Scene News: Bush Gothic’s new album and Mel tour dates

‘Rescues Australian folk from the world of beards and blue jeans.’ (The Age, Melbourne)


Announces new album Beyond The Pale plus national tour 25 April to 7 June

The history of Australia is littered with murder, sadistic commanders, cross-dressing gold diggers, gay bushrangers, riches, poverty, bizarre rituals and terrible gallows humour.

Australian history – boring? Not at all.

H.G Wells based ‘War of The Worlds’ upon this beautiful dangerous island.

Extremes of emotional behaviour were displayed by coloniser and convict alike as they battled with their mental states a long, long way from the governing authorities. Bush Gothic refuses to accept that our trad songs are bland, our history all sheep. History records what happened, songs record how people felt about it.

Beyond The Pale is the third album from this post-colonial bush band. Opening the album is the tale of Jim Jones (single available now), a convict who dreamt of revenge by joining the bushrangers to wreak havoc upon his incarcerators, the British government. Lawson & Banjo make an appearance as does poet, Judith Wright, described as ‘the conscience of the nation’. Band leader Jenny M. Thomas rose to a challenge posed by a journalist to re-arrange Pub With No Beer. This saw her add The Lonely String Quartet to a drum heavy arrangement of Slim Dusty’s classic. The string quartet is comprised of members from the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and feature on most tracks with Chris Lewis (drumkit) and Dan Witton (doublebass & vocals) completing the core band.

Since the release of their previous album: The Natural Selection Australian Songbook (5 Stars – BBC Music Magazine ) they have been invited to perform at The Unthanks Homegathering festival (UK), toured pubs of Ireland, churches of England, played Mona Foma twice plus headlined at festivals in New Zealand and India. Audiences have tuned into the bands post-modern folk songs as they have squeezed themselves into radio studios across the globe.


APRIL 25 St. Johns Church Fremantle WA

APRIL 26 – 28 Fairbridge Folk Fest WA


MAY 3 Selby Folk Club MELBOURNE

MAY 11 Jazzlab MELBOURNE27 Leslie St, Brunswick VIC 3056

MAY 17 Butchers Brew SYDNEY

MAY 18 Smiths Alternative CANBERRA

MAY 19 Jamberoo Chapel Kiama NSW

MAY 25 Guildford Music Hall Guildford VIC

JUNE 7 – 10 National Celtic Festival VIC

Bush Gothic dive deep into the Australian national psyche and give its chain a yank’ – Songlines (UK)

In the 14th century, a fence made of stakes delineated the part of Ireland that was under English rule. Known as ‘The English Pale’, to travel beyond the pale was to leave behind English law and what the English considered civilised society.

Jenny M. Thomas’ great-great-grandparents fled Ireland and English oppression to sail to Australia. Political prisoners or poverty stricken peasants, the Irish became some of the worst offenders in the Australian frontier wars. The oppressed become the oppressors. A new culture flourished and the old folk ways went underground.

Bush Gothic’s mission is to keep folk culture breathing, the traditions of the white people stretching back hundreds of years. This is an ancient culture running deep with connection to land, offering archetypes and guidance as we begin to listen to those whose land we have stolen. Beyond the pale skin, beyond all differences there is folk.

‘This is about all of us. It’s not some concession to the Natives. It is about this nation coming to terms with it’s dark, desperate and miserable history. But yet being able to celebrate the British tradition, the multiculturalism and the Indigenous heritage and to intertwine that in a way that gives this civil state we call Australia a new identity, a new capacity to do things differently.’ Pat Dodson, Garma festival, 2016

BUSH GOTHIC Discography:

Bush Gothic 2011

The Natural Selection Australian Songbook 2015

Jim Jones (Single) 2018

Beyond The Pale 2019

Beyond The Pale

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