Eskimo Joe to go back on the road
Eskimo Joe frontman Kav Temperley is going to have to wait another year before he can perform a song he wrote in quarantine a year ago.
Temperley wrote the beginnings of the "isolation love song" 99 Ways while he was shut away for 10 days in a bedroom in the family's Perth home after developing a fever shortly after they returned from America and just before Australia closed its borders.
"I started coming down with a fever and symptoms but at this stage, no one had a test for (the coronavirus)," Temperley said.
"My wife Beth had to sleep in the loungeroom and with all our kids for 10 days while I talked to them through the window - it was a really trippy time.
"Luckily there was a piano in the room and I started with this idea about longing to be with my wife and children who were just on the other side of the door."
The song was completed with his bandmates Stu McLeod and Joel Quartermain, who joined them in Western Australia after completing hotel quarantine when he relocated to his hometown with his family as the pandemic gripped Melbourne in mid 2020.
Eskimo Joe made a return to the Australian airwaves last June with Say Something, their first new single in seven years.
The trio, who were a fixture on festival stages and radio stations throughout the 2000s with a succession of hits including the smash Black Fingernails, Red Wine, clearly intend to keep their reunion going with the release of 99 Ways today.
They have also announced a 2022 national tour, playing their 2006 record Black Fingernails, Red Wine and 2004 album A Song Is A City together in theatres - plus the new stuff, of course.
The tour, which was originally planned for October last year, kicks off next March. Like all of Australia's performers, the Eskys are wrestling with the realities of touring against the backdrop of border restrictions and capped crowd sizes.
"In the interest of wanting to give our fans something to look forward to after this crazy year we've just had, we're announcing our 2022 tour now," Temperley said.
"Some of these songs have never been played live before, but every song on each of these albums means so much to us and signifies such an important time in our lives and our career as a band."
It will be some months before the trio can get back together again in the same city - Quartermain is back in Melbourne - and reacquaint themselves with their old stuff as well as working out how to perform the new stuff live.
McLeod, who is anxiously counting down to the Fairbridge Festival in WA in April which he has spent months praying won't be scuttled by a COVID cluster, said planning a tour remains a logistical nightmare for artists because of restrictions.
While he has been focused on the festival, Quartermain has been working on new songs with Dan Sultan for his next album and Temperley continues to write with other artists and launched his HatJam podcast, a deep dive with songwriters.
"We all have other irons in the fire, which I guess is probably pretty normal these days for musicians because it's pretty hard to make a living out of music in Australia, let alone anywhere else in the world," McLeod said.
"We are lucky we have a cool fanbase that's stuck with us for more than 20 years now."
The tour hits the Fremantle Arts Centre on March 5, Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide on March 12, Odeon Theatre, Hobart on March 19, Forum, Melbourne on March 25, Anita's Thirroul on March 31, Enmore Theatre, Sydney on April 1 and The Tivoli, Brisbane on April 8 with all tickets on sale on February 19.
Originally published as Eskimo Joe to go back on the road