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Building an Empire: An Interview with William Crighton

His performance at 48 Watt Street on July 27th will be one of the last shows on the tour, yet expected to be one of the biggest.

It’s a well-known fact that the Hunter has produced some of the greatest acts to journey into the music industry, and with William Crighton embarking on his national tour, he is yet another name to join that list.

Receiving rave reviews for his newest album ‘Empire’, the essence of Crighton’s music has been defined as an all moments captured experience, channelled directly into the hearts of the audience.

His performance at 48 Watt Street on July 27th will be one of the last shows on the tour, yet expected to be one of the biggest. Newcastle Live caught up with the singer before he returns home.

“It’ll be different to what you’ve seen so far,” he said. “I cannot wait for the 48 Watt Street Show”.

‘Empire’ sees Crighton expand his study of the world around us, with a breathtaking close up of the human psyche. The flame of the human spirit is, in Crighton’s hands, shown to be the most powerful force at work in the 21st Century Australia: one that produces both soot and shadow, but also guiding light, illuminating both the painful past and the difficult path forward.

Incorporating soundscapes and foreign sounds to the music, each track has the capacity to tell a full-length novel in entirety. “I wanted to experiment further and create more sounds, create different soundscapes and explore that avenue further than I had previously,” Crighton said. “At its core, it’s about searching for home and exploring each room”.

Alongside Crighton stands his wife Julieanne, a powerful force behind the band with her beautiful harmonies. “Jules and I are married and have been together for 12 years, but I’d want to play music with her if that wasn’t the case, she’s an amazing artist,” he said. Joining them is Josh Jones from Dan Sultan’s band on bass and Matt Sherrod (of Crowded House and Beck fame). “I came across [Matt Sherrod] through a mutual friend who introduced us in a sushi restaurant in Nashville back in 2010. We play together like brothers, so we try to make collaborations happen as much as possible,” he said.

In 2017, Crighton accompanied Dan Sultan and CW Stoneking on their respective national tours, performing to massive crowds at WOMADelaide and Woodford Folk Festival. He showcased at Canadian Music Week, New York City’s Mondo Music Conference and the Folk Alliance International at Kansas City. “I love playing overseas and so far people are really enjoying the shows and the music,” he said. Though quickly building a reputation as a world-class live performer, the music resonates closer with audiences on home soil. “Audiences here know exactly where I’m coming from because we all grew up together, and that’s quite special”.

With each show different from the last, there is no doubt Newcastle will hold a special relationship between the singer and the audience. “Every individual audience member brings their own vibe to the show and we feed off that, it’s different every night,” he said. “These are the best shows I’ve ever played, it’s feeling really great”.

William Crighton will be performing at 48 Watt Street in Newcastle on Friday, July 27th with Melody Pool.

You can get your tickets here.