Graham Reid | | 2 min read
One is good with his fingers, the other is good with his mouth. Beatbox sensation, Tom Thum – best known for the most watched TEDx talk of all time: Beatbox Brilliance – joins forces with bohemian singer-songwriter Jamie MacDowell to create original, genre-defying music that is "redefining musical parameters".
Armed only with a guitar, and a versatile voicebox able to convey any instrument, this duo eschew cynicism, exude joy, and defy expectations. A funny, riotous combination of folk-pop songs and virtuosic beat-boxing that has seen the Australian duo garner a global following.
And because they are appearing at next year's Womad in Taranaki (see dates below) we invited singer/guitarist Jamie MacDowell to answer our specially designed world music version of our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire . . .
The first musician whose music really affected you was . . .
I’m gonna answer this literally and say John Farnham. When I was a kid and excited about Christmas, Farnham was the one singing the carols.
Your first appearance on stage before an audience was . . . (And you were how old?)
In a school orchestra, I was about 9 or 10, and I had a trumpet between my lips.
If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are so emotionally moving are . . .
Bartender - Dave Matthews
If I Have To Go - Tom Waits
White Wine in the Sun - Tim Minchin
The most unusual place you have performed would be . . .?
Tom and I played a gig in a mine shaft once. That place.
The most important book you have read is . . .? And why?
How To Play Piano Despite Years Of Lessons. It helped me understand music.
If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)
Quest Love. Can I say The Roots? All of them? With Frank Sinatra and Billy Boothroyd alternating lead vocals? We’d play whatever they want to play.
The three films you'd like anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .
Sister Act, Sister Act 2, and Conor McGregor: Notorious.
The last CD, vinyl album or download you bought was . . .
I was just given Leonard Cohen - I’m Your Man on vinyl. I love it.
When you travel, what is it you most miss about your home country?
The wardrobe in which all my clothes and nic-nacs don’t require my carrying them.
The artist you most admire would be . . .
Alex Rossi (Minneapolis)
Your favourite meal to share with friends would be . . .? (Care to share a simple recipe?)
Tom Thum’s Mexican-ish Mess.
Recipe: Fly to Brisbane. Drive to Tom’s House. Wait. Tom will probably make something good.
Do you practice every day, and if so for how long?
I do, I sit in front of YouTube guitar players/teachers, off and on for most of the day.
David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” If that were true, you would spend them where, doing . . .?
At the risk of seeming boring for pleading the ideal, I’d spend it travelling and playing music with Tom, and hanging with my buddies, playing music in Melbourne.
And finally, do you have any unrealised goals in music?
Always, the goals are changing. Right now, it’s finding a dope bass player.
For more on next year's Womad including tickets etc check out their website here.