record each year since 1994.
And yet, he still managed to find time to answer our questions – even when he ran into technical difficulties. This interview almost didn’t make it thanks to internet problems on his side. But Mr. Lang was kind enough to fax us the answers in handwriting, attaching not only his pleasant sense of humor, but a funny little sketch as well.
Your recent tour is throwing you all around the world, starting back home in Australia, then over to Ireland, UK, Canada, Japan. Now China, and on you go…How´s life on tour treating you, both in general, and this particular one?
It´s what I´ve always done, touring place to place – I enjoy it.
How do you spend your time during travel? So far, has this tour given birth to any new songs?
No new songs yet…between shows I like to either knit or read books about snooker.
This gig on Saturday is a solo one, what lies behind that choice?
I lost my bandmates at the airport in Kuala Lumpur.
Will we mainly hear songs from your newest album, Half Seas Over, or some ol´ goodies as well?
Lots of songs from HSO as well as a medley of my big hits…haha
The name of the album Half Seas Over has a story of it´s own, I read that it reflects a maritime adage that means barely keeping it together. Can you tell us something about this name choice?
I found the title online. It seemed to fit with the people in the songs on the record.
And the album cover´s looking very good, reminding you of old fairytales and sailors venturing the sea. From what I can find it´s made by Bulos McGurry and Myf Walker. Tell us something about it!
Bulos is a street artist from Melbourne. He usually draws on pavement. Myf is my favourite album art designer.
When touring as much as you do, singing your songs over and over, is it possible to keep the same feeling and energy during every single gig? Does the lyrics continue to touch you as much each time, or do one get a bit numb after a while?
I don´t try to keep it the same, I embrace the ever evolving nature of performance. Hope not… Lyrics sometimes change meaning for me over time.
You are known for playing a wide range of different guitars and also embracing instruments that you stumble upon throughout your journeys. Which of these will we see on stage on saturday? And, have you fallen for any typical Chinese instruments so far?
I have three instruments with me aaand…I also got hold of a Chinese instrument with three strings called a san xian, I believe.
I heard you saying that the saturday gig at Yuyintang came about because “A friend of a friend’s former dog trainer’s lawn-mower-on-weekends knew a guy that had an ‘in’ with a union dude.” Really, how DID this gig come about?
Would I lie to you Kirsti? A nice girl like you..
I presume this is your first visit to Shanghai, will you have time to get to know the town or is it just a quick stop for the show?
It can be hard to get under the skin of a city in one day. Still I´m very grateful to have the chance to visit Shanghai and I will take in as much as I can while I´m there.
Some Wikipedia info on Jeff Lang:
Jeff Lang (born 9 November 1969) is an Australian songwriter, singer and virtuoso slide guitarist. A leading performer in the Australian roots style, which incorporates primarily folk, blues and rock, his music is heavily influenced by the folk music of the southern United States as well as from the British Isles but has distinctly Australian lyrical content. He plays various types of guitar, both slide and standard, as well as banjo, mandolin, Chumbush and drums.