Concert tour a family affair
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Concert tour a family affair

It was an overseas concert tour with a difference for popular folk group Tinpan Orange when band members Emily Lubitz and her brother Jesse brought along their young families.

Tinpan Orange performs in Hamburg, Germany during last year’s European tour.
Tinpan Orange performs in Hamburg, Germany during last year’s European tour.

TRAVELLING overseas with young children can be quite a challenge, but it is even harder when they are touring with their parents on a whirlwind European concert tour.

That’s the challenge that Tinpan Orange singer Emily Lubitz and husband Harry Angus (who plays keyboards with popular band The Cat Empire) faced when they took their children Louis, 5, and Samuel, 2, to Europe on a tour through four countries in 17 days.

Tinpan Orange has enjoyed success in Australia and overseas since it was formed by vocalist Emily, brother Jesse on guitar and violinist Alex Burkoy in Melbourne in 2005, when it released its first album Aroona Palace.

The latest tour started in Germany on October 27 with a concert in Berlin, followed by dates in German cities including Munich, Hannover and Hamburg before travelling to Holland, Belgium and Spain, culminating in a concert in the Spanish city of Santander on November 19.

The band had a few of its own shows in Berlin to promote the international release of their fifth album, Love is a Dog, while the rest of the tour was as the support act for The Cat Empire.

“We have been really pleased with the public response to Love is a Dog, which was released in Australia last April, as it is four years since we released our previous album, Over the Sun,” Lubitz told The AJN.

“We have done a few gigs with The Cat Empire including tours in  Canada, Europe and Australia. We are all like family since Harry started playing with them more than 15 years ago. And our kids love to play with the crew.”

For the European tour Lubitz and her family took to the road in a camper van, often spending just a night in each city.

“Our kids would stay up and watch the concerts until midnight, so that they could also watch their dad perform,” she explains.

“After the show Harry would have a coffee and then we would jump into the van and leave the city straight away, find a truck stop where we parked the van and slept the night before heading off to the next city on the tour, chugging along on the autobahn.”

The German stage of the tour accounted for almost two weeks, and during this time Lubitz’s parents arrived to help them out, and also joined them in Amsterdam.

For part of the trip Lubitz’s brother Jesse was joined by his wife Lior and children Fania, 6, and Raphy, 1.

“It was an intense tour, but it was amazing to take our families along,” says Lubitz. “We knew we were doing something special.

“I have toured with my children since they were three months old. We completed the last record when I was pregnant with my older child, Louis, and three months after he was born I was on the road again.

“We travelled to Canada and Europe with him, so he has been all over the world.”

“The same happened with my second child, Samuel, when I released an album for my other band, We Two Thieves, three months after he was born, and then toured around Australia with them.

For Tinpan Orange’s next European tour in February, it will be only the three band members on the road.

“It’s a hectic seven shows in nine days in Germany and France, so we are leaving everyone behind,” says Lubitz. “

In the meantime Tinpan Orange is preparing for concerts in Australia, including the Australia Day on the Rocks concert in Sydney on January 26.

REPORT by Danny Gocs

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