Dick Valentine brings his acoustic solo tour to Australia Jan-Feb 2020.
Electric Six have just had one of their best touring years ever, and outrageous frontman Dick Valentine says he just doesn’t understand.
“I would have thought by now they would have taken us out to a field and shot us,” Dick says. “None of it makes sense and I can’t quite get my head around it, but I’m very lucky it’s going the way it’s going.”
Real name Tyler Spencer, Dick returns to Australia for the first time in 15 years for his solo acoustic ‘Destructour’.
Last here with Electric Six, Dick has a very different reason for his upcoming solo jaunt. “The band has taken me [to Australia] twice – once in 2004 and once in 2005 – and that’s been it,” he says.
“The impetus for doing this acoustic tour is one of our biggest fans is Australian and in the last seven or eight years she’s come to see us in North America and Europe a lot, and she’s having a birthday party and wanted me to come down and play it. I love her and she’s fantastic. As long as I’m down there I might as well do some shows.”
As the leader of a band that has gained cult status with salacious, crotch-pumping rock anthems such as ‘Gay Bar’ and ‘High Voltage’, Dick says the acoustic shows offer a very different experience for both him and the audience. “I love doing the acoustic shows, I have a lot of fun with it,” he says.
“It’s very different to the band, it’s kind of the yin to the yang of that. I travel at my own pace, do whatever set I want to do and be very interactive with the fans. These acoustic shows, if I’m lucky and have 150 people that’s probably the most you could expect. I’m going to meet everyone in the room after the show, pour a few drinks and I really enjoy doing that.”
Electric Six fans may be pleased to know that Dick’s solo tour also pre-empts a potential return for the band to our shores, hopefully sooner rather than later. “I feel like coming to do the acoustic shows will be like doing a preview, teaser, recon, whatever you want to call it, and we’ll drum it up and we’ll get it going.”
When it comes to playing acoustic versions of classic E6 songs, Dick says that while a song like 'High Voltage' doesn't translate well, 'Gay Bar' takes pride of place on the set list. “What I do for 'Gay Bar', it’s a celebration of the song that pays my mortgage,” Dick laughs.
“So I bring everybody up on stage; if you're in the room you get to come up and sing 'Gay Bar' and I do that midway during the set as a way to get everyone involved. I definitely know that half the people who are there, that's why they’re there and I don’t fight that.”
Dick Valentine 2020 Tour Dates
30-31 Jan - Fringe World (Perth) Wed 5 Feb - Crown & Anchor (Adelaide) Thu 6 Feb - Northcote Social Club (Melbourne) 7-8 Feb - Junk Bar (Brisbane) Sun 9 Feb - Oxford Art Factory (Sydney)