“My sister made me this book full of quotes and little bits of wisdom one year for a gift, it has this gem in it. It’s an Irish Proverb – ‘It is in the shelter of each other that the people live’.
I don’t think there can ever be enough songs about hope.”Rhys Duursma – Mayfair Lane
Married musical duo Rhys and Esther Duursma from North East Victoria combined their different musical backgrounds to form a new indie/folk sound together as Mayfair Lane. This led to a growing fan base and well received debut album titled ‘Go Again’ which launched in February 2019.
Since their album debut, the couple have embarked on a twelve month experiment as full time musicians and van lifers, travelling up and down the east side of Australia as well as overseas in their little van ‘Morrison’ sharing their songs and stories.
Mayfair Lane supported Celtic duo The Sweet Sorrows on a three week tour around the UK and then joined folk-family band The Hollands! on a four week tour across the US. This incredible opportunity put them in front of international audiences who loved the pair’s sweet harmonies, conversing guitars and authenticity.
Busker What’s Your Story? caught up with the couple recently at home in country Victoria, where you’ll find them playing around the local music scene over December/January.
We discovered that sweet authenticity forms more than just a base for their music.
What’s something really memorable that’s occured while you’ve been busking?
“Once we played an impromptu set in a park on our way through Byron Bay. Our friend was showing us some local music this particular night and we ran into friends of his who were set up on the grass playing to a spontaneous crowd (which seems to happen regularly in Byron).
We started playing some original songs. Now I don’t know if he didn’t like our music, or if he was just having a bad night, but a couple of songs in a guy staggered over between us and the crowd and started yelling abuse at everyone.
We weren’t really sure what to do. It was safe to say he had taken something and was off the planet, he was acting violent any time people came near… all the while we just kept playing.
Eventually he staggers back toward us a little, still ranting, and Esther sees that he has a little tin whistle in his pocket. So she leans forward and calls out: ‘What’s your name?’ His name is Josh and at Esther’s invitation he starts playing a tin whistle solo in the instrumental. Taking all of his frustration and anger out on this tiny whistle in the completely wrong key…
And every time he started to get worked up again, we just called for another tin whistle solo. Till eventually he was spent and staggered off down the street. And that was our spontaneous (and memorable) Byron Bay performance.”
If you could choose a lyric from any song that is special to you, what would that lyric be?
“The lyric that comes to mind at the moment, (it would be different if you asked me in a week), would be from U2’s – Song For Someone. It has this great opening line ‘you’ve got a face not spoiled by beauty’ .
I love that it jars against the typical pop song. It stands counter to our culture of external beauty being everything. There’s a depth to it.
The rest of the song is about hope. It’s about looking for light in darkness. Reaching toward something we haven’t grasped yet, even when it seems impossible. ‘If there is a light, you can’t always see, and there is a world, we can’t always be. If there is a dark, now we shouldn’t doubt, and there is a light, don’t let it go out’.
I don’t think there can ever be enough songs about hope.”
What’s a great piece of advice you’ve been given and who gave you that advice?
“My sister made me this book full of quotes and little bits of wisdom one year for a gift, it has this gem in it. It’s an Irish Proverb – It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.”
Who are your musical influences? What do you love about them?
“Esther and I mostly have very different musical influences, but there are a few that we both love. Stu Larsen (a folk singer everyone should know). Josh Garrels (has an incredible voice). Gin Wigmore (writes a killer pop melody). Glen Hansard (perfect music for every kind of day). Brooke Fraser, Eric Bibb, Middle Kids, Angus & Julia, Hothouse Flowers. The list just keeps getting longer…”