Rolling Stone Australia


Adam Gibson Recalls Reporting on Backpacker Murders on 8-minute Opus


Adam Gibson Recalls Reporting on Backpacker Murders on 8-minute Opus

Ah, here he is. That bard of the blue-collar remnants of the Eastern side of Sydney. That cross-country commuter, your expert tour-guide of the best bakeries and cups of tea of Anytown, This Great Southern Land. Storyteller of sights unseen by most, nostalgia tangler and poetry picture-painter of both yesteryear cities and the crumbling country towns that separate them. Adam Gibson.

Flanked once more by the Ark-Ark Birds, Gibson today premieres new track "Belanglo, Byron and the Road Between", the first sample from forthcoming album Cities of Spinifex. While previous work — both on Ark-Ark Birds-partnered debut, Australia Restless, and with former outfits Aerial Maps and Modern Giant — Gibson anchored his geographical namechecks with tales of truck salvages, break-ups, bushfires, tidal movements and milkshake-loving exes, here he takes a far darker turn, recalling his early journalism career reporting on the notorious backpacker murders of the 1990s.

Much like those previous tours though, the 8-minute long, chorus-less story is amplified beyond the boundaries of its factual recall. Gibson himself describing the murders as a "massive and tragic thing and I have a strong sense that they signified the end of a certain era of Australia. Our innocence was lost long before that, but I feel that there is a distinct 'before and after' with that case."

"I've had the idea for this song for a long time but until now it had never felt right to try to record," Gibson adds. "But in recording this album, we felt it right to go down this track and look at how my early work as a reporter really affected my life and how I still carry that stuff with me to this day."

The track is a fitting introduction to Cities of Spinifex, an album Gibson says draws more directly from his own personal experiences than any of his previous work. The LP, due early-2017, will be previewed at a series of shows starting this weekend, dates below.

Saturday, November 26th: Woody's Bar, Collingwood, Melbourne
Sunday, November 27th: Cherry Bar, Melbourne
Wednesday, November 30th: Gasoline Pony, Marrickville, Sydney*
Saturday, December 3rd: Fairgrounds Festival, Berry

* Recording of the New Album Show, featuring a short set from Gibson and an on-stage interview, details here.

Top photo via


Topics: Adam Gibson


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