Skipping All Through the Night
“This [indie] approach requires you to have some control of your own destiny and helps you discover what you can and can’t do.”
In the inner suburbs of Melbourne stands a neon sign of a girl with a skipping rope. If this girl, fondly known as Little Audrey, could speak, oh the history she could share. This sign, when lit at night, shows Little Audrey skipping. But over the years the skipping girl (who once stood above a vinegar factory) has deteriorated and is in desperate need of restoration. This sign provided Mark Lang and his bandmates the name of their collective, SKIPPING GIRL VINEGAR.
Skipping Girl Vinegar’s humble beginnings included recording in bedrooms, kitchens, lounge rooms and other household locations. Sometime after, though, these songs caught the recognition of an internationally reputable mix engineer. Mark informs me their music “started to get a bit of attention while we were getting to the mixing stages, which included famous mix engineer, Adrian Bushby, who has worked with musicians like Ben Kweller and The Foo Fighters. We had randomly sent out emails with mp3s and Adrian really liked [single] One Chance and was keen to mix it. Later we were working with Greg Calibi and Brad Jones… It was bizarre having these big guys working on this little band’s record and doing it because they love the music.”
It can be said that the reason it took some years to complete the album and get their name out there is a result of the decision to go indie, rather than sign on with a major label (despite numerous offers). Mark explains, “We might be more famous going through a major label but it doesn’t really mean anything at the end of the day. If it takes a while for us to build our fanbase then it’s not just hype-driven. We’re also more interested in the longevity of our band’s future. This [indie] approach requires you to have some control of your own destiny and helps you discover what you can and can’t do. We were very lucky that we got an opportunity to release our works as an independent band with some backers.”
After explaining my disappointment in missing them at the last Falls Festival, Mark relates, “The shame was that we missed Fleet Foxes because we were at a festival in Sydney at the time! We missed all these shows we wanted to see because of the timing of our touring.” I, for one, am remiss as to why these things can’t be organised so the performers can see one another!
Fortunately Skipping Girl Vinegar are currently on their biggest national tour yet, following the release of their debut album. Mark adds, “We really want to tour for those who have heard the record but may not have yet seen us live.”
Indeed the reception is likely to be bigger now that people are starting to hear who Skipping Girl Vinegar are. And following the news that Little Audrey has been listed as a heritage site and is due to be restored, surely the destiny of Skipping Girl Vinegar will be just as bright.
Skipping Girl Vinegar perform at the Front Gallery on Thursday August 6 supported by Julia and The Deep Sea Sirens. Tickets through Ticketek.
Author: Peter Rosewarne