Features

Heart To Heart: Part Two

In part two, DAVE MCCORMACK talks to Angie Hart about bowel movements, staying sane on the road and her obsession with crossword puzzles. Read [part one here](/articles/3188132).


Dave: If you were to be included in children’s bedtime story, what sort of character would you be and what would your name be?

Angie: In the story of The Strange Noises of Princess Angular, we follow our protagonist as she burps, farts and coughs resonantly through the many splendiferous and uniquely different cavernous ballrooms of the east coast of Australia. Attended by only the cr’me de la cr’me of the southern hemisphere, no-one would guess that such vulgar and tasteless sounds could emit from such a princess. Which would be unforgivable, were it not for her gift of song. When she sings, the oompah-pah of all other emissions cease and the music begins.

Dave: If you start drinking in the early afternoon before a show, how do you manage to stay sober enough to play later that evening?

Angie: Even though I have been documented in song and print media as quite the drinker, I never drank before a show. Until recently. Since I have broken my AFG (alcohol free gig) rule, I try to stick to a cut-off time which begins at the end of sound-check. This has only been challenged once, at the Little Creatures brewery in Fremantle. It is a persuasive ale that won’t take ?no? for an answer. This is when a level-headed guitarist can be helpful. I don’t know if it’s the drunkenness if I continue, or the weariness if I stop, that I fear most.

Dave: When you are on tour, do you pass strangers? houses in the early evening and wish that you could just walk straight in and join them for dinner?

Angie: I am a sucker for a lamp-lit window in a stranger’s house. They are so full of promise. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I would make my (ex)husband drive me around the hills, so I could look into people’s windows.

None of the things I do on the road are out of the ordinary for being on the road. I swear like a trooper, talk incessantly about bowel movements (not particularly mine), and collect packaging with improper English slogans.

Dave: Are you a gambler?

Angie: I do have a touch of the compulsive/obsessive about me, but it’s more for crosswords.

Dave: Any surprising behaviour I can expect from you as we travel from place to place?

Angie: None of the things I do on the road are out of the ordinary for being on the road. I swear like a trooper, talk incessantly about bowel movements (not particularly mine), and collect packaging with improper English slogans. The rest of the time, I don’t say much and can be found huddled in a corner somewhere with the crossword.

Dave: I heard someone say the following: ?The happiest time of my life was when I went to the bank with my brother?. I find that beautiful. What do you think?

Angie: I don’t have a brother, but I once overheard a woman on a train berating her partner for sitting on the seat opposite from her during their journey to Footscray. She called him a ?backwards man?. It was touching. Another was from a 19-year-old woman at a truck stop in Virginia, who after enquiring about my accent, exclaimed wistfully, ?Australia, I always wanted to go there.? I found her use of past-tense sad.

Dave: Do you write your best music when you are happy or unhappy?

Angie: My best songs are sad songs with a silver lining, or happy songs with a dark underbelly. I seem to write them, no matter what my mood.

Dave: Any tips for keeping healthy and sane on the road?

Angie: A healthy devil-may-care attitude, a large dose of the non-judgies, and lots of vegetables. if all else fails, and you find yourself ill of body and ill of mind, I suggest a shot of Drambuie (no ice), sipped at a leisurely measure.

Dave: Can you play an instrument in my new band?

Angie: Can I play kazoo? I’m afraid I’m a terrible player of most instruments, and I’m not being modest.

Dave: What was the name of your grade one teacher and has he/she attained some sort of mythical status in your mind?

Angie: There was a year three teacher at Gold Street Primary, whose name escapes me, so let’s call her Ms Moneypenny. She never taught me, and it was my wish that she had. I would see her around my neighbourhood, walking a pair of Dalmatians with her rock’n?roll boyfriend. The fact that she wasn’t married and that she dyed her boyfriend’s hair yellow and he dyed hers black, made her a desirable enigma. To top it all off, she had a vast collection of vintage sunglasses that she would doctor with coloured contact on the lenses to match her outfits. I was 10 years old, this seemed the ultimate to me and still does.

Dave: Of all of your songs, what is the one you are most proud of?

Angie: There are a couple of songs on my first solo album that I’m proud of having the balls to write, but they are still difficult to perform in some situations due to the vulnerable subject matter (me). In answer to those songs, I find ‘Don’t Be Shy’ comforting and assertive. It’s something I am happy to share with people and hope that it makes them feel some of what I felt at that time. I’d be proud of that.

ANGIE HART AND DAVE MCCORMACK:
EAST COAST TOUR

Friday, July 11
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Thursday, July 17
The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Friday, July 18
The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

Saturday, July 19
TrisElies, Blue Mountains, NSW

Sunday, July 20
The Heritage Hotel, Wollongong, NSW

Friday, July 25
The Troubadour, Brisbane

Saturday, July 26
Joe’s Waterhole, Eumundi