Fearless US singer songwriter makes Australia creative base
BOLD and brassy US singer, musician, writer and artist Amanda Palmer touched down at Woodfordia today with the news Australia can expect to see a lot more of her.
Fresh off a flight from Cuba, the unapologetically theatrical artist arrived for her first appearance at Woodford Folk Festival, where she will take to the stage for two highly anticipated slots on Friday and Saturday.
In an exclusive warm-up for volunteers and the media, Palmer revealed she and her husband, author Neil Gaiman, have been granted distinguished talent visas for the next five years, meaning they will be spending plenty more time writing and performing on Australian soil.
Palmer has toured the country something like seven times, both solo and with the Dresden Dolls, and said she always felt understood in Australia.
"Because I'm a strong woman, I feel less threatening and more appreciated here for having an opinion and being an artist and being outspoken, as they might say, just having feelings and not being afraid to share them," she said.
Palmer said she and Gaiman and their one-year-old son would spend the bulk of their time in Melbourne, where she plans to get stuck into writing again.
"I wrote my book in Melbourne a couple of years ago, and I recorded my last big album two years before that," she said.
"So Melbourne in particular but Australia in general has just always been really ... it's been a really productive place for me to be," she said.
"Because I love it here and everything stays vital and alive but I can separate myself from whatever it is personally, familially, politically that's going on, over there (in the US), but not feel like I'm retreating to some sort of monastic experience, which is my husband's style but not my own.
"You know Neil wants to go up a mountain, into a cabin and lock the door and write, and to me that's like my idea of a personal hell.
"I want to be with people, with strong flat whites and music going around everywhere and that's Australia."
Palmer said she didn't yet know what her next album would be about, but she was feeling brave.
But it's likely the big changes in her life recently - motherhood and the political climate in the US - will feature in her work.
*Amanda Palmer will speak at Garland, Friday at 8.15pm and perform at Grande, Saturday at 7pm.
She will be touring across the country from January to March.