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EXCLUSIVE: Bob Evans Goes Track By Track Through New Album 'Full Circle: Best Of'

5 October 2018 | 2:40 pm | Bob Evans

'Full Circle: Best Of' is out today.

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(Suburban Songbook, 2006)

I’ve realised that ever since I wrote this song I’ve performed it at every single live gig I’ve done on stage. I don’t think I can say that about any other song I’ve ever written. In terms of Bob Evans, it’s certainly my calling card. I still love the song and other people seem to love it. I’ve got a very healthy relationship with my biggest hit – my only hit, really – because other people can really have an unhealthy relationship with their hits for whatever reason. I am very lucky; I have a very healthy relationship with this song.  


(Goodnight, Bull Creek!, 2009)  

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Some of the songs off this record are a little bit dark. It was a bit of weird time coming out of Suburban Songbook; I was kind of feeling quite lonely. There’s a lot of loneliness inside those songs and Someone So Much embodies that a little bit. I mention Bull Creek and there’s a fair bit of reflection and nostalgia going on in this song [laughs].


(Suburban Songbook, 2006)

The first song I ever wrote on a piano and the one I thought had the best chance of being a hit song off that record but Don’t You Think It’s Time ended up beating it to the post. I love this song, so proud of it. As a writer, I feel it’s got everything that I love about music.  


(Familiar Stranger, 2013) 

It took me ages to come up with lyrics for this song. I had the music for maybe a year or longer before I came up with the lyrics for it, the chorus-line, anyway. At that point in time I was just trying to forget that I was ‘Bob Evans’ and just trying to write music as Kevin Mitchell. So rather than feel obliged to play into the whole ‘acoustic singer/songwriter guy’ thing I was like, ‘I’m just gonna write the music that I wanna write now as Kevin Mitchell, forget Bob Evans and Jebediah and write the songs that I’d write if none of those things existed.’ And that’s what came out.   


(Car Boot Sale, 2016)

All the music and the lyrics just happened at the same time. I remember when I first started writing music, a lot of songs used to come that way – just fall out of the heavens, fully formed, music and lyrics done in a few minutes. But these days it doesn’t happen so much. So I love that song because it reminds me a little bit of when I was a teenager, or in my early twenties, and the songs happened really fast. That song happened really fast and it always feels like a bit of a gift, like you’ve won a small lottery prize.    


(Goodnight, Bull Creek!, 2009)

I really love this song. It was never a single. Jebediah approached the '20th anniversary best-of' thing a similar way… I didn’t want to just put out a record of all the singles. I wanted this to be more than that, to include songs that I just felt really proud of, or that I feel are really important or weren’t necessarily played on the radio. So this was just one of those songs. It’s a duet with a beautiful vocal performance by Melissa Mathers, who is a Nashville native. It wasn’t written as a duet; that idea came along later. I love how it turned out and I guess the idea is by sticking it on this record some people might discover it who hadn’t heard it before.    



(Goodnight, Bull Creek!, 2009)

After the ship that ran aground on Nobbys Beach in Newcastle. It’s weird, after making Suburban Songbook and that record being so successful and being such a great time in my life, that I came out the other end of it in a pretty dark space. I’ll never fully understand why that happened, but this is a perky song disguised with a pretty dark lyric. It’s a great song to play when you’re in Newcastle [laughs]. They love it there.   


(Suburban Songbook, 2006)

It’s one that when I was writing and demoing the song I probably didn’t see the potential in it. I think it was other people that saw the potential in it more than me. It turned into a pretty special song from that album and one that people love to hear when I play it live.  


(Goodnight, Bull Creek!, 2009)

Written in Guildford, WA. One of those moments where I came up with the Hand Me Downs lyrics and thought, ‘Hand me downs… everybody knows what that means but has anyone ever written a song called that?’ Nobody had, from all the research that I did. So again, it was like a little gift.  


(Car Boot Sale, 2016) 

When I wrote this song I’d been in the Virgin Lounge at the airport coming home from somewhere, and I think it was around the time Julia Gillard was Prime Minister. On the TV in the airport lounge they were showing Question Time and I was just really taken aback by how terribly everybody was behaving. During her Prime Ministership there were some pretty horrible debates, and the tone of it was so bad that I just felt this overwhelming anger that our representatives, our leaders, were just full of bile and there was nothing constructive going on. They just seemed like a pack of wild dogs barking at each other. That was the level of discourse I was witnessing, and it just made me so angry and disillusioned.  


(Suburban Songbook, 2006)

I remember writing the music in my head when I was in Thailand in 2004 with my wife, who was then my girlfriend. We went to one of those elephant attractions – something that I wouldn’t go to now – they weren’t doing tricks, but they were in the water and pulling down logs. I remember getting the rhythm and chords in my head while that was happening and it just kind of stuck with me. It was just before the tsunami; we left two days before Boxing Day, so things could have been very different.   


(Suburban Songbook, 2006)

This was the last song I wrote before I went to Nashville to record the album. So the record company, my manager, nobody had heard it. I demoed it at home just before I left then recorded it. It contains a… well I guess it’s a marriage proposal. I proposed to my wife a month or two after recording that record. I remember playing that song to her – because she’d never heard it – and being really nervous about playing it in case she listened closely and heard that lyric. She kept her cards pretty close to her chest, she doesn’t tend to give much away. A lot of Suburban Songbook represents a pretty special time in my life. I guess Sadness & Whiskey feels like a home movie; a very special postcard or souvenir from that time. It’ll always be incredibly special to me.   


(Suburban Kid, 2003)

I felt like I needed to put something from the first record, Suburban Kid, on this collection. There were a few songs I was umming and ahhing over, but I went for Turn just because lyrically I think it represents best what I was doing when I first started doing the Bob Evans thing. I played Turn all the time at gigs to my housemates and bar staff for years in Perth before making the first record. Funnily enough, even now, I’m still surprised by how many people request it, especially over east, so I’ve kind of just given into it. Of all the songs on that first record it feels like the one that deserved its place on the table the most.    


(Familiar Stranger, 2013)

Again, not a single; the final track off Familiar Stranger. It’s a song that also grew legs of its own and whenever I play it live something special kind of happens. It’s a deeply personal song that I wrote after the birth of our first child. I often close my gigs with it and it felt like the right thing to do with this record.  


(New song)

A bonus track. The new song. We just recorded that in a day; all live. It’s probably a good indication of the kind of record that I’m gonna make next, which I feel I’m now maybe halfway through writing.

Bob Evans' Full Circle: Best Of is out now. He tours from 19 Oct.