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Clare Bowditch during the songwriters' workshop at The Great Escape music festival, 2006.
Clare Bowditch (born 1975) is an Australian musician, writer, coach (creativity and creative-business), social commentator and occasional actor from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She has released five albums, her fifth, The Winter I Chose Happiness was released on 14 September 2012. In May 2012, Bowditch released the single, You Make Me Happy, her first Top 40 song, which was featured in the Network Ten television show, Offspring, a series that she also acts in.
Bowditch's creative ventures have extended beyond her own musical career and, as of 2012, she is Secretary of Music Victoria; Bowditch is also an APRA and PPCA Ambassador. In 2013, she will be launching a Creative Business Mentorship through her organisation, Big Hearted Business. Bowditch is also an Ambassador for Smiling Minds and Life's Little Treasures.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Big Hearted Business
- 3 Journalism and writing
- 4 Acting
- 5 Political activism
- 6 Awards
- 7 Band members
- 8 Personal life
- 9 Discography
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Bowditch graduated from Melbourne University's School of Creative Arts with a Bachelor of Creative Arts (BCA), a now-defunct degree.
Bowditch began writing songs early and continued writing in private until 1998, when she met John Hedigan, with whom she formed her first band Red Raku . Marty Brown, today Bowditch's husband, produced their first EP. Bowditch and Brown had their first daughter, Asha, in 2004, around the same time Bowditch received her first recording grant from Art's Victoria's Music for the Future program. Autumn Bone was recorded in the front room of their house in Melbourne, with Libby Chow and Warren Bloomer. The Feeding Set was a name Libby coined as a joke referring to the meals Bowditch cooked for them every Wednesday night after rehearsal.
Having performed on the Melbourne pub circuit since she was seventeen years old, first with Quarter Acre Dream and then with Red Raku (they recorded two albums), Bowditch first came to prominence in 2005 with the release of her second album What Was Left, which received excellent critical reviews, and high rotation airplay on national radio stations such as Triple J, although her success can be largely credited to the strong support of local independent radio stations throughout Australia, who championed her early work.
Bowditch and her partner and drummer Marty Brown, have toured extensively in Australia and, later, in Europe since 2003. Much of this touring Bowditch has been accompanied by her band The Feeding Set. On stage, Bowditch is known best for the beauty of her songs but also for her satirical on-stage humour, and unconventional use of everyday objects (tea-pots, bottles, old Casiotone) for sound-effects.
In 2005, Bowditch was invited by Deborah Conway to take part in the Broad Festival project, with three other Australian female artists, they performed their own and each other's songs. With Bowditch and Conway were Sara Storer, Katie Noonan and Ruby Hunter. In October, Bowditch and The Feeding Set licensed their second album, What Was Left to EMI. The album was publicly and critically recognised, with two songs being included in Triple J's Hottest 100.
Bowditch and The Feeding Set released their third album, The Moon Looked On, on 13 October 2007.
Bowditch and her band The New Slang completed the recording of their fourth album, Modern Day Addiction. The album was partly recorded with producer Mocky (who's also worked with Feist, Gonzales, Jamie Lidell & Peaches) at the legendary Hansa studios in Berlin. This album marks a decided change in direction for Bowditch, having been written on Casio and piano. In October 2009, she released her first single, The Start of War, from Modern Day Addiction. The song also features Bowditch's partner, Marty Brown, and Mick Harvey, formerly of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The album became both 3RRR's Album of the Week and ABC Radio National's Album of the Week. Modern Day Addiction is the first Bowditch album to enter the Australian Top Ten chart.
The fifth album from Bowditch, The Winter I Chose Happiness, was released on 14 September 2012, with the lead single, You Make Me Happy. A music video for the song One Little River was published in early May 2013 and was directed by French independent directors Hélène Authevelle and Christophe Thiebaut.
In 2008 Bowditch temporarily moved to Berlin, Germany for three months to pursue opportunities to release her albums in Europe. This move was precipitated by a sold out twenty-five date experimental solo tour through major and regional venues in Australia, during which time she was supported by Australian band Hot Little Hands (Hot Little Hands' founding member is Tim Harvey from the band The Feeding Set).
Bowditch supported Leonard Cohen on his 2010 Australian tour after being handpicked by the Canadian singer-songwriter. Bowditch was joined by fellow Australian musician Deborah Conway, who was the support act for the second show of the Melbourne stop of the tour. Bowditch revealed in a 2012 interview that she received a marriage proposal from Cohen during the tour, which also involved a shared journey in Cohen's private tour jet—Bowditch turned down the proposal and explained, "I got to spend all that time with him. Most of the time I just sat there watching and smiling and being amazed at the theatre of it all. He was absolutely charming."
The Winter Secrets Tour is an annual live event that Bowditch initiated in 2009. The tour is notable as Bowditch invites the audience to become involved as performers and artists from all Australian states are invited to record a cover version of one of her songs to compete for an AU$1,000 cash prize—in 2013 the song One Little River was the nominated song for the Winter Secrets competition. The event has sold out every year since its inception.
Big Hearted Business
Bowditch's creative social enterprise, Big Hearted Business (BHB), was devised prior to 2013, but in January 2013, the venture significantly developed through the Pozible campaign. In raising funds for the Pozible campaign, Bowditch has published the following description of BHB project:
Big Hearted Business is a practical, creative response to the sometimes-overwhelming possibilities of our times. As part of a new-guard of micro-business educators, BHB exists to teach brilliant, creative Australians how to build strong, successful businesses, without compromising their integrity. In so doing, we aim to help counter the enormous educational gap that still exists for creative-entrepreneurs in Australia. We also teach existing businesses and leaders how to become comfortable with the right-brain thinking they will need in order to truly lead the way in this modern business-landscape.
Bowditch has stated in a January 2013 video segment that BHB will donate 20 per cent of its profits to not-for-profit organisations. As of 27 January 2013, the BHB Pozible campaign had raised AUS$15,120 (over half of its target of AUS$26,450) and 91 supporters were registered for the campaign.
The inaugural Big Hearted Business conference was held on 23 and 24 March 2013 at the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne, Australia. The speakers list of the event included comedian Catherine Deveny, writer Rachel Power and designer Lucy Feagins.
Journalism and writing
Bowditch has been approached to take on several roles as a "social commentator": she wrote an article for ABC's The Drum, entitled Mr Jones and Me, and also made her debut on the ABC's Q&A program (she was the first panelist to also perform a song—Bigger Than the Money). In August 2010, Bowditch conducted an hour-long interview with Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, for MySpace Today.
Bowditch performed a successful musical stage show based on the life and music of Eva Cassidy. The show, entitled Eva, featured Bowditch singing Cassidy's songs in the style of Cassidy, in addition to telling stories behind the songs and life of the late singer. Shows in Melbourne, Australia were performed at the Atheneum Theatre.
In October 2012, Bowditch performed at the Concert for the Kimberly event in Melbourne, Australia. Held at Federation Square the concert also featured the John Butler Trio, Missy Higgins and a speech by former leader of the Australian Greens Dr Bob Brown. The event was presented by The Wilderness Society to protest against proposed industrialisation at James Price Point near Broome, Australia.
In 2008, Bowditch won the Best Female Artist award at the ARIA awards and was runner-up in the 2008 International Songwriting Competition, in the Singer/songwriter category, for her song, Peccadilloes. The same year, she was voted Yen Magazine's Young Woman of the Year (Music).
Bowditch was awarded Rolling Stone's Woman of the Year award in 2010, for her "Contribution to Culture".
Modern Day Addiction was recorded with Bowditch's newly expanded band, The New Slang:
- Marty Brown of Art of Fighting, Sodastream (drums)
- Warren Bloomer (bass)
- Tim Harvey of band, Hot Little Hands (guitar)
- Sally Mortensen, Rachel Head and Annabelle Tunley from a cappella group, Aluka (backing-vocals)
- Mattie Vehl (keys)
Bowditch has recorded her last three albums with her band The Feeding Set:
- Marty Brown of Art of Fighting and Sodastream (drums)
- Tim Harvey (guitar)
- Libby Chow (vocals, French horn)
- Warren Bloomer (bass)
- Greg Walker from Machine Translations (guitar on first two albums)
Bowditch and husband Marty Brown are parents to identical twin boys Oscar and Elija, and a four-year-old daughter named Asha. The twins were born in late 2006.
As of January 2013, Bowditch is regularly invited to sit on both Ministerial and Award Assessment panels (Australia Council, AMP, ARIA, APRA).
Red Raku albums
Clare Bowditch and The Feeding Set
- Human Being (EP, 2003)
- Monday Comes (EP, 2003)
- Autumn Bone (2004) - independent release
- Which Way to Go (EP, 2004)
- Divorcee by 23 (EP, 2005)
- On This Side (EP, 2005)
- What Was Left (2005) - Capitol/EMI - Australia #35
- The Moon Looked On (2007) - Capitol/EMI - Australia #29
Clare Bowditch and the New Slang
- Modern Day Addiction (2010) - Australia #10
- Are You Ready Yet (EP, 2011) - Island Records Australia
- You Make Me Happy (Single, 2011)
- The Winter I Chose Happiness (Album, 2012)
Tracks on compilation albums
- Hallelujah, a cover version of the Leonard Cohen song, recorded by Triple J and released on the album Like a Version (2005).
- Fall at Your Feet, a cover version of the Crowded House song recorded for She Will Have Her Way (2005), a tribute album in celebration of the music of the Finn Brothers.
- Blood Red Rose, released on the album Cannot Buy My Soul: A Kev Carmody Tribute.
- Georgia's Song, released on the album ReWiggled - A Tribute to The Wiggles (2011).
- "CLARE BOWDITCH The Winter I Chose Happiness". themusic.com.au. Street Press Australia Pty Ltd. 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Michael Lallo (6 May 2012). "Happy days". The Age. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- "Music Victoria Board". Music Victoria. Music Victoria. 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Elliott, Tim (19 August 2008). "Lady's Night at the Beckoning Microphone". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- "Broad 2005". Broad Festival. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Tom Mann (10). "Clare Bowditch starts a war". fasterlouder. FasterLouder Pty Ltd. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- "Clare Bowditch goes solo for a very special 'Winter Secrets Tour'". 23 April 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2008.
- "Clare Bowditch and Deborah Conway to support Leonard Cohen's Australian shows!". Frontier Touring Company. Frontier Touring. 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- Iain Sheddon (8 September 2012). "Happiness begins at home for Clare Bowditch". The Australian. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- Clare Bowditch (2012). "Work With Me". Clare Bowditch Land. Clare Bowditch. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- Clare Bowditch (27). "Big Hearted Business By Clare Bowditch". Pozible. Pozible Pty Ltd. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- "Big Hearted Business - Pozible Campaign" (Video upload). Clare Bowditch on Vimeo. Vimeo LLC. 23. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
- Pip (25). "Clare Bowditch’s Big Hearted Business Conference". Meet Me At Mikes. Meet Me At Mikes. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- Julia (26). "The power of showing up: Big Hearted Business Conference with Clare Bowditch". The Bulb. The Bulb. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- Seanna Cronin (13 May 2012). "Clare enjoying new Offspring role". My Daily News. The Tweed Newspaper Company Pty Ltd. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
- Erin James (3). "Bowditch brings Eva Cassidy to life in Brand New Production". aussie theatre. AussieTheatre.com. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- "The Age EG 2012 Music Awards". The Age. Fairfax Media. 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- "CLARE BOWDITCH AND THE NEW SLANG" (Audio upload). Radio National. ABC. 23. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- "HOT LITTLE HANDS". Myspace. Myspace LLC. 4. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- Andrew Ramadge (2007). "Clare Bowditch and The Feeding Set The Moon Looked On". Mess and Noise. Mess+Noise p/l. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- Rule, Dan (2007-10-26). "Gig reviews: Clare Bowditch". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
- "triple j - Like a Version: Vol. 1". triple j. ABC. 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "She Will Have Her Way -- Fall at your Feet (Clare Bowditch) video" (Video upload). NME. IPC Media Entertainment Network. 1996–2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "Cannot Buy My Soul (A Kev Carmody Tribute) Various Artists". iTunes Preview. Apple, Inc. 24 February 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "Rewiggled - A Tribute To The Wiggles". ABC Music. ABC. 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- Official website
- Spotlight on Clare Bowditch - downloadable video interview
- Interview: What inspires Clare Bowditch?