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 Powderfinger Find Their Niche

Powderfinger Find Their Niche

Who: Powderfinger
Where: University - Bar on the Hill
When: Tuesday October 17, 2000

REGULAR passengers taking a ride aboard ODYSSEY NUMBER FIVE, the latest album from POWDERFINGER, will soon realise that Australia's favourite songsmiths have found their niche.

The five-piece group, playing at the University of Newcastle next Tuesday, October 17, has opted again for American producer NICK DIDIA, who worked the board on the band's last album, the quadruple platinum INTERNATIONALIST. With a record six weeks in the studio, the group's longest stretch ever, Powderfinger has produced an album that is similar in many ways to their previous efforts, but much more refined.

'We discovered after our first album how much better we were when there was space,' lead singer BERNARD FANNING said at the time of the album's release.

'DOUBLE ALLERGIC (1996) was fairly spacious and then INTERNATIONALIST (1998) was sparse.

'This one is still spacious but we've filled a lot of it with bigness, atmosphere.'

PARABLES FOR WOODEN EARS, and other EPs prior to 1996, were in a style that the band refers to as 'all metallic riffs, going all over the place'.

The breakthrough DOUBLE ALLERGIC, containing the hits DAF, SKINNY JEAN and PICK YOU UP, was brave enough to pull back and reveal the evocative lyrics of lead singer Bernard Fanning, who spoke tenderly on a range of heartfelt issues, and treat the melodies in their music with kid gloves.

It went triple platinum as Australia became seemingly besotted with Powderfinger's unforgettable melodies.

INTERNATIONALIST, followed a similar approach, and was even more successful containing a plethora of hits, the biggest being PASSENGER, THE DAY YOU COME, DON'T WANNA BE LEFT OUT and GOOD DAY RAY. Of course it would be taking your life in your own hands, among avid Powderfinger fans, to omit songs such as HINDLEY STREET, ALREADY GONE and PRIVATE MAN from any list of highlights from that album.

In fact, as drummer JON COGHILL explains, the band seems to be moving increasingly towards an album mentality. His theory on ODYSSEY NUMBER 5 rings true.

'We thought what are the best 11 songs that are going to make this a really good album",' he said.

'We weren't thinking whether each song was going to be a great song, we just wanted to make it a full album of really good listening, that you could listen to all the way through and not have anything stick out like its out of place.'

Guitarist DARREN MIDDLETON agrees, remarking that 'we've found what we do'. He offers some insight into the world of the Powderfinger band room these days.

'The way we go about putting songs together, we really just try to find the strength of a song,' he said.

'Instead of trying to follow some pop handbook, and saying okay that's enough of that section, now we've got to to put a key change in here", we just try to kind of let the songs write themselves to a degree.

'You just get a feeling. You know when it's time to change or something like that, or add something here and there.'

By the middle of last week Powderfinger's NSW tour had fully sold out, except for the Newcastle Uni show.

After the band has toured Australia, the group will fly to London, the US, and to Japan for the first time in November.

TE has two double passes to POWDERFINGER to give away.

To go in the draw mail an envelope, with your name, address and telephone number on the back, to POWDERFINGER GIVEAWAY, PO Box 615, Newcastle, 2300.

Or enter on-line at www.nnp.com.au TE

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