Australian rock fans rejoice... Magic Dirt are one of the headliners for the summer tour series Hotter Than Hell.
“It feels like a mini-festival,” Magic Dirt frontwoman Adalita Srsen says. “I absolutely love that vibe about it. And all the bands are great live bands, you know.
“I can’t put my finger on it, but there's something exciting about Australian bands and how they play live. It's very enigmatic. It's that working class nature that runs throughout our culture.
“I really believe that Australian bands have an edge on the live circuit. We cut it live. We have that kind of outlawishness [sic] and freedom. Look, we can't wait. The crowd’s going to love it. And it's [partly] in Queensland so it’s going to be a great summery, festival vibe.” Adalita jokes she will “need an endurance test to get fit for summer there”.
The band won’t be playing new music. But they’ve been “very mindful” about crafting the set list, and say they’ll be “tapping into all their albums”.
Adalita is nothing but positive about this tour. “It's gonna be so awesome,” she says, “because the line-up is all our old friends from the '90s and '00s.
“Those are our peers we came up with in the scene together. Bands like Jebediah, who we've played so many shows and co-headlined with, and Spiderbait and Shihad – we're particularly close with those bands.
“So it feels fitting that we're going to be reunited together with those people,” Adalita says. “Like one, big travelling family. There will be a lot of support and a lot of love. I know it will be emotional playing.”
Emotional because this will be the first tour since one of Magic Dirt’s founding members, bass player Dean Turner, passed away in 2009 after a long battle with cancer.
The four-piece from Geelong championed alternative '90s music. Live shows were guaranteed to be electric and this garnered them a loyal legion of fans. However, understandably, the band went on hiatus after Dean's death with no plan to reform.
However, returning for Hotter Than Hell feels like “the right thing at the right time with the right people,” according to the singer.
“There's a bit of a story here,” Adalita says. “It wasn't the band's idea. We were actually inactive when we were approached and invited along. And then that prompted us to think maybe this is the time to come out and play.”
Hotter Than Hell won’t be the band’s first performance since their hiatus. Earlier this year (February) they threw a surprise gig for close friend, Greg Dodds. Adalita says it was a one-time event at the time, but reckons that’s what put Magic Dirt on the tour’s radar.
“So at the start of this year, we did an unannounced and secret show at the Barwon Club in Geelong for Doddsy [Greg Dodds]. We were tentative because we hadn't played for so long, but he’s basically the godfather of rock in Geelong. He’s been running the pub for about 33 years. The early incarnations [of Magic Dirt] were fleshed out on that stage. That's where we were birthed.
“So we did a secret show just for him just for that night, and then thought nothing more of it. It was great fun. Everyone got pissed and it was like the old days, you know, smoking inside the pub and lots of moshing and bruises the day after. But word must have gotten out because we were approached to do the tour.
“Maybe after the Barwon we were subconsciously yearning to play again?” she muses. “I love that Doddsy was the one who set the wheels in motion. That is just perfect to me - like fate.”
Hotter Than Hell Tour Dates 2018/19Sat 1 Dec - Kirwan Tavern (Townsville)
Sat 8 Dec - Frankston Park (Frankston)
Sat 19 Jan - Harvey Road Tavern (Gladstone)
Sat 26 Jan - Toowoomba Showgrounds (Toowoomba)
Sun 27 Jan - Broadwater Parklands (Gold Coast)
Sat 2 Feb - Coopers Alehouse (Adelaide)
Sat 9 Feb - York On Lilydale (Mt Evelyn)
Sat 16 Feb - Racehorse Hotel (Ipswich)
Sat 23 Feb - Dunsborough Tavern (Dunsborough)