I’m not gonna lie to you – Brendan Welch is a hard person to get to know. Self-confessed “elusive, mysterious lone gunman” (a mouthful, I know) – he doesn’t let on much.
Talking to him over the phone, our conversation goes back and forth in dribs and drabs and you can tell Brendan isn’t used to having to talk himself up.
“The Gleaner is my first LP,” he tells me. “The record’s actually been done for more than a year. We’ve taken our time, so it’s more a release than anything.”
See, modest. The album he so grandly describes as his ‘first EP’ was produced and co-written by Something For Kate’s Paul Dempsey and has been earning Mr Welch quite the reputation as a heartfelt troubadour, having drawn comparisons to the likes of Johnny Cash, Willy Nelson and Townes Van Vandt.
It seems this modesty extends to his approach to performance as Brendan prefers to remain aloof from the scene, standing on his own feet rather than hanging on to the coat tails of a fad or movement.
“Melbourne itself is great for starting out,” says Brendan as he explains how he got going as a performer. “I used to play open stage nights. That’s probably the closest I’ve been to being part of the scene. But I have to say I’m not really in the scene, I do it a bit on my own. I really should get out there more and make connections.”
“I don’t know,” he continues mid thought. “To me it’s a very private thing. I’ve never been in a band or worked with other people.”
Private or not, Brendan has managed to bring himself to spread his musical wings, having played to a sold out audience for his Melbourne launch for The Gleaner. As Sydney is the next target on the horizon for this lone gunman of song, with Welch bringing up support and backing band Plastic Palace Alice, I ask him what he’s expecting for the Harbour city.
“I looking forward to coming up to Sydney. The Plastic Palace Alice Partnership is going pretty well – the bass player’s my housemate so we’ve spent a lot of time together.”
“I’m also finishing up writing a newer batch of songs,” he continues. “I’ve probably about enough to do another record already… but I don’t really know how long you’re meant to give,” he chortles lightly. “There’s never a plan… but I think things generally work out as long as you pay attention.”
With all the attention he’s getting though I think Brendan won’t be a lone gunman for very much longer.
Be sure to catch Brendan when he plays The Hopetoun on July 10th.
The Gleaner is out now.