Melbourne songwriter Tim Downey explores the light and shadow of life’s mysteries. His songs are full of lyrical imagery which paints a bittersweet and sometimes abstract reality. Since its inception in 2017, folk rock band Beautiful Buildings has been the focus of Tim’s musical output, writing and performing alongside friend and collaborator Di Casey. Their vocal harmonies feature in all of their work, characterising the band’s sound. Fast forward to today and Tim and Di are poised to release their debut single, ‘O Indigo’ along with new bandmates who helped bring the song to life in the studio. It has been a long time coming and the song has been road tested for some years, but now is the right time to bring it out into the world. Beautiful Buildings have played many full band shows but none will be more special than celebrating this new release on the stage at their single launch.
Richard Clapton as one of Australia’s foremost singer/songwriters, paved the way for subsequent generations of songwriters to write about the experience of being Australian.
He grew up in Sydney in the 1960s before hopping a plane for London, and then later to Germany, where he wrote a first album, Prussian Blue (1973) which was one of the first major Australian “singer-songwriter” albums.
One of the most popular songs from Prussian Blue was I Wanna Be A Survivor. I doubt he imagined then, how true that message would turn out to be. His songs are still omnipresent on the radio to this day; his records charting the political landscape of the nation and the turbulent lives of two generations. Like Americans Jackson Browne and Bruce Springsteen, Richard Clapton developed a sound based on melodic rock while his lyrics were poetic musings on his state of mind or the state of the nation.
By 1975, when he released his highly acclaimed, No.1 hit Girls On The Avenue, Clapton had set the themes he was to explore for the coming decades.
Over the following years there were a string of hits including the perennial favourites: Capricorn Dancer, Deep Water, I Am An Island, and many more.
Richard mastered that most difficult of show business acts – the highwire that requires the balance of radio-friendly tunes and candid, from-the-heart, lyrics.
He was a mentor to the younger artists like Jimmy Barnes, INXS and Cold Chisel and in 1981 INXS had him produce their second album, Underneath the Colours, they remain firm friends to this day.
Since his first album in 1973, Richard has shown no signs of slowing down. He has released over 20 albums which have cumulatively sold over one million copies. He is the only rock artist to have received an Australia Council arts grant which enabled him to travel around the world writing new songs based on his expeiences..
In 1999 he was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and in 2014, his first memoir “The Best Years of Our Lives” was published by Allen and Unwin. The book connected with people of all generations because it was not only a story of Clapton’s journey, but it also documented the story of the lives of thousands of fans who had travelled the same road. Young people – fascinated by how it was “back in the day” also became a new generation of fans. The book continues to flourish, resonating with so many people in so many ways.
In a career that now spans over 40 years Richard hasn’t passed through life in a luxurious rock star bubble. He has battled and succeeded at every step of the way and come through it intact as one of the world’s most cherished singer/songwriters with his legions of fans. He is a survivor, with a tale to tell.