The first week of January 2020 saw Glenn Richards, on crutches due to a Christmas party cricketing incident, in a Melbourne studio with his Augie March bandmates putting down eleven new tracks for what might end up being the sequel to their acclaimed 2000 debut album Sunset Studies. The plan was for Glenn to complete it at home in Hobart and have it released in time for the band’s 20th anniversary of SS, a tour already booked in major theatres throughout the country. For a couple of months that plan was looking rosy, but we all know the rest. It played out similarly for most people, big plans or not. So, after a stiff coffee, he started on the journey that would lead to a fully self made album, two film clips, and a complete set of lyric clips. Cottage industry indeed.
FIBATTY! is a full blooded album, possibly even more ambitious in its instrumentation and thematic reach than your average Augie record, and very far from a typical solo album by a sensitive bloke with an acoustic guitar. While it never stops at any station too long it is maybe best described as a deep, crooked pop album, something that would fit nicely on a playlist with the likes of Split Enz, The Kinks, Deerhunter, Guided By Voices, Richard Davies, The Go Betweens, XTC, Jellyfish, Richard Dawson, or any number of acts past and present who prize vision, quality, humour, genuine feeling and individuality as marks of good music. But above all it is a Glenn Richards album, DIY ground to sky, and hopefully one of many to be released in this fashion. It is also very much a pandemic album, hopefully his only one.
The album features singles ‘In The Court Of The Cat King’ and brand new cut ‘Alive (Until You’re Not)’.
FIBATTY! is out now via Believe.