Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.
Navigation

Greg Fleming and The Working Poor

Greg's first show was opening up for Townes Van Zandt since then he's built up a reputation as a razor sharp songwriter - adept in a wide range of styles and settings. Greg’s now working with The Working Poor one of Australasia's finest, forward-thinking rock bands. Their 2016 album To Hell With These Streets follows the highly acclaimed Stranger In My Own Hometown and 2014's album Forget the Past – both of which enjoyed 4 star reviews both at home and internationally.

Greg and The Working Poor are now recording their fourth album - which is due to be released in September 2017.


"these songs move from observational to internal narratives and present hard and often uncomfortable truths about what we have allowed ourselves to become. Our country as it shouldn't be? Gripping stuff."

To Hell With These Streets was an editor's pick and named one of the 12 best albums of 2016 at Elsewhere   


"To Hell With These Streets is the most confident and most sonically engaging, as well as the most disgruntled album he’s made. But what’s extra impressive is the continuity with the rest of the music he’s made this decade. Greg Fleming is on a roll, and long may he roll." Nick Bollinger The Sampler

"This album touches the head and heart" Graham Reid, Elsewhere. **** star review for Stranger , August 2015.

 “Fleming knows how to set up a scene and get his little vignettes across within the length of a typical pop song (perhaps he could teach Dylan a thing or two…)” Marty Duda 13th Floor

   "Not all listeners like those masculine hard-edged whiskey-soaked voices like Tom Waits, Jon Dee Graham, Otis Gibbs or even John Haitt. But, Greg seems to have found a balanced mother-lode that straddles the mineral from the grasslands." John Apice No Depression.


 

 

 

Forget the Past

Released on March 28, 2014 the 11 tracks on Greg's fourth record span locales and subjects as far afield as New Mexico, jaywalking, the working poor, and surviving summers in the city.

“I love pop songs,” says Greg, “and this time out I think I managed to write a couple. We worked hard on getting hooks in wherever we could, guitar parts, backing vocals, beats – and it worked, these songs get in there. It’s also the most outward looking record song writing wise I demanded more of melodies and trusted the lyrics to take care of themselves.”

Forget the Past (a line from Broken Lights, New Mexico – which contains a superb backing vocal from The Bad’s singer Dianne Swann) signals a new start for Fleming. Save for guitarist John Segovia – it’s a whole new band – centered around the rhythm section of drummer Wayne Bell and bassist Mark Hughes.

"I wanted to make a record I’d want to listen to. One that was fun and also heart-breaking, a record that dealt with real issues but never forgot about the joy of life. Listening to Wayne stack the Beach Boys-like harmonies on Summer in the City and The Good was one of the high-points of our time in the studio.”

 

Greg on Edge of the City (2012)


 

“We all worked really hard on this record. I lost count of the number of songs we threw out. The songs on this one draw from a deep well. It was meant to take two weeks but ended up taking two years. Every song had to earn its place.”

"A few weeks before going into the studio to record this album, I sat down at the piano and wrote the title track 'Edge of the City'. That song shared the themes and characters of a novel I’d been working on – dislocation, regret, family, the passing of time; the rewards of good, and the travails of bad, love. I dumped the songs I had up my sleeve and set to work writing those that make up this record. 'Edge' set the direction. The new songs were character sketches, short stories in song, inspired by my love of film noir, crime fiction and songwriters like Merle Haggard and Bruce Springsteen. Its landscape however was local. I knew these people. These characters had shadowed my imaginative life for years. Over the next eighteen months I found them a story and gave them a song."

Taken   (2010)

Released to widespread critical acclaim in 2010, Taken was Greg's second album which for a variety of reasons never saw the light of day when it was recorded in the mid 90s. Produced by Wayne Bell it was finally released by Auckland indie label LucaDiscs in 2010 to glowing reviews. (Taken also includes Greg's long out-of-print debut album Ghosts are White - including Mr Clive, Unanswered Prayers and the Wish I'd Hesitated.)
Greg - "…when LucaDiscs approached me about releasing Taken I was hesitant at first. I had new stuff I wanted to do, but slowly it started to make sense, the way forward could begin by going back. Taken spans nine, never dull, sometimes difficult, years… Although in the end what I say counts for little – from this vantage point I’m an unreliable witness at best. I’m just happy it’s now free to tell its own story to whoever wants to listen."
From the pop stylings of California Fishing, the country pop of Good Memory to the reworked Codeine Road Taken is full of great songs and sounds as fresh and timely today as when it was recorded.
"I always like returning to this record live - Hamish,  Codeine Road, Lovers of Listening to the Weather, California Fishing - there's lots of meat on those songs, they hold up. Lost people, things taken, beautiful girls, California dreamin', catchy choruses. It was a dark, difficult time and these songs go to that, surviving it was the trick."