By Luke Voogt
Country music star Adam Brand will return to the “old stomping ground” when he performs in Geelong next Friday.
“I love coming back to Geelong,” he told The Indy this week.
Brand has been touring since early March with his “upbeat” album Get on Your Feet, which he released in February.
“It’s definitely country music to get up and dance to,” he said.
“Some people like their country music to sit at the bar and cry into their beer – I want you to be dancing on the bar and having a great time.”
Brand grew up in Wallington and Corio after his parents moved to Geelong from Perth when he was six years old.
He listened to his parents’ Elvis, Roy Orbison and Neil Diamond records as a child, and Bruce Springsteen and Cold Chisel as a teenager.
“Music was always something I absolutely loved,” he said.
“I grew up learning to play drums and performing in church bands.”
Brand put music on hold when he left high school and it was only in his late 20s that he rediscovered the passion.
He completed an apprenticeship as a dental technician and travelled Australia for roughly a decade doing odd jobs, from a brickie’s labourer to selling cars.
“But music was always just nagging at the back of my mind,” he said.
In 1997 Brand decided to pack it all up, go to Tamworth and “have a crack at it”.
“It just got to the point one day where I said ‘bugger it’ and just went for it.”
The gig scored him a record deal and in 1999 he won the first three of his fourteen Golden Guitars at the Country Music Australia Awards.
“I’m coming up to 20 years now since my first album came out and it’s been a dream come true,” he said.
“I just love that I get to make my living on stage. The highlight for me is it’s been 20 years and I’m still doing it.”
But while Brand struggled to name his single best moment, he has an odd honour to his to name – in 2009 he won Dancing with the Stars.
“I’m retired as a dancer, just so you know,” he said.
“Even though I won I talked my way through it more than danced my way through.”
Brand hoped the crowd would get on their feet at the Gateway Hotel next Friday.
“It’s a great country crowd in Geelong and the car park is full always of utes. The stage is nice and close and (last time) the place (was) jam-packed.”
He said country music had evolved dramatically during his career and many younger fans were getting into the genre.
“You might be surprised by what kind of night you have.
“It’s certainly not hay bales, banjos and donkeys.”