The War of Ideas

Simon Wooldridge | Bendigo Weekly | 17-Nov-2017

Bendigo-based five-piece The War of Ideas.

Fronted by singer-songwriter Trevor Petrie, The War of Ideas is a Bendigo-based indie-folk-rock five piece. 

They recently released their second EP, The Beauty of Solitude.

“First EP kind of, really,” Petrie told the Weekly. 

“The previous incarnation of the band was a three-piece. I’m the only link.”

The four-track EP reflects Petrie’s take on aspects of contemporary life. At times it explores some dark places. 

The title track, which kicks off the EP, is a stand-out. 

“I was strongly affected by that movie Searching for Sugar Man,” Petrie said. 

“Someone can be famous and talented, but when you strip everything away, what sort of person are you? Family is more important than fame or standing.”

Petrie is joined in The War of Ideas by Brian Hosking on drums, Steve Myers on bass, Ben Blanks on electric guitar and Frida Petrie on keys. 

Myers and Hosking are former collaborators in Anti Social Commentary, a previous Petrie-led outfit.

The Beauty of Solitude was released through Petrie’s own label, Poppet Head Records. It’s an accomplished, polished collection with Petrie’s powerful vocals and acoustic guitar to the fore on each track.

“I’m very conscious of the lyrics.” Petrie said. 

“I largely write from personal life experiences, and observations.” 

The last track on the EP, The Bitter End, is about relationship break-ups. 

“It’s fictional, though a kind of amalgam of different relationships I’ve seen fail.” 

He is a thought-provoking lyricist, and insightful chronicler of the human condition.

The Beauty of Solitude is out now on Poppet Head Records – a label set-up by Trevor Petrie that focuses on supporting and showcasing local artists.

Next Friday sees rising Tasmanian band, The Surreal Estate Agents, bring their If It Aint Broken 14-date national tour to Bendigo’s Golden Vine Hotel.

The folk-rock-funk four-piece (Zac Henderson and Jackson Simpson share vocals and guitar duties, Thomas Newman plays bass, with Tenille Johnstone on drums) released their debut album, House Inspection, earlier this year.

The Surreal Estate Agents formed in 2013 and have steadily built-up a strong following with their energetic and “playful” live shows, which have included support slots with the likes of Killing Heidi, Neil Finn, and Thirsty Merc.

Jangling guitars, funky rhythms, upbeat vocals and at times almost Primal Scream-like levels of danceability promise a lively evening.

The Surreal Estate Agents play the Golden Vine on Friday, November, 24. Doors at 8.30pm, admission is $10, with support from Leo Creighton, Nation Wild, and STOKA.

Last weekend’s Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival saw upwards of 20,000 punters enjoy more than 140 acts across the city over four days. Rosalind Park has never seen so many people on festival Saturday. 

At a rough calculation, this writer soaked-up about 35 hours of music. Shaun Kirk, Matty T Wall, The Leroys, David Spry, and the Essie Thomas Ensemble were among some wonderful new discoveries.

The Festival comes around once a year. There is, however, great live music in Bendigo every week.

Follow Simon on twitter: @spwooldridge


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