How Georgia Mooney’s songwriter Supergroup sessions struck a chord
Georgia Mooney from ARIA-winning Sydney-based group All Our Exes Live In Texas has struck the right chord with her new songwriters initiative Supergroup at Giant Dwarf.
Originally set to run for a month, Mooney wants to keep the concept on-going because it’s been working out a treat.
Each Sunday, a different lineup of four or five songwriters who’ve most likely never performed together, are seated in a semi-circle, performing a song while the others play behind them.
Mooney, a vintage and antique lover, decorates the stage to be “a little bit vintage music studio, a little bit Graceland, a little bit curiosity shop.”
The performers are surrounded by lamps, rugs and curios, mostly from an antiques store in Newtown called Drunk On The Moon. Some like the light-up waterfall decoration with rotating flowers is from her personal collection.
Supergroup, Mooney explains, is “essentially a celebration of songwriting and the many and varied songwriters we have in Australia.
“The idea came from being in a touring band and meeting all these wonderful musicians over the years.
“We’re always running into each other on the road but never really getting to play together.
“I thought it would be fun to host people who don’t normally share the stage and see what happens when they collaborate on each other’s songs.”
She crossed her fingers and emailed her favourite Aussie songwriters.
“The concept of spontaneously collaborating live on stage can be a bit nerve-racking and people all approach music quite differently so I knew it would require very supportive, thoughtful artists.”
The first session featured R.W. Grace, Fanny Lumsden and Stu Larsen.
The second was with Tim Rogers, Urthboy and Ben Salter.
There are one-off new songs, rarely heard songs, reinvented songs and made-up-on-the-spot songs.
Mooney asks them questions, the writers chat about how they write, their ambitions and their experiences.
The house band is made up of musicians who’ve just met that day.
The no-rules vibe flows down to the audience, who are made to feel extremely comfortable and are encouraged to sing along or call out questions.
“It’s almost half panel show, half concert,” Mooney opines.
The upcoming April 14 session features Dan Kelly, Canadian folkie and guitarist Brian Campeau and Alyx Dennison who started in experimental/pop duo kyü before playing in ensembles and writing original music for film, theatre, dance and radio
April 21 has Paul McDermott & Steven Gates (Tripod), Liv Hally (Oh Pep!) and Seja (Sekiden, Regurgitator, host & interviewer of music podcast HearSej).
The performances are all filmed, Mooney explains.
“It seemed like a waste to not capture the performances seeing as they are all one-offs.
“I’d love to take the series on tour and pitch it to festivals so by filming it we can show people exactly what it’s like.
“More importantly, if there is a performance that was really magical in the moment, we can release it later! In a way, we have an album of songs from a new Supergroup every week.”
The Giant Dwarf is an artist-friendly theatre venue opened by The Chaser which hosts challenging comedy, panels, theatre and new work.
Supergroup is part of Giant Dwarf’s Artist in Residence Program and has assistance from City of Sydney and APRA.
The next dates are available here.