Carus Thompson Comes To Town

Australian troubadour Carus Thompson has performed extensively across Europe and Australia over the last decade. He is now heading to Mornington and San Remo this month, bringing his blend of folk rock to a series of free acoustic shows. Thompson, a talented live performer first shot to fame with the release of his album Acoustic At The Norfolk over ten years ago. Since then he has released studio albums Caravan and Creatures Of Habit, as well as Three Boxes and Long Nights Are Gone, which were recorded with The Three Believers. Nine years after the release of his first live acoustic album – in 2012 – Thompson released Acoustic at the Norfolk II. PEARL’s Jessica Mills spoke to Thompson about his upcoming performances, journey as an artist so far and what he has planned for 2014 and beyond. 

PEARL: You’ve spent a lot of time touring around Europe before your recent indefinite return to Australia after the birth of your first child. How does playing in Australia, back on your home turf compare to playing overseas?
THOMPSON: The crowds in Europe are really respectful, they really want to hear the songs and all the words, it’s pretty intense you’ve got to rev them up a bit. Whereas Australians come from that pub rock culture that they start with that raucous energy and are quite loud.

PEARL: As a singer/ songwriter where does your inspiration to write songs come from?
THOMPSON: I started writing songs when I was 12 and I’m 37 now so I’ve been doing it for a long time (laughs). People sometimes ask does songwriting get easier and it actually gets harder. When you’re younger everything is about yourself, but as you get older you’re not the most interesting thing in the world. You become a lot more open and the good thing about touring is that you get to meet people after the show and they tell you about their life, which is raw material for songwriters. You have to keep coming up with ideas that are real enough. I wrote a song the other day about Avondale Heights and Sunshine… I’m inspired by human stories I guess.

PEARL: You’re currently writing songs, are you working towards releasing a new album soon?
THOMPSON: For me it’s always stages, you do have a period of writing, you record the album then you have a couple of years when you go out and get the album out there touring. At the moment I’m working on getting the best 10-15 songs together that I can and playing lots of gigs at places like the Mornington Peninsula Brewery and Westernport Hotel, these smaller bar gigs which are really cool because you get to play to lots of different people and try out new songs. We’re expecting another baby in July so a new album will probably be next year.

PEARL: Has becoming a father and husband influenced your music at all?
THOMPSON: It hasn’t influenced my music but it has influenced by songwriting. Empathy is a really good thing for a songwriter. Having empathy for the common man and understanding about the simple things in life- because that’s what you’re trying to do in a song, make the personal universal. People love songs because they can see their own experiences so the more experience you have as a person the more you can bring that stuff into it. It’s very hard to write about stuff if you haven’t experienced it so once you’ve had a child it just opens it up and you can understand a lot more of what families go through which means you can write about it.

PEARL: What made you decide to do a follow up version to your first Acoustic at the Norfolk album?
THOMPSON: The first one I did basically unrehearsed. It was just an idea and the recording came out so good that when I released it broke open everything for me. Then I went on to do bigger sort of band records and ten years on I’d written a lot of songs since that first live album. I played live so much and playing live is a big part of what I do, “the real Carus experience” if you like is really in the live setting so I thought I’ve got all these songs from the later album, maybe I’ll give it a go and people were so excited. It was a nice way to bookend the beginning of my career and the middle of my career.

Carus Thompson plays the Mornington Peninsula Brewery on May 16 and Westernport Hotel San Remo on May 30. For more information, head to



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