Kate Miller-Heidke has spent the last year spreading her wings into new creative fields – like composing and starring in the Helpmann-Award winning opera The Rabbits, and filming her television acting debut in the musical mini-series The Divorce, airing on the ABC in December – and now she is keen to get back on the road to perform material of her own. Kate is thrilled to announce a tour of capital cities and selected regional centres in February and March next year, including a performance at the Adelaide Fringe.
Amongst all this activity Kate has been busy working on material for a new album, and plans to share some of those songs with her fans. Audiences can also expect to experience a piece from her acclaimed musical The Rabbits, a new cover or two, plus songs from her most recent record O Vertigo! – hailed by Rolling Stone Magazine as a “career-best album” – as well as earlier material from across her varied career.
Kate says, ‘Playing live has always been at the core of what I do. It’s been a while, and I’m itching to get on the road again. I have some slightly bent new songs I’d love to play, as well as revisiting some older stuff and a snippet or two from The Rabbits. I’m really looking forward to playing in these gorgeous venues before going into studio hibernation next year.’
Kate is also releasing a charity Christmas single, with all proceeds going to Bowel Cancer Australia. In the great tradition of Christmas duets, she has teamed up The Beards – acclaimed by many as the best facial hair themed comedy rock band in Australia, and proud advocates of all things hairy.
Ever since Kate covered ‘You Should Consider Having Sex With A Bearded Man’ on stage at the 2012 APRA Awards, and The Beards accompanied Kate on her Nightflight album tour, fans have been clamouring for a collaboration. (Well, technically, one person asked on Twitter). She invited lead singer Johann Beardraven, his trusty saxophone in hand, into the studio to make bearded, innuendo-laden magic.
The result is ‘I’m Growing A Beard Downstairs For Christmas’, a Christmas single like no other. Not many songs address the serious issues of manscaping and clamscaping, but this song does it with a smile. A hairy sideways smile. It delivers its important personal grooming message with jangling sleigh bells and ding-dongs merrily on high – not to mention a touch of 80’s power ballad sax. It is a warm, hirsute, winter wonderland of a song, full of Christmas cheer and hairy bums, promoting traditional Christmas values like love, togetherness and not shaving your pubic areas.
Kate says, “The Beards opened for me on tour a couple of years ago, and some of their fans heckled me for not having a beard. This song is my revenge on them. Also, it taps into my sick love of Christmas songs. It’s one of the poppiest, most upbeat songs I’ve ever written and it’s my dream that it gets played at Westfield during extended Christmas shopping hours. Also, it’s for charity.”
That charity is Bowel Cancer Australia and their annual fundraising effort, Decembeard. This December, people all over the country will be growing their beards – be it downstairs or upstairs – to raise money to fight bowel cancer and help save lives. Anyone who participates in Decembeard, or sponsors someone involved, will receive a free download of the song.
Available through iTunes and other outlets from 27 November, all proceeds will be donated to Bowel Cancer Australia. However, the best way to purchase the song is with the spirit of Christmas giving in mind, by heading to Bowel Cancer Australia’s dedicated website to receive a download in exchange for a donation of any amount, $2 or over. While you’re there, you can also sign up for Decembeard and get that facial hair started. It’s what The Beards would want.
Claire Annear of Bowel Cancer Australia says, “We really appreciate the creative way Kate has used her new Christmas single to encourage more people to be bowel cancer aware this Decembeard, and help save lives. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer of Australians, and affects men and women almost equally. However the good news is that it is also preventable, treatable and beatable if detected early. Proudly 100% community funded, Bowel Cancer Australia relies on the generous support of individuals and organisations to continue its vital work in advocacy, awareness, education, patient support and research.”
Beyond Christmas, Kate will appear at the Sydney Festival’s season of her opera The Rabbits, continuing on from sold-out runs in Perth and Melbourne, after having won 4 Helpmann Awards (including Best Score and Best New Australian Work). She will also be appearing with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, performing a suite of symphonic pop songs at MONA FOMA Festival in Hobart in January. After this amazing year of musicals, acting, collaborations and not shaving her unmentionables, Kate is ready to once again unleash her incomparable voice and acclaimed live show on audiences around Australia.
Tour dates and ticketing details are below:
THUR 11 FEB THE BYRON THEATRE, BYRON BAY, NSW (All ages)
Tickets: http://www.byroncentre.com.au & (02) 6685 6807
FRI 12 FEB IPSWICH CIVIC CENTRE, IPSWICH, QLD (All ages)
Tickets: http://www.ipswichciviccentre.com.au & (07) 3810 6100
SUN 14 FEB THE TRIFFID BRISBANE, QLD (18+)
THUR 18 FEB THE FACTORY THEATRE,SYDNEY, NSW (All ages)
FRI 19 FEB LAYCOCK STREET THEATRE, GOSFORD, NSW (All ages)
Tickets: http://www.gosford.nsw.gov.au/theatres (02) 4323 3233
SAT 20 FEB ESTONIAN HOUSE, MELBOURNE, VIC (18+)
WED 2 MAR THE SPIEGELTENT, ADELAIDE, SA (All ages)
GARDEN OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS
FRI 4 MAR J-SHED, BATHERS BEACH, FREMANTLE, WA (18+)
WED 9 MAR MONTROSE TOWN CENTRE, MONTROSE, VIC (All ages)
Tickets: www.culturetracks.info & 1300 368 333
FRI 11 MAR BURRINJA CULTURAL CENTRE, UPWEY, VIC (All ages)
Tickets: http://www.burrinja.org.au & (03) 9754 8723
SAT 12 MAR PORT FAIRY FOLK FESTIVAL, PORT FAIRY, VIC (All ages)