Kingswood’s alt-country odyssey continues

Kingswood. (Michelle Grace Hunder)

Matt Hewson

Kingswood are known throughout Australia as one of the country’s hardest working bands, and to the outside observer it might seem like even COVID-19 didn’t slow them down much.

Despite having to cancel the international tour of their third studio album Juveniles throughout Europe, North America and South America due to the onset of the pandemic, by the end of 2020 Kingswood had released two more albums.

The first of those albums, Reveries, hinted at the new direction the band has taken ever since – exploring the gamut of Americana flavours- while the second, A Kingswood Christmas, seems to have been a one-off (so far).

The band eventually toured Europe and the US in 2022 before embarking on “the greatest tour ever undertaken in Australia”; the Hometowns tour, a run of over 100 shows between September 2022 till June 2023.

The band then skipped off to Europe again, touring there till October ‘23 and hitting venues Australia-wide almost as soon as they got off the plane.

During 2023 Kingswood racked up 160 shows, and with all their spare time also managed to release two more alt-country albums and launch their own brand of beer.

Reflecting on the band’s journey since the aborted Juveniles tour, Kingswood frontman Fergus Linacre said while COVID hadn’t slowed them down, it was definitely a factor in their change of direction.

“It started when we made a sort of a bluegrassy, acoustic version of Juveniles; we made that album to be in front of thousands of people but then that didn’t happen, so the album didn’t really make sense,” he said.

“And so we re-recorded it, made it for one listener. The same songs, but stripped back with strings and acoustic guitar or piano and pedal steel.

“And we did shows like that, limited seating shows in Melbourne. We did ten in a row at the Corner Hotel, just sitting down and playing country-inspired versions of those songs.

“It’s not that much of a shift for us; we’ve always had a bit of Americana/country in us. And yeah, it’s been great.”

Something of an understatement; Home, the album they released early last year, was the second-highest selling country album in Australia last year behind Golden Guitar winner Brad Cox’s Acres.

Currently touring their new album The Tale of G.C. Townes, Kingswood are at the Wool Exchange on Saturday, February 10.