/ Andy Golledge
words, photos & video by josh yong
- Name – Andy Golledge
- Based – Sydney, Australia
- Genre – Alt-Country
- Web – www.andygolledge.com
It’s 11pm in Laruche – a bar in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley – and Andy Golledge has the whole room involved in his performance…
It’s been a couple of weeks since I first met Andy in his hometown of Sydney, where we worked on this ROAM session.
I’m now at BIGSOUND, a music conference and festival held in Brisbane. It brings together over 150 acts and music industry delegates from all over the world, who come together over 3 nights of live music at 18 different venues in Fortitude Valley. Andy is in the middle of his rapid-fire 30min set, and has just invited a few people from the crowd to come up and jump on the microphone for the next song. For the first half of the set I had been sitting there with the most ridiculous grin on my face, watching how Andy led his six-piece band who were all squished onto a tiny stage.
He has been spending a large majority of each song with his back to the audience, not in a dismissive or neglectful way, but just because he is genuinely engaged with his band members, moving with them, laughing as the chorus hits, the entire crowd going along with the groove Andy is so confidently establishing.
It’s an absolute pleasure and privilege to see Andy perform. I’m thinking back to the afternoon that I spent with him in Sydney and everything just makes complete sense.
At the conclusion of the last song I start to sneak out to rush off to the next set down the road.
He notices me and tips his wide-brimmed hat towards me as I shoot out the door, still grinning in amazement.
My collaboration with Andy actually came about through Hayley, artist name Lady Lyon, who I collaborated on the last ROAM project. She absolutely insisted that I get in touch with him, citing him as “a local legend”, and with only a short time notice he graciously agreed and invited me into his Glebe home.
Apparently this house we were in used to be a brothel, and as I look around little details start to make a bit more sense, especially the double washbasin set up in the unusually grandiose bathroom.
From shady brothel to country music venue. Made perfect sense right?
Hayley had mentioned to me that Andy has been playing around Sydney for years and years, always attracting a lot of people who want to come and here him play. Despite this he had yet to get to a studio to record any of his own work, and finally now after 10 years he has decided to work on an album.
“Alcohol and drugs just got in the way, made me generally useless” Andy casually explains,
“but they don’t do what they used to do anymore, so I decided to get it together and record something.”
I was lucky to catch him on this afternoon, he told me that straight after this session he was heading off to work on the album, which he was recording at two different studios in Ultimo and Surrey Hills.
“I moved all the furniture out of my room for another photoshoot, so I thought I may as well leave it empty for this too” Andy explains to me as we set up for the session. “It’s definitely the nicest room in the house though”
He’s left the room pretty minimalist, aside from a few of these crazy 1970s landscapes hung on the wall. Andy tells me that his songs carry with them a lot of imagery, so the narrative nature of these paintings suited his vibe.
You can definitely tell that Andy is in the recording zone. He performs three songs for me, and each performance is nailed with the precision that you only achieve when you’re deep in the recording process. When he makes a rare mistake, it’s nothing that I immediately pick up on, but rather Andy catching himself out on anything less that what he expects of himself.
“She said keep your body moving, //
and you won’t have no time to think…”
– Andy Golledge “One Damn Night”
I get the impression that after 10 years of performing, exploring, writing and experimenting, you’ve got to have a fairly confident grip on your own artistry. Andy’s in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for him and his band to go to Nashville to play as part of the Americana Festival. Edit: Andy was successful and raised nearly $15,000.
After being in the scene for so long, it seems as if Andy has developed a very strong community willing to get behind him, this reaches from each of the members in his band to those who attend his gigs. People have a trust in him because there’s no doubting that he will follow through on his word – it’s something that I very rapidly picked up on right from our first conversation, before we had even met in person.
We wrap the session right on time for Andy to rush off to the studio, as he shows me out of his house I notice an old “EXIT” sign screwed onto the door, another remnant of this building’s former life, as if people needed the extra help to find the outside world after getting lost inside for a while….
Enjoy – more projects on the way so keep in touch.
Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what you think of the project so far.
– JY x