Country music singer Beccy Cole talks about life on the other side of the closet and what she has in store for her Adelaide fans after being appointed the first ambassador for Feast, which launches its full 2013 program tonight.
What does it mean to you to be Feast Festival’s inaugural national ambassador?
The Feast Festival is a wonderful celebration of arts and diversity, and I’m thrilled to be an ambassador for the event. I enjoyed my first Feast experience last year and it’s great to be back home in this capacity.
You’ve been in demand on the queer festival circuit since coming out publicly last year – how has your life changed since then?
It’s certainly better on this side of the closet! I have loved being able to perform for my “tribe” at some of the biggest celebrations of queer culture in Australia.
It has been a delight to mix these festivals with the country, folk and roots events that I was used to. The queer ones are certainly the most colourful. It’s awesome, too, to get to attend and perform at these events as a singer of perhaps a slightly different genre than usually heard at such festivals.
Have there been any negatives?
No. I can honestly say that I really don’t know what I was worried about for all those years.
Most of my work and fan base is in regional Australia, and I was concerned that there may be a lack of understanding towards my sexuality. How wrong I was. What Australians appreciate more than anything is honesty, and there is certainly something to be said for the loyalty of fans after 20 years of touring.
At this year’s Feast you’ll be performing a couple of shows, including one called The Queer of Country – “Beccy in intimate mode”. What can audiences expect?
I am always motivated to entertain the audience. If people want to hear the music, they can sit home with a CD, if they buy a ticket, I feel they need something to see, and to have an experience they will remember. With this in mind, I tell stories and sing songs from a number of my albums as well as some tributes and surprises. I have a great band of wonderful musicians who have energy and humour as well as musical talent.
One of the things I usually say to the uninitiated country audience member is that country music isn’t what you think. It’s not as bad as you are expecting it to be!
You’ve also been touring on the back of your latest album, Beccy’s Big Hits. What is your favourite track on the album and why?
I’ve loved performing songs from the Big Hits record. These songs are like diary entries in time – it’s nice to go back, especially from such a happy place.
My favourite song depends on the day you ask me, but I do love the duet with Kasey Chambers about our friendship. We wrote it in tears and laughter.
And your favourite all-time country hit by any artist?
I don’t actually listen to a lot of country these days really, but I will always love Dolly’s “Jolene”.
Will you be joining this year’s Pride March in Adelaide?
I’m touring NSW until November 10, but hope to be in Adelaide for at least a week for Feast.
Beccy Cole will be performing at Greg Cooley Wines in Clare this weekend, supported by Libby Donovan, and at Fowler’s Live in Adelaide on November 14-15 during the Feast Festival.
The full Feast Festival program is being announced tonight. For a program preview, read InDaily’s interview with new festival artistic director Catherine Fitzgerald.
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