Walking through Pitt Street Mall on any given Sunday, you’re sure to encounter the occasional surprise now and then. However, one of the most pleasant surprises, and best-hidden secrets, that Pitt Street Mall hides is the trio who call themselves Set Sail. With a minimal set-up but a confusing wire set-up, Set Sail are at the peak of the busking world. Powering through an extremely creative set in which even the trio are unsure what is happening next, ranging from covers of Bittersweet Symphony to their own songs, they fill the grimy Mall with a bright, exciting feel. Catching up with the group shortly after their little busk, we spoke about everything, from their world tour last year (yes, a world tour) to their plans for the future.
Having first encountered Set Sail at the once-glorious BJB Studios Sydney in the summer of 2010, it was obvious that these boys would populate our airwaves within years. Their feel-good vibes would resonate through the Studio walls and throughout the building, where you could often find a cheerful Angus Stone humming along on the floor below. At that time, the band were preparing to embark on their world tour, which would see them fund a global trip entirely on busking profits. “That was the intention when we started the band really, we wanted to go around the world”
The band is currently in the process of releasing their second EP, aptly titled Hey! that will follow up their immensely successful Riley Moore EP, which cleared more than 14,000 copies. Having just listened to the EP, it’s clear that they will be selling more than 14,000 when they release their full album next year. “It’s really quite exciting,” commented Brandon (who had a brief customs scare earlier this year) “We’re currently writing songs and just rocking out, we’ve got a direction we want to go in now, which is great, and we should have our debut album out by next year”.
Last night the band took the stage at the Sol Bar in Queensland, which was a performance that put a little bit of sunshine into everyone’s winter. Commenting on their plans for live shows, violinist Josiah chirped up, describing the ensemble they will be using: “We’re using a full band,” he stated, “it’s not like the busking layout, we have keyboards and everything, it’s going to be a party”. Josiah didn’t stop there, hinting at the possibility of playing at some summer festivals over the New Year and beyond: “We played a few smaller festivals before and they went absolutely crazy, so hopefully we can have some fun over the summer at some festivals”.
For those unaware of the sound that Set Sail produce, it is possibly the best combination of summer, festivals and beaches rolled into an audible format. With simple lyric choices and upbeat instrumentals, anyone will want to jump into a Kombi van instantly and head to Byron Bay for cheeky surf.
They are currently on a national tour (of venues, not streets) with their full band, something that is sure to be a night to remember. Their D.I.Y. approach to their beach folk-pop will eventuate to be the soundtrack of summer for some. Set Sail have big plans for the future, and with the smallest amount of luck, it seems that the summer festival circuit has big plans for them also. Last night’s concert kicked off the bands’ national tour that will see them go from Hobart to Maroochydore.