Describing the shows as “half chatting and half music”, each one will feature Mooney and three guest musicians talking and taking turns playing songs from their respective catalogues, on which the other guests will join in. (A different backing band will also feature at each show.) Save for a quick soundcheck, the evenings will be entirely unrehearsed.
“That concept of having four artists onstage sitting in a circle … it’s a very folky traditional thing,” says Mooney. “It’s a lovely way of sharing music. And I wanted to take that and elaborate on it a bit and see what would happen if there were people from really different genres, so that’s where the Supergroup thing comes in.”
As an example, she cites a show in April that featured You Am I vocalist Tim Rogers, solo artist Ben Salter and rapper Urthboy. “Ben was really excited to have Tim sing harmonies with him on a song, and Urthboy freestyling on one of Ben’s songs was so exciting. Everyone was buzzing,” she says.
This is the second outing for Supergroup, which debuted with a four-week run in April as part of Giant Dwarf’s Artist in Residence program. There will be four shows across spring and summer, starting on November 24 with guest stars Sally Seltmann, Bob Evans (AKA Jebediah’s Kevin Mitchell) and Lisa Mitchell, while Olympia, Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson and You Am I’s Davey Lane will appear at the December 21 event.
Mooney admits her motivations for Supergroup are somewhat selfish.
“I feel like a bit of a kid in a candy store’cause I’m just asking people who are some of my favourite artists,” she says. “So I’m putting together nights of my own dream gigs. But part of the reason for doing it is because the music community in Australia is so lovely and supportive, and of such excellent quality. We run into each other all the time, mostly at airports or backstage at festivals but we don’t ever really get to play together.”
Mooney has fielded inquiries from venues in Brisbane and Melbourne about the concept and may soon take it on the road. As with April’s performances, the coming shows will be filmed, with Mooney’s “ultimate dream” being that they find a home on TV. “It’s really taken on a life of its own,” she says.
Supergroup is at Giant Dwarf Theatre, Redfern, on November 24 and December 21.