Jen Cloher, Jordie Lane, Tinpan Orange, Husky, Liz Martin and Harry Angus are all on stage for Storm In A Teacup.
Jen Cloher, Jordie Lane, Tinpan Orange, Husky, Liz Martin and Harry Angus are all on stage for Storm In A Teacup. Supplied

It's a Storm in a Teacup

HOW have some of Melbourne and Sydney’s best folk and pop musicians ended up touring the country unified as a super group?

A sort of artistic storm in a tour-bus-shaped teacup.

Go back a few months to Mullumbimby to the headquarters of Vitamin Records, where label owner Glenn Wright had an idea.

What if Wright asked Vitamin artists Jordie Lane, Tinpan Orange, Husky and Liz Martin, and friends Jen Cloher and Harry Angus (trumpeter for The Cat Empire/Jackson Jackson), if they’d fancy performing on tour as a unit?

Let’s call the tour Storm in a Teacup.

Believing Wright’s vision was a music business rarity, all keenly took to the idea.

Wright said it was inspired by earlier projects and a strong sense of community.

“Vitamin presented some label nights a few years back called indie six-pack,” he reflects.

“They were wonderful, but we felt that rather than having groups play one after the other, it would be better if the groups became a band and performed together.”

He also tips his hat to New Zealand’s annual Fly My Pretties concerts and Melbourne’s Drawcards shows of the ’90s, which use similar formats.

Being scattered around the world has forced the Storm in a Teacup artists to collaborate, mostly via the internet thus far.

“Lots of MP3s have been sent back and forth,” 2006 ARIA nominee Jen Cloher says.

“Some of the songs have never been heard before so it’s like opening brand new packages of sonic goodness.”

Cloher and Tinpan Orange have taken breaks from recording projects and Jordie Lane flew back from Los Angeles this week to rehearse with the group.

They’ve passed around material from their forthcoming albums to give Storm in a Teacup audiences a preview of what’s to come.

A song which Cloher and Tinpan’s graceful lead singer Emily Lubitz wrote together last year had only been played publicly once before this tour, but will now feature.

Not so graceful is the song’s topic.

According to Cloher, the song is about “a bad drunken episode at a best friend’s wedding”.

“We’ve all had one of those nights… haven’t we?”

Singing songs in unison has excited the Storm in a Teacup artists.

“I Could Die Looking At You is one of my personal favourite songs and to have the energy of the whole group singing the hook is very uplifting,” Jordie Lane tells Pulse.

Covers will make their way into the super group’s song list. Emily Lubitz is still plucking up the courage to suggest they perform a massive Beach Boys medley.

Sassy Sydneyite Liz Martin brings a new dimension to the gang of Melbournians with her eclectic blend of folk and pop.

“Liz reckons that as the ‘out-of-towner’ she’s going to be the one all the boys fall for and all the girls hate,” Cloher says.

Glenn Wright tips Harry Angus’ secretly exceptional guitar playing and the lesser-known Husky or Liz Martin will be the big surprise of the night.

“It’s far more than a storm in a teacup,” Wright says enthusiastically. “It’s a juggernaut of indie music.”

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