Hometown Fest takes over the Brisbane Showgrounds from November 23–24, hitting the Brisbane festival scene with a genre-defying two-day music and arts celebration, featuring 50 local and international acts.
Playing twice over the weekend, Fanny Lumsden temporarily pauses her mammoth, 70-date Country Halls Tour to bring her own brand of Australiana country to the festival. One month before the show rolls into town, we made ourselves at home with the ARIA-nominated, Golden Guitar-winning totem tennis enthusiast.
Fanny Lumsden. Thinking about my hometown brings me out in a sort of anxiety rash, but what do you think of when you think hometown?
I think of… small towns. I think of a very small town, of red dust. I think of good times. My hometown is Tallimba, in Western NSW, so I think of that. I have fond memories – well they’re the ones I chose to remember.
Your infamous/legendary Country Halls Tour means you’re not actually home all that often. What makes you feel at home when you’re spending each weekend in a different part of the country?
Familiar space, with a lot of land. Stolen items of clothing. Actually, having as many clothing options around me as possible (but only wearing a couple of outfits anyway). Home is where the clothes are. Oh, and having my family around me.
Which family members are also onboard the Country Halls Express?
There’s my double bass-playing husband Dan, my brother Tom on backing vocals, and my son Walter on nap-taking duties, plus any other family member who join from time to time. My whole band is my family, they’re very committed. They all make me feel like I’m at home.
What’s the first thing you do when you actually get home?
If it’s winter, light the fire so we don’t freeze to death. If it’s in the day, I like to have a little sit and enjoy the view. We live quite far from pretty much anywhere, so it’s nice to pause and look out of any of the windows, we’re surrounded by incredible views. Once I’ve settled back in, I’m mostly sitting around with a gin and tonic in my underwear. Too much? Nah. Never.
Same, actually. You recently appeared on the ABC’s Sonic Journey to give your favourite songs about Australian places. Have you written any songs about home?
My whole first album is pretty much about home, and the nostalgia I have from growing up in Western NSW. I wrote Small Town Big Shot when I’d moved to Sydney, so childhood and home are recurrent themes.
The new album is also about home actually, but more metaphorically. Finding myself, growing up a bit, discovering feelings and emotions.
You’re about to slay the game at Hometown, but who you will be watching from the crowd?
I’m actually really excited to catch up with a lot of friends who are playing. Brian Cox comes from a similar area to us down south, Hayley Marsten also sometimes joins us on Country Halls and she is a legend. The Adam Eckersley Band of course, and Homegrown, a family band from North QLD who are right into harmonies, which I’m into too. Obvs.
Very cool. Last one: Would you rather stay at home for the rest of your life, or never go home again?
Argh. Such a good would you rather. If I never go home again, can I go anywhere? I have no clue. I guess I can make a new home wherever I go. That one. Argh!
Fanny Lumsden, see you at Hometown Fest.
Fanny Lumsden is currently performing around Australia in the seventh year of her Country Halls Tour with husband Dan Stanley Freeman, brother Tom Lumsden and a host of revolving talented legends. Catch the date and venue closest to you here, and follow Fanny on Instagram or Facebook for details of her forthcoming third album.