Adelaide Fringe

WOMADelaide 2018: Mama Kin Spender – Golden Magnetic!

With multiple sets over the long weekend that is WOMAdelaide, Jona of Glam Adelaide had a chat with Danielle Caruana of MAMA KIN SPENDER about everything up and coming for the now duo.


J:How’s everything going?

D: Yeah great, now in Adelaide and feeling the absolute compound buzz of all of the things that are happening in this town at the moment, it’s incredible.

With the fringe on, and WOMADelaide it’s a good vibe all round, when did you get here?

We arrived yesterday, we had our first rehearsal with the Gospo Collective and the Jones Commentary yesterday, we have another rehearsal again tonight (Friday) then we’re gonna hit the ground running tomorrow.

Are you getting up to much in Adelaide apart from performing?

We had a little moment at the garden of unearthly delights last night. There’s just so much to see and do, it’s incredible.

Had you checked it out in the past or was it your first time there?

No, I was at WOMAD in 2010 and I’ve been there once since then too.

The new album “Golden Magnetic” came out quite recently, how’s everything going since launching that off?

It’s been great, it’s been really well received, it’s great to have our music out into the world and to be actively talking about it in context with the body of work actually in the world.

Do you have a favourite track off the new album?

I have a couple of favourite tracks I really love the first single “Air Between Us” and I really love “Underground” they’re probably my two favourites, and “Water and Fire”.

Are you looking forward to playing at WOMAD for these upcoming show/s?

Yes, a part of this project is everywhere we go we’re picking up a choir wherever possible. We’re actually performing with an Adelaide choir and it’s really exciting and good to be performing with members of the Adelaide community. Tommy and I are really committed to having as much community involvement as possible, this choir aspect really speaks to that desire.

It’s really cool, I’ve noticed you’ve been implementing different choirs everywhere you’re going. What’s the name of the choir in Adelaide you will be using?

We’re using a mash-up of two choirs, both run by Charmaine Jones. The Gospo Collective and The Jones Commentary. It’s really exciting.

You’ve known Spencer for 17 years as friends, so how did the evolution in bridging that gap of just being friends with Tommy to start working professionally together?

I think it was sort of this inevitable thing that came about. We always spoke about doing a creative project together. It just was timing in the end. It came to a point where we were both looking for something new.

And you’re about to tour with John Butler soon?

We’re doing dates throughout March. We haven’t toured together in ages.

How did the initial relationship with John Butler come to be?

John is my husband. I like that you don’t know that.

You played at Womadelaide in the past in 2010, do you have a fond memory of Adelaide from that?

I absolutely love playing Womadelaide it was one of my favourite milestones. Playing felt like a real personal achievement and it was such a real benchmark and turning point for me to actually play in this festival.

How is the implementation of choirs working out for you city to city?

It’s been amazing, every choir sounds a little bit different and feels a little bit different. It’s been this really amazing process of meeting a bunch of really cool people everywhere we go. It’s like a dream performing with them.

So you aren’t recording anything with any of these choirs?

No, we are recording with an 85 piece choir while we’re in Sydney though, we will be doing that in late March.

Individually both yourself and Spender are both great musicians, will you be doing another album together and working together consistently?

Yeah we’re looking forward to making more music together for sure.

Do you have a favourite city in Australia to play?

I actually really love getting out of the cities to be honest. I like playing regional areas, my favourite thing is playing regional festivals and halls.

Other than touring with your husband in coming months, what is next for Mama Kin Spender?

We are going to Canada, we are going to Ireland. Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and a quite substantial regional tour is planned for later in the year.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans here in Adelaide?

Thanks for having us back, we’re so excited to be a part of this festival and this wild week of all things Adelaide, it’s so exciting.

Good stuff. Enjoy the sights and sounds of our beautiful city!

If you’ve failed to catch their live set yet, don’t miss them on the last day of WOMAdelaide on the Foundation Stage, it’s sure to be a great performance.

By Jonathan Matthews

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