Curtain Call: James Reyne back on the road

Summer soundtrack: James Reyne made an unforgettable debut on Countdown in 1979 and has been part of the Australian music scene since.
Summer soundtrack: James Reyne made an unforgettable debut on Countdown in 1979 and has been part of the Australian music scene since.

Aussie rock legend rolls into the Manning

On Friday, March 29, Aussie rock legend James Reyne is in town on his national tour "A Crawl to Now" and you can catch him at the Manning Entertainment Centre

"I just feel that I'm getting better," James Reyne says. "I'm a better singer and a better songwriter."

It's a simple statement, but also remarkable - considering that this is an artist who has sold more than two million albums and written some of the most memorable Australian songs of all time.

James Reyne's songs have provided the soundtrack to endless Australian summers, including "The Boys Light Up", "Reckless", "Beautiful People", "Lakeside", "Daughters Of The Northern Coast", "Fall Of Rome", "Hammerhead", "Motor's Too Fast" and "Slave".

James has been a part of our lives since making an unforgettable debut on Countdown in 1979, with both arms in plaster (the result of being hit by a car, crossing Swanston Street in Melbourne).

"Lucky for the Australian music industry that James Reyne chose to strut through its door in 1979," Wendy Milson and Helen Thomas wrote in their 1986 book Pay To Play.

"His was exactly the profile ... an injection of chutzpah to recharge a listless business burdened with hard-to-market punk acts."

In her 1992 book Your Name's On The Door, Tracee Hutchison noted that Australian Crawl "boldly explored an 'Australian-ness' that was unique at the time and which broke a lot of ground in the development of an Australian 'sound'."

James was a member of Australian Crawl for seven years, releasing four studio albums in five frenetic years in the '80s.

He's been a solo artist for the past 28 years, releasing eight studio albums, plus two acoustic collections, a covers album and two live albums.

Thirty years after it was released, Australian Crawl's debut album, The Boys Light Up, was featured in The 100 Best Australian Albums.

"Australian Crawl would never have gone much beyond their living rooms on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula," the authors noted, "had it not been for singer/songwriter James Reyne ... a keen observer of human nature and a man with a vitriolic wit."

A Crawl To Now is a 90 minute live show featuring songs selected from over twenty albums.

James will be joined on stage by renowned guitarist Josh Owen in acoustic duo format.

Book at theMEC.com.au, by phoning 6592 5466 during box office hours, or at Stockland Forster.