Captain and first mate set sail again

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian

With their fifth album set for release early this year, South Australian two-piece Ill Starred Captain is hitting the road again, stopping in Geraldton tomorrow night

Describing themselves as a blend of folk, punk and surfadelic sounds, Scott Bassham and Justin Francis will kick off their WA tour with a free gig at The Freemasons Hotel.

Formed back in 2000, the duo has spent much of the last 17 years touring the world, taking the time to play in regional Australia.

Although Bassham said he loved being out on the open road and meeting people from all walks of life, he said it could become quite taxing.

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“It’s never easy for any touring musician, or the people who are left at home,” the 49-year-old said.

“My daughter is an adult now but while she was growing up a lot of that time was spent on the road — that was always very difficult.

“Justin’s got a young daughter, and whenever she sees me rock up on the doorstep she knows her dad’s going to be away for a couple of weeks.”

With just Bassham on guitar and vocals and Francis on drums, the pair creates a surprising amount of noise with a simple, stripped- down vibe.

But Bassham said Ill Starred Captain was almost a three-piece band.

“We did have a couple of bass players over the early years,” he said.

“The people we had were great, but they weren’t able to do the travelling involved. We started working on songs together and we realised we had a pretty good sound.

“It just worked out to be the right thing and we were able to travel — two people travelling in Australia over huge distances is a lot easier to organise.”

Ill Starred Captain spent a chunk of last year busily recording their next album, Get Lucid on the Transcendental, in Adelaide.

Bassham said the album would be more upbeat than their previous releases. “We had a couple of tough years where we were really trying hard to put out much and there was a lot of angst from life,” he said.

“We seem to have freed ourselves from that and it harkens back to some of our earlier stuff.

“It’s a lot more positive.

“This one we’ve taken the time to do and we’re very focused on what kind of sound we want.

“For once, we’ve got a whole lot of extra songs to weed out.”

Ill Starred Captain will play at The Freemasons Hotel at 9pm tomorrow night.

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