Australian guitarist Daniel Champagne performs at Hive Emporium on Aug. 16. (Photo courtesy David Harris)

Australian guitarist kicks off North American tour on Vancouver Island

Daniel Champagne makes Gabriola Island debut at Hive Emporium

It’s been about three weeks since Daniel Champagne’s last performance and the Australian guitarist says that’s the longest stretch he’s gone without playing a concert in almost 10 years.

He said while it’s good to take time off, he’s ready to get back in the groove.

“When you’re just playing every single day you almost unfortunately get into a bit of a robotic mode of just playing things that you’re so used to,” he said. “But after a little bit of a break it’s nice to come back and you really discover new joy and new intricacies in the songs that you’re doing.”

On Aug. 15 Champagne kicks off a comprehensive four-month North American tour with a show in Port Alberni, followed the next day by his first Gabriola Island gig at Hive Emporium.

He said playing in a new place for a new audience for the first time gives him the “element of surprise.” He’ll be playing music from his four-album catalogue, including his newest EP, Satellite City, an “on the fly project” he stayed up all night recording.

“I don’t think about it too much beforehand,” he said of his set list. “I kind of just get onstage and see what happens.”

Accompanying Champagne on tour is his new harp-guitar, a 20-string instrument that resembles a double-neck guitar. He said he got it about two weeks ago and he’s still teaching himself how to play it.

“It took me a couple days to work out a logical way to tune it and then I’ve been writing a couple songs,” Champagne said. “But it might be a little while before it works its way into the show.”

WHAT’S ON … Daniel Champagne performs at Hive Emporium, 9-575 North Rd., on Friday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. Tickets $20 available at the venue.

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