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Friends In Need, Friends On Tour

Friends In Need, Friends On Tour

Who: Carus Thompson
Where: Northern Star Hotel
When: Saturday February 11, 2006

CARUS Thompson remembers the early days of his career, busking on the streets in Fremantle.

He packed up his gear at the end of each day and checked with the other busker to see how well he had done.

That bloke was John Butler and, as Thompson recalled, Butler always walked away with more in his pocket.

But rivalry was never a problem.

``I used to busk around with my little tape and do my thing,'' Thompson said.

``I remember this guy with an American accent, and he used to busk with this 12-string with two little amps set up, and he used to make heaps of money while I made bugger-all.

``He's a very good friend to have now.'' As Butler's profile began to rise, he never forgot his busking friend and invited Thompson to support him at his first shows in Perth.

It is a tradition that has continued, with Thompson opening for the John Butler Trio across Australia, London, Paris, Ireland and Scotland.

He just wrapped up a mammoth tour with Butler. Thompson estimates he played to about 70,000 people.

``It's been great. If only we could get a gig like that every two weeks, we'd be laughing. A lot of the venues are keen for us to come back so it's been a great like that.``We sold a lot of CDs every night to new fans so it's a whole bunch of people that you wouldn't have been able to reach otherwise.``With John, the way he was underground and now he's mainstream, he gets a really interesting cross-section of people.'' He is making the most of his new- found fanbase with a headline tour that will bring him back to his favourite Newcastle venue when he plays the Northern Star Hotel on Saturday night. Tickets will cost $10 at the door.

``It's a small room which we really like. The last gig there was great, we had a really good time.``We've got about six or seven new songs to play. Because there's not too much pressure on this tour, we're going to use it to play the new tunes and see how they go.'' Thompson will then pack his bags and hit the road with Butler again for a solo trek to Germany where he will play four shows.

He has much of the next six months booked out with festival appearances at Byron Bay and Perth, and plans bsHe already has much of the next six months booked out with appearances at blues and roots festivals in Byron Bay and Perth, and plans to record a new album with his band the True Believers. Tickets to Saturday night's gig cost $10 at the door.

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