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Aussie Artists Share All The Weird & Wonderful Ways They’ve Been Influenced By John Farnham

Written by Emmy Mack on August 23, 2018

John Farnham is so much more than just that guy your mum likes who sings that song ‘You’re The Voice’.

An Aussie music institution, Farnsey has been entertaining audiences across the nation (and the globe) for almost five decades now, bagging a stack of number one records along the way and continuing to defy retirement and sell out arenas.

It may or may not also surprise you to learn that his music has had a huge influence on the current crop of Aussie artists coming through, not least of which are Client Liaison.

The unashamed 80’s pop revivalists quite literally wear their Farnsey influence on their stylishly retro sleeves, and they’ve just booked the legendary man himself to headline their self-styled Expo Liaison festival, which is due to hit Sydney and Brisbane this weekend (be sure to hop on it because tickets are going to be snapped up quicker than you can say “OH-WHOA-WHOA-WHOA, OOOOOH-WHOA-WHOA-WHOA”)

After penning their own heartfelt love letter to his seminal Whispering Jack LP, Client Liaison have now recruited a bunch of their peers — from both on and off the Expo Liaison lineup — to pay tribute to John Farnham and his wide-ranging influences on them.

Allow NO ZO, Ainslie Wills, Have/Hold and more to make a noise and make it clear, below.

NO ZU

“Farnsey, for a person of my age, when Whispering Jack was big, appeared almost as the ultimate Aussie-internationalist superhero. Driza-bone, powerful mullet, great posture and even better mic technique. Always with his head lifted slightly and looking out into the middle distance with a cocksure and determined expression. The ‘Pressure Down’ emotive synth pads, vocal effects, gated reverb, OZ groove, and crisp hi fi sound and FX is deeply embedded in my subconscious from nocturnal Hume Highway drives every school holidays as my mum would drive me to and from my Campaspe and Goulburn Valley grandparents. The extended version is incredible and I am envious of its perfection. I am so glad that there was a wave of Farnsey appreciation for the balearic leaning Age Of Reason in recent years also. What a divine larrikin to be cherished.”

Ainslie Wills

“His ability to sing with a voice that is out of this world yet deeply rooted in a uniquely Australian sound is why I love Farnsey.”

Luke Howard

“My childhood career goal was playing with John Farnham. Actually it lasted a bit longer than childhood. Alas, it seems Client Liaison got there first!”

Ben Wright Smith

“Theres an old family video around of me before I could even speak knocking on pots and pans and empty ice cream buckets listening to John Farnham. He was always around when we were growing up. I was lucky enough to score a ticket to his show last year and it blew me away! Truly one of the great vocalists”.

Have/Hold

“As a wee impressionable young bloke I was obsessed with the sentinels of Oz Rock Royalty. I would spend after school hours prancing about on our suburban family verandah pretending it was Wembley and I was the one and only Mr Hutchence. My whole family would sit around the cathode ray tube of an evening and bask in the reflective glory of Hey Hey It’s Saturday as Darrel and Ozzy served up lashings of the glory days of Australian music. These experiences are almost solely responsible for me wasting my life playing in bands ever since.

One particular episode of the aforementioned variety hour featured a flaxen-haired balladeer by the name of John Farnham. As he traipsed his way across the stage I was struck by the sheer immortality of this being. His command of his instrument, both where mic control, command of the stage he traverses and sheer, undimmed control stay with me to this day. Watching his many and varied retirement/come-back shows taught me to take singing seriously and equally taught me the power and importance of self-confidence. Thanks to Farnesy I strut my way through life as best I can.”

Catch the legendary John Farnham performing live with Client Liaison at their huge Expo Liaison festival in Melbourne this Saturday, 25th August in Sydney and Sunday, 26th August in Brisbane.

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