Peter Bibby’s music is almost impossible to pin down to a single suit; it’s unabashedly honest and raw while boasting a storyline that would bring writers of old to tears, all encapsulated by a voice that is the very sound of the Australian bush. My first introduction to WA’s own maverick poet was through the jarring guitar intro to ‘Red XF Falcon’ off Bibby’s first release under his own name, ‘Butcher/Hairstylist/Beautician’, back in 2014. An album that flew under the radar upon initial release but was quick to build an almost cult following. Spending the last 4-5 years on and off the road, his most recent time has been spent gallivanting through the UK with POND front man, Nicholas Allbrook.
Bibby’s shows are energetic, unapologetic and unrestrained. Accompanied by the Dog Act, the group rips through songs both new and old as a dark and sweaty enigma. Every chord reverberating off the walls and through the crowd enthralled in Bibby’s every word. Going verse for verse with attendees Bibby pushes the notion of the traditional sing-a-long to a more aggressive, more complex area than it has dared to dwell. The blend of not-quite rock, not-quite country amasses to a show of uncontrollable angst and raucous reflection.
With the release of ‘Grand Champion’ in recent weeks, Bibby’s second album; as well as an accompanying national tour, the schedule has been tight. The latest release is an ode to life in the bush and it’s everyday occurrences and tribulations, as well as some stories from his time in Melbourne. Self-described as a bastard of an album, it’s been years in the making.
“The recording of the album was interrupted by a gruelling return trip across the Nullarbor from Perth-Melbourne in a car that would have been better as a storage container, taking two months rather than the expected two weeks. This was only one of many setbacks with the completion of this record however we got there in the end,” muses Bibby.
Much like his first studio album, the record showcases Bibby’s uninhibited storytelling and charm with a slightly more toned down approach. Long-time fan-favourite ‘Medicine’ finally found its way onto an album and finds itself in the company of many other future Bibby classics. ‘Work For Arseholes’ and ‘Wake Up Hungry’ give detail of the discord and disdain that Bibby has for corporate juggernauts.
“I wrote it to make myself feel better about being a thirsty, unemployed insomniac whilst sitting in my bedroom in Northcote, Victoria. It didn’t make me feel that much better, however, I have, for the most part, avoided working for arseholes ever since and I see that as a great success,” says Bibby of the track ‘Work For Arseholes’.
Peter Bibby’s Dog Act are currently halfway through their national tour, and if history is anything to go by this tour won’t be the last. For info on tours or album purchase, see Bibby’s Facebook page.