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THE UP SIDE OF THE DARK SIDE
It's Katie Brianna's birthday when Howzat! contacts her.
She's doing a gig at The Pub in Tamworth with Karl Broadie.
We mention that we hope she has a happier day than the subject
of her song Birthday Girl, from her debut album, Dark Side
Of The Morning. "Yeah," she smiles, "I guess that song is
kind of true. It was 2.32am when I looked at my phone while
I was writing it, the morning after my birthday. I'm a night
owl and my husband usually likes to get to sleep at a reasonable
time. I was drinking a bottle of wine on my own - he doesn't
drink - and I was feeling quite lonely." But just like Katie's
own story, there was a happy ending. "This year was a good
birthday," she says. "I played a gig with a good friend
and then stayed up till 6am, and I wasn't lonely."
Katie Brianna's life changed when her
sister brought home a copy of The Captain, Kasey Chambers'
solo debut. "I hadn't heard anything like it before," Katie
recalls. "All I wanted to do was sit down with my new guitar
and learn all of her songs." Katie would later play the
first song she wrote, No Friend Of Mine, to Kasey's dad,
Bill, who became a bit of a mentor. "It was so daggy. I
think it was about an old high school boyfriend." Soon after,
Katie was working with another songwriting hero, Paul Kelly,
on the ARIA Award-winning Jindabyne soundtrack, singing
his song Jindabyne Fair. That was released in 2006. Asked
if she can put the making of her album into a few words,
Katie says simply: "It took a long time." It's a cliché
that you have a lifetime to write your debut album, but
it's true with Dark Side Of The Morning. Katie started writing
the single, Oh Night, when she was just 15, and in Siren
Call she sings: "Good things come to those who wait." Indeed.
Katie was 19 when she wrote the heartbreakingly
beautiful title-track. "I was coming through the worst part
of a period of depression, hence the sad subject matter.
I suppose a lot of the songs are very much at the 'sad'
end of the songwriting spectrum. Dark Side Of The Morning
was like a release for me, letting go of that part of my
life." Bernard Zuel's Sydney Morning Herald album review
stated: "It would be fair to say this album does tend to
see the cloud in every silver lining, to feel sorry more
than happy, to imagine the rain just behind that blue sky
…" Is Katie a glass-half-empty person? "I think when I wrote
a lot of these songs I really was. I'm happy now, though!
That's not to say I won't write any more sad songs." She
laughs. "Who wants to sit down and write a song when they're
To escape "seemingly incurable shyness",
Katie started writing songs. "I was extremely shy around
strangers as a child. If a teacher even just asked me a
question, I would go beet red and want to cry. Singing and
playing in front of people really has helped 'cure' me."
Katie is the high school dropout done good. "I left after
Year 10," she reveals. "I was really miserable at school.
I didn't realise at the time but those feelings of depression
and anxiety started early in high school. And I just couldn't
handle it anymore." Katie got a job at McDonald's, "which
lasted for about 3 days because I couldn't handle that either".
Katie is now 25, with no regrets. "It wasn't right for me
to be there [school] and it was doing nothing for me." She
actually did a university bridging course and contemplated
becoming a scientist. "That makes me laugh now. I'm so happy
doing what I'm doing, even though it's definitely not an
easy path." Katie Brianna journeys to Melbourne this weekend,
to launch Dark Side Of The Morning at the Retreat on Saturday,
with The Weeping Willows.
PATRICK'S SECOND LIFE
It's chilling and it's thrilling - and Mark Hartley's debut
dramatic feature, Patrick, has a couple of music connections.
Mark has made more than 150 music videos, including some
chilling classics for Stephen Cummings (head to YouTube
to check out the clip for Fell From A Great Height). And
Patrick is a remake of the 1978 cult classic, directed by
Richard Franklin - the drummer in Ross Wilson's high school
band, The Pink Finks, who had a Top 20 hit in Melbourne
in 1965 with their cover of Louie Louie. Patrick hits cinemas
What About Tonight land at 30.
Riptide VANCE JOY (number eight)
Parachute TIMOMATIC (12)
Resolution MATT CORBY (15)
Fire Starter SAMANTHA JADE (19)
Sheppard EP SHEPPARD (20)
Reload SEBASTIAN INGROSSO & TOMMY TRASH (26)
Time Of Our Lives WHAT ABOUT TONIGHT (30, debut)
Act Your Age BLISS N ESO (31)
To The End Of The Earth JESSICA MAUBOY (32)
Kate Ceberano debuts at 23.
Asymmetry KARNIVOOL (number three)
Circus In The Sky BLISS N ESO (four)
More Than A Dream HARRISON CRAIG (five)
A Time For Us LUKE KENNEDY (12)
The Great Country Songbook TROY CASSAR-DALEY & ADAM HARVEY
Glorious Ruins HILLSONG LIVE (16)
Kensal Road KATE CEBERANO (23, debut)
Departures BERNARD FANNING (28)
A Hell Of A Career! JOHN WILLIAMSON (29)
Sharkmouth RUSSELL MORRIS (31)
This Music CELIA PAVEY (33)
Dark Side Of The Morning KATIE BRIANNA
Wish In My Dish SUSY BLUE
Saved THE DARLING DOWNS
Stolen Cars THE WEEKEND PEOPLE
Everything Is Everything MAJOR CHORD
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